Feared Islamic State militants are sneaking into Europe by mingling with boatloads of desperate asylum-seekers, putting the European nations at risk of potential terror threats, according to a media report.
“The IS killers are among the surge of 1,000 migrants a day braving the perilous five-mile trip from the Turkish coast to the Greek holiday isle of Lesbos,” the Mirror reported.Huge problem
“IS can easily send fighters here to get to mainland Greece and on to wherever they want. It’s a huge and continuing problem,” an island port officer was quoted as saying by the paper.
He said the smugglers put too many people on tiny boats and made lots of money.
“The Turkish government needs to stop them coming. We can’t stop them once they arrive. We’re only a small force and there are 1,000 immigrants arriving here every day. The situation is out of control. We need help,” the officer said.
IS is an al-Qaeda splinter group and it has seized hundreds of square miles in Iraq and Syria, and declared the area an Islamic “caliphate“.Atrocities
The IS, known for its atrocities and brutality, has attracted thousands of foreign fighters, many from Europe.
According to EU officials, 5,000-6,000 Europeans are fighting with jihadist groups in Syria.
Security officials fear the battle-hardened militants will return to their homeland to carry out attacks.
“This is an extremely attractive route for the IS to move people from Syria into Europe,” said security expert Colonel Richard Kemp, who has worked for the Government’s Joint Intelligence Committee.
“The more people going to Lesbos, the more attractive it is for IS as it’s much easier to send both individuals and small groups of fighters concealed by large groups of so—called refugees. It’s a big risk which needs to be stopped,” the paper quoted him as saying.Deadly attacks
The jihadist group has recently carried out a string of deadly attacks in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Tunisia and Yemen.
A man recently paraded past Britain’s Parliament draped in an IS flag with a young girl on his shoulders waving the flag’s smaller version, prompting the Scotland Yard to launch a probe.
The Spanish police recently arrested a woman on the Canary Islands suspected of recruiting girls and teenagers for the Islamic State group.
France this month foiled a “terrorist” plot to capture and decapitate a member of its armed forces.