ISLAMIST SOLDIERS RETURN TO EUROPE VIA PEOPLE TRAFFICKING NETWORKS
One of Europe’s most pressing security concerns is the number of Yihadist soldiers returning from training or barbarous acts in the Middle East. El País recently published an in-depth article on the subject, on which much of this article is based. According to this leading Spanish newspaper, Spain is a significant entry point, largely because this country is also the headquarters of several major people-trafficking gangs. The Islamists tend to use these mafias as transporters into Europe.
The returning men and women — many having become experts in the use of arms and explosives — are easily camouflaged among genuine refugees escaping from their war-torn countries, and Spain is well-known among all of these peoples as a welcoming nation. And as the door to the European Union.
This, anyway, comes in a 2014 report by the Sección Operativa de Falsedades Documentales of UCRIF (Unidad Central de Redes de Inmigración Ilegal y Falsedades Documentales, which deals with false documents), published before the assassinations at Charlie Hebdo in Paris.
The image shows three main entryways, and their explanations below.
African Routes: 1.Used mainly by Syrian Kurds. They head for Melilla, where they register at the CETI (Temporary Immigration Centre). Once they are sent to the mainland, they move on to France or Germany.
2. From Mauritania, they go to the Canary Islands and from there to the Peninsula.
South American Route: Mainly from Syria and Iraq. First to Turkey or Greece, then on to countries such as Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela. From there, to Spain. Final destination: Central or Northern Europe.
European Route: Used mainly by citizens of Pakistan and Afghanistan. They come to Spain with stopovers in Europe (Germany, Italy, etc.) Destination: the UK.
The mass exodus of people fleeing from the wars in Syria and that area has “brought with it the proliferation of organizations specialising in the traffic of people,” says the report. Using false documentation, thousands are gaining illegal entry into Europe. And among them are terrorists.
Many of them are wanted by security services throughout Europe, and the use of false documents plus masses of people in the same place, makes them difficult to identify. It is easy for them, then, to join existing terrorist cells or create them. Then there are the ‘lone wolves’ as well.
The ‘threat’ pointed out in the report has between 30,000 and 50,000 European militants joining the IS hordes.
More lucrative than drug trafficking
The report says that the financial benefits for the people transporters is ‘uncalculable’.
Last November, says El País, the police dismantled a network of six people, Lebanese and Iraqis, based in Madrid and with connections in Turkey and Latin America, which specialised in transporting people from Syria into Spain. In a single month they ‘moved’ over €100,000. The profits are believed to finance the so-called Islamic State. Some 200,000 people have crossed the frontiers of Turkey and Lebanon, each paying between €6,000 and €10,000, usually with stops first at Istambul or Athens, then on to South America or directly to the UK. The false documents are supplied at one or other of these stopovers.
The report concludes that there are an ‘indeterminate’ number of such organizations in Spain, but European connections have been detected in various parts of the country.
(C) Copyright Alberto Bullrich 2015