Will Trump's immigration ban hurt hiring of intelligence assets in Muslim countries?

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Washington, Feb 2: It may be too early to tell if the temporary ban on immigrants from seven Muslim majority countries will have any impact on the war against terror. United States President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Friday, banning entry of citizens of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia and Libya.

Will US ban hurt intelligence assets?

While terror groups have already made this a recruiting propaganda, Intelligence officials have raised concerns about the recruitment of assets in Muslim countries. In countries such as Iraq, Syria where terror groups are strong, there is a dire need to have Muslim assets to pass on intelligence. The White House while defending the ban had said that the goal of this order was to increase domestic security.

Jeff Stein, a former intelligence officer explains in an article in the Newsweek that, ever since the Cold War, American intelligence agencies have guaranteed to their assets --foreigners who agree to spy for the US -- that they and their families will be exfiltrated to America if their lives are in danger.

In other cases, assets or their family members are given costly medical treatment or educational opportunities in the US. The promise of eventual resettlement in America is a core recruiting tool used by case officers working in agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agency or the Defense Intelligence Agency. It is especially valuable in Muslim countries, where American spy agencies have traditionally found it difficult to operate, and where asset recruitment is arduous and dangerous, the article states.

Indian Intelligence Bureau officials say that it is a tricky situation. An officer tells OneIndia that he does not see this ban lasting for too long. The US must also be concerned that this could also lead to the rise of home grown jihad. The US which is waging a war on terror in various Muslim nations could have problems in recruiting assets or informers. If one looks at the talk on the social media, jihadi groups have already started using this as a recruiting tool. Not just that, they are smartly wording the Trump imposed ban as a war against Islam and not terror, the officer explains.

OneIndia News

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