European politicians have expressed concerns that Islamic State (formerly ISIS/ISIL/Daesh) militants could be infiltrating EU borders under the guise of refugees. Hungarian media reports that at least two ISIS militants were uncovered after entering an unspecified European country as refugees.
The identification of the extremist fighters was made possible after the two revealed their identities by posting photographs on social media, Hungary’s M1 television reported Tuesday.
“Islamist terrorists, disguised as refugees, have showed up in Europe. [The] pictures were uploaded on various social networks to show that terrorists are now present in most European cities. Many, who are now illegal immigrants, fought alongside Islamic State before,” the report said.
The Hungarian channel showed photographs from the alleged terrorists’ Facebook pages. The first set depicted two individuals with weapons in the Middle East and the second set showed them smiling as they arrived in Europe.
It is still not clear which country the two suspects were discovered – some suggested they made it as far as Germany – or if they have been arrested. No names have so far been released.
It is, however, convincing that these two individuals have been associated with terrorist groups in the past, a co-director of humanitarian organization Pressenza, Tony Robinson, told RT.
“From what I can see in the report it was an investigation of Facebook pages of individuals, who in the past associated with terror groups, and who now on their personal pages are posting pictures of themselves, showing that they are in Germany, they are in the West,” he said. “Either way there are almost certainly individuals, who have belonged to terrorist groups in the past, some of them, no doubt will be radicalized to the extent that they will be prepared to commit acts of violence and terrorism against cities of Europe.”
Some politicians have said that Islamic State might be winning if people are abandoning their homes in Iraq or Syria. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said: “It’s very difficult, but if all these refugees come to Europe or elsewhere, then Islamic State has won.”
A Middle East expert has expressed similar concerns. “This is a major challenge for Europe, but it’s also giving [Islamic State] the possibility to claim victory, because it has claimed its goal is to get rid of every ethnic religious and cultural diversity from the Middle East. ISIS has stated very clearly that all the region should be under Sunni leadership. And therefore those who won’t convert should leave and they have been pushing a lot of people to leave,” Mansouria Mokhefi, of the French Institute for International Relations, told RT.
Hungary is among several European countries that have been struggling to deal with the influx of migrants and refugees breaching its borders, fleeing violence in the Middle East and North Africa. Hungarian police have been challenged with hundreds of asylum seekers stuck near the Serbian border. Hundreds have fled into nearby cornfields, aiming to reach Budapest on foot.
Inaction of Gulf States triggers international criticism
As Europe is left overwhelmed by the refugee crisis, the Gulf States have continued to ignore the problem by shutting their borders and refusing to take in asylum seekers, drawing in criticism from human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch (HRW).
“Other countries need to do more,” Human Rights Watch deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa, Nadim Houry, tweeted. He also described the wealthy countries’ inaction on the Syrian refugee crisis as “shameful.”
Since the war in Syria started in 2011, Kuwait has accepted only seven refugees, the United Arab Emirates just 16, and Saudi Arabia only four.
In fact, instead of embracing a solution, Saudi Arabia is putting up a 900-kilometer razor wire fence on its border with Iraq. There are also underground movement sensors being installed, which are capable of triggering silent alarms.
It would make a lot of sense for refugees to enter some Gulf States, where they can quickly become productive, hard-working residents, the director of the Institute for Gulf Affairs, Ali Al-Ahmed, told RT.
“The Gulf countries are more interested in funding armed groups in Syria, rather than assisting the Syrian people, inviting them to live in the Gulf. Syrian refugees in the Gulf are not going to be refugees, they will be working. There are no social, cultural and religious barriers for Syrian refugees in the Gulf. It is going to be much cheaper to have them move to the Gulf and it will be easier for them to move back to Syria,” Al-Ahmed said. RT