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AP Interview: Jordan border chief says Syria militants try to sneak in, blend in with refugees

  • Brig. Gen. Saber al-Mahayreh, commander of the Jordan's Border Guard speaks during an interview with The Associated Press, in Mafraq, near the northern Jordanian-Syrian border, August, 16, 2015. Al-Mahayreh said that militants have tried to sneak into Jordan from Syria by blending in with Syrian refugees, and attempts to smuggle weapons and drugs into Jordan have increased. (AP Photo/Raad Adayleh)

    Brig. Gen. Saber al-Mahayreh, commander of the Jordan's Border Guard speaks during an interview with The Associated Press, in Mafraq, near the northern Jordanian-Syrian border, August, 16, 2015. Al-Mahayreh said that militants have tried to sneak into Jordan from Syria by blending in with Syrian refugees, and attempts to smuggle weapons and drugs into Jordan have increased. (AP Photo/Raad Adayleh)  (The Associated Press)

  • A Jordanian soldier stands guard in Mafraq, Jordan, near the northern Jordan-Syrian border, Sunday, Aug. 16, 2015. During an interview with The Associated Press, the commander of Jordan’s border police said that militants from Syria are trying to blend into crowds of refugees fleeing the country’s grinding civil war. (AP Photo/Raad Adayleh)

    A Jordanian soldier stands guard in Mafraq, Jordan, near the northern Jordan-Syrian border, Sunday, Aug. 16, 2015. During an interview with The Associated Press, the commander of Jordan’s border police said that militants from Syria are trying to blend into crowds of refugees fleeing the country’s grinding civil war. (AP Photo/Raad Adayleh)  (The Associated Press)

  • A Jordanian soldier stands guard on his vehicle in Mafraq, Jordan, near the northern Jordan-Syrian border, Sunday, Aug. 16, 2015. During an interview with The Associated Press, the commander of Jordan’s border police said that militants from Syria are trying to blend into crowds of refugees fleeing the country’s grinding civil war. (AP Photo/Raad Adayleh)

    A Jordanian soldier stands guard on his vehicle in Mafraq, Jordan, near the northern Jordan-Syrian border, Sunday, Aug. 16, 2015. During an interview with The Associated Press, the commander of Jordan’s border police said that militants from Syria are trying to blend into crowds of refugees fleeing the country’s grinding civil war. (AP Photo/Raad Adayleh)  (The Associated Press)

The commander of Jordan's Border Guard says militants have been trying to sneak into Jordan from Syria by blending in with Syrian refugees, and that attempts to smuggle weapons and drugs have increased.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Brig. Gen. Saber al-Mahayreh said Sunday that surveillance along Jordan's borders is tight and that his forces can "spot a rabbit" trying to cross. The surveillance system consists of radar and surveillance towers that help detect suspected infiltrators miles away.

The general says all infiltration attempts have been blocked so far. He says Jordan's security takes priority over humanitarian concerns when receiving refugees.

Western ally Jordan has found itself on the front lines of the battle with Islamic State extremists who have seized one-third of neighboring Iraq and Syria.