ISIS exploiting refugee crisis to enter Europe: report
London : Islamic State terrorists are disguising as refugees and taking advantage of loose border checks to infiltrate Europe, the EU’s own border agency has admitted in a shocking report.
Officials at Frontex admitted a string of security blunders has led to a large number of people arriving in Greece and Italy with false documents and not facing thorough checks or penalties.
“Two of the terrorists involved in the attacks had previously irregularly entered through Leros and had been registered by the Greek authorities. They presented fraudulent Syrian documents to speed up their registration process,” said the report ‘Risk Analysis for 2016′ released yesterday.
The Paris attacks last November demonstrate how the chaos caused by the ongoing migrant crisis could be used by terrorists to reach the EU, it said.
“With a large number of persons arriving with false or no identification documents or raising concerns over the validity of their claimed nationality – with no thorough check or penalties in place for those making such false declarations, there is a risk that some persons representing a security threat to the EU may be taking advantage of this situation,” it said.
The report has come after more than 1.8 million illegal border crossings were detected by EU member states last year, a whopping six times the number reported in 2014, the ‘Daily Express’ reported.
The report also noted that as the vast majority of migrants arrive undocumented, screening activities were essential to properly verify their declaration of nationality.
“Islamist extremists will exploit irregular migration flows whenever such movements fit their plans.” said investigators who also raised concerns that EU citizens who had joined ISIS in Syria were taking advantage of the irregular migrations flows to return home.
“The staggering number of EU citizens who joined the conflict as jihadists has resulted in a number of returnees opting to use irregular means of traveling,” they said.
“People smugglers, motivated by profit, increasingly put migrants’ lives at risk and even threaten border guards to recover boats or escape apprehension,” they added.
ISIS, which controls large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria, were yesterday pushed by Iraqi forces towards the center of a town held by the dreaded outfit in western Anbar province.
The group was driven out of Palmyra last week and Russian forces have now entered the city to clear the area.