National Intelligence Director James Clapper says Islamic State training camps currently exist in European countries and that terrorists are exploiting the migrant crisis in those countries to infiltrate the population.
Clapper was asked by a reporter if the Islamic State had clandestine cells currently operating in countries including Germany and Italy.
“Yes they do,” he said, citing heightened coordination intelligence community of terrorists operation in Europe. “We continue to see evidence on the part of ISIL in the countries you name.”
Clapper made his remarks during a breakfast meeting with reporters in Washington D.C. hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. During the conversation, he shared what the intelligence community has learned about ISIS.
“We’ve learned that they are fanatic, very operational security conscious their very mindful of that,” he said. “They have taken advantage to some extent the migrant crisis in Europe. Something which the nations, I think, have a growing awareness of.”
He cited the “mindfulness” of terrorist operatives to block intelligence efforts by using encrypted applications for communications.
Clapper added that the United States is “doing all we can” to share intelligence with European allies about Islamic State terrorists in their countries.
But he cited a “fundamental conflict” with the objective of the European Union to promote open borders while at the same time each nation trying to provide border security.
“On the one hand, the European Union incentives and drives to promote openness and free movement of people and goods, privacy, which is in some ways is in conflict with the responsibilities of each country as a nation state to protect the security of it’s borders of it’s people,” Clapper said.