US calls on Europe to share more intelligence

White House spokesperson John Earnest urges European partners to share more information and intelligence with US in order to enable broader security measures

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

White House spokesman Josh Earnest during the press briefing at the White House in Washington November 10, 2015

Europe should share more intelligence with the US to enable broader security measures, the White House said on Wednesday. 

"There is more that we would like our European partners to do to share information and share intelligence with us," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said during a press briefing. 

"We can work even more effectively together to protect our borders and to protect our citizens."

He said the amount of information Europe shares with the US is not as much as it shares among countries on its continent and added that President Barack Obama recently raised the issue during a joint news conference with French President Francois Hollande. 

Earnest said he couldn’t provide details about the kind of cooperation the US is seeking but he but gave an example. 

"There's something that is often referred to as PNR, these are passenger name records, and we believe that many of our European partners could do a better job of collecting that information in the first place," he said.

PNR is a database containing the itinerary for a passenger or a group of passengers traveling together. 

Another concern for US authorities is the visa waver program it shares with more than 30 countries that allows citizens of participating nations to enter the country for short stays -- usually up to 90 days.

The State Department said that it was keeping an "open mind" about the program but would make any necessary changes. 

Reports have claimed DAESH supporters have used visa waver programs to easily enter Europe.      

Fears were raised of an attack in the US after Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik killed 14 victims in San Bernardino, California, last week. 

Authorities said the attacks are being investigated as terrorism and probing whether Malik was "an operative" of a militant group.

Malik came to the US on a fiancee visa. Her husband was a US citizen.