Thursday, November 19, 2015

How Terrorists Entered Europe Posing as Refugees - Emerson Vermaat

by Emerson Vermaat

Authorities were well aware of security lapses.

Five days before ISIS terrorists struck in Paris, I warned that ISIS operatives and war criminals were entering Europe disguised as asylum seekers. I quoted Salem Kurdi, who said in an interview with the Dutch TV news program EenVandaag that there are “war criminals and members of militias, Assad warriors as well as ISIS jihadists who apply for asylum in Europe.”

There are now very strong indications that one of the Paris attackers entered Europe as an asylum seeker. Suicide bomber Ahmed Almohammad, who blew himself up near the football stadium “Stade de France,” entered the small Greek island of Leros on October 3, 2015 – on a raft together with 198 refugees. He was accompanied by Mohammed Almuhmed, another man suspected of terrorist links, the Paris newspaper Le Figaro and Forocoches, a Spanish source, reported. Ahmed’s (forged?) Syrian passport was found near the place where he blew himself up on November 13. 

The distance from Leros to Turkey is only seven miles. It was on October 7, that Ahmed Almohammad arrived in Serbia, one day later he was in Croatia, and from Croatia he traveled to Hungary and Austria and finally arrived in France where he joined the other ISIS terrorists who struck in Paris on November 13, on a Friday evening, that is. Le Figaro quotes Bavaria’s Finance Minister Markus Söder from the Christian Social Union (CSU) who said: “Not all refugees  are terrorists from ISIS. But it is naive to believe that there is not one fighter among the refugees.”

Le Figaro also quotes Greek Immigration Minister Ioannis Mouzalas who said that there could be jihadists among the vast number of refugees the Greeks have to cope with every day. It is impossible to check all of them, he said. In fact very few, if any, have been checked so far. The Greeks just don’t have the staff and the technical expertise to do so.

The British Daily Mail reported that “suicide bomber Ahmad Almohammad came to Europe on a raft” and “was waved into Europe as Syrian refugee.” “More than 500 people are landing on a daily basis on Leros, which is just seven miles from Turkey.” The paper quotes Mihalis Kolias, the mayor of Leros (only 8000 inhabitants!) who warned “the whole of Europe should be fearful about the possibility of more atrocities being conducted by jihadists entering the continent among the crowds of migrants.” “It’s more than dangerous for all of Europe. So many people are passing through our island and now we know amongst them are terrorists. This is a big problem for Europe.”

The British Daily Telegraph reported on November 9, 2015, that Mehdi Ben Nasr, a Tunisian terrorist with links to Al-Qaeda, “returned to Europe on a boat that set sail from Libya and arrived in Lampedusa, a tiny Italian island in the Mediterranean.” “He claimed to be an asylum seeker and said he wanted to travel to northern Europe where he had relatives.” “The Tunisian is considered one of the most dangerous terrorists known to the Italian security services due to his role in the recruitment of would-be jihadists and sending them to Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. He was arrested in April 2008 following a large terrorist investigation by the Special Operations Group, a division of the Italian carabinieri” (=military police). After Ben Nasr’s attempt to return to Italy in October 2015, the Italians decided to send him back to Tunisia.

However, Dick Schoof, the Dutch National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism, reported on November 9, 2015, that it is unlikely that terrorists were misusing the asylum channel very often. (This was five days before the ISIS attacks in Paris.) Schoof was subsequently interviewed by Mariëlle Tweebeeke from the Dutch TV program Nieuwsuur. She pointed out that the security services have no way of checking whether all those refugees have bad intentions or not and Schoof had to admit that this was indeed the case, but he then lamely claimed that the registration procedures in Holland are much better now. He warned, though, that Dutch radical Muslims or so-called “Salafi-Jihadists” are trying  to recruit asylum seekers in the Netherlands. This is also a serious problem in Germany, the newspaper Die Welt reported last September.

The Amsterdam-based newspaper De Telegraaf reported on November 17, 2015, that Dutch immigration authorities fail to properly check most asylum seekers. They just don’t know who is entering the country and this poses a serious security risk. The paper refers to an alarming report from the Dutch Inspection for Security and Justice. This report points out that refugees with forged passports are allowed to the asylum procedure. “We do not have a clear understanding of the identity and backgrounds of those who apply for asylum,” the report says. “People with bad intentions  are allowed to the asylum procedure and can stay in this country for months.” Police departments and aliens registrations offices are understaffed. “Parliamentarians fear that this makes it easy for IS (=ISIS) fighters to pose as refugees,” De Telegraaf reports.

France, Germany, Belgium and Sweden are facing the same problems. German Interior Minister Lothar de Maizière warns that 30 percent of those who claim to be Syrians are not from Syria at all. Some of them don’t even speak one word of Arabic. There are extensive criminal networks in Istanbul and other Turkish cities which sell Syrian passports to thousands of those who want to apply for asylum in Europe. Each Syrian passport costs 600 U.S. dollars. ISIS suicide bomber Ahmed Almohammad probably also used such a fake passport. 

Islamic radicalism and terrorism pose the most serious security threats since the Second World War. In Britain alone, six attempts at terrorist attacks have been thwarted this year, Andrew Parker, Britain’s head of MI5, the Security Service, said last October. “Islamic State terrorists are planning mass casualty attacks in Britain.” Terror plots were also thwarted in France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Vatican and Spain.

Europe’s security and intelligence services as well its immigration authorities are overwhelmed. Dangerous terrorists are not detected before they enter Europe or return from Syria or Iraq. There are more than 6,000 European jihadists in Syria who joined terrorist groups and commit war crimes. It is impossible to monitor all of them. Those who return to Europe pose a very serious security risk because they are likely to stage terrorist attacks. This is what happened in Paris and Verviers (Belgium) this year and in Brussels last year.

Emerson Vermaat


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

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