WASHINGTON -- Israel is on a list compiled by US immigration authorities of countries that might harbor terrorists, it was reported this week.
The Department of Homeland Security list of 36 nations does not fault government policies and instead recognizes the likelihood that a suspect traveler from that country might have terrorist ties.RELATED:Shin Bet cracks top Palestinian terror cell
If a traveler from one of the countries is detained, the country's inclusion on the list triggers a special check by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement division.
The list, attached to a May 10 document from the DHS Inspector General's
office, was first reported this week by CNS News, a Christian news
An ICE spokeswoman, Gillian Christensen, told CNS that appearance on the list did not suggest a country backs terrorism.
"The US does not and never has considered Israel to have links to
terrorism, but rather they are a partner in our efforts to combat global
terrorism,” Christensen said. “Countries may have been included on the
list because of the backgrounds of arrestees, not because of the
country’s government itself. The United States maintains close
intelligence-sharing relationships with many of these countries in order
to address security issues within their own borders and in our mutual
pursuit of safety and security around the globe."
The list includes a number of other close US allies, like Turkey,
Bahrain, Morocco and Philippines, as well as nations beset by internal
fighting, like Sudan and Somalia.