Global Independent Analytics

ISIS on Europe's doorstep

How terror is infiltrating the migrant route

Nick Patron Walsh for CNN reports: Abu Walid knew his caller to be a devout man, a member of ISIS. And his request was chilling. Could he ship 25 of his people from Libya to Europe on a small boat for $40,000?

Abu Walid -- not his real name -- declined. But it is a request that's becoming increasingly common, he told CNN, in the past two months.

ISIS is trying to infiltrate this trade to get their people to Europe from the chaotic and near-failed state of Libya as the route from Turkey to Greece becomes more heavily policed.

"Exploitation of migrant smuggling networks by ISIS in North Africa has only been a matter of time ... the U.S. and Europe need to act quickly, and together," a Western diplomat told CNN.

Libyan officials reported that this case was not the first time ISIS militants were trying to bribe their way into Europe. They added that ISIS militants sought to disguise themselves by traveling with "their families, without weapons, as regular illegal immigrants," said senior Libyan military intelligence official in Misrata.

"They will wear American dress and have English language papers, so they cause no suspicion."

European security officers suggest that better preparation can and will serve for safety; however, the prospect of such an influx is a nightmare for Europe.

"If confirmed, it is indeed very alarming. It is not one or two trying to move -- it seems more organized," the official told CNN.

Despite support offered by the U.S. forces to Libya, the country still struggles with the huge humanitarian crisis, terror threats and governmental chaos. With thousands of refugees, arriving in Libya every day, many of which cannot even pay smugglers’ fees to get into Europe, the anxiety grows more, and its resolution seems even more complicated.

Libya has sunk much further towards the abyss, and ISIS have expanded. There is no apparent Western intervention, but there is also no equally simple rationale for sitting back and letting the collapse speed towards us, as the West seems currently content to do.

 

By Stefan Paraber for GIA.

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