As Islamic State militants establish a foothold in Libya, Britain has been warned to brace itself for ‘boats full of terrorists’ by Egypt’s Ambassador to the UK.
Nasser Kamel made the comments after 2,163 migrants were rescued at sea in one 24 hour period last weekend in what has been called an “exodus without precedent” brought on by Islamic State controlling the coastal town of Sirte, the Daily Mail reports.
“You know how far Sirte is from Italy? It’s 300km” he told BBC’s Newsnight.
“Those boat people who go for immigration purposes and try to cross the Mediterranean… in the next few weeks, if we do not act together, they will be boats full of terrorists also.”
The Ambassador also criticised countries who involved themselves militarily in Libya but failed to take decisive action in the aftermath of the death of Col Gaddafi.
“I think after toppling Gaddafi, while no one is questioning that he was a dictator, we as an international community, especially those that intervened militarily, did not put enough resources (in) for developing a modern, democratic, Libyan state.
“I think we should have done more, the UN should have been more involved.”
And he called for the lifting of the UN arms embargo on the Libyan government so it can fight IS militants.
Some people have questioned whether the UK should have fought against the Libyan leader, with one counter terrorism expert telling Breitbart London that had Colonel Gaddafi been alive then IS would not be establishing a base in the country.
David Cameron insisted he did not regret Britain taking part in the efforts to oust Gaddafi despite the country being a potential launch base for jihadi extremists to attack Europe from.
He added the UK would not abandon Libya as he maintained his decision to send British military forces to the north African country in 2011 was the ‘right thing to do’.
With the whole of Europe’s immigration system dependent on the Italian island of Lampedusa and the other Southern European countries which have already told their European counterparts they cannot cope with the pressure, there is an increased risk to Britain’s security.
Italy has also warned of an expected surge in numbers as people flee from the hellish living ordered by Islamic State. The Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said that jihadis could ‘slip into Europe’ after boarding boats crammed with asylum seekers.
And he said the North African state was an “absolute priority” with “not a minute to lose” for countries wanting to stop the spread of fanatical Islam.
IS wants to include Italy as part of its so-called Caliphate and of concern is the number of ports is controls making it only a few miles by boat, with no exit controls, for terrorists to travel before they wreak havoc on civilised countries.
“If the militias of the Caliphate advance faster than the decisions of the international community how can we put out the fire in Libya and stem the migration flows? We are at risk of an exodus without precedent,” Mr Alfano added.
Italy says there are about 600,000 migrants in Libya preparing to make the journey, a third of them in five camps along the coast.
Yet despite this, the Prime Minister stood firm on his belief that toppling the leader who controlled Libya with an iron fist without any proper procedures for installing a proper functioning government was the right thing to do.
Speaking in Hove, Mr Cameron said, “On the question of abandoning Libya, there’s no question of Britain abandoning Libya.
“Britain is giving Libya support through our aid budget. We did a major training project for the Libyan security forces. We are doing work to try and bring together a national unity government in Libya.
“But of course what we face in Libya is a very difficult situation with far too many armed militias, without a proper government and with the growth of ungoverned space, and we’ve had the appalling events of the last few days with the brutal, senseless murders of Coptic Christians on the beach, which I know has shocked the whole world.
“I discussed it yesterday with the president of Egypt and what the whole world needs to do is come together and work for a Libya that has a national unity government, obviously excluding terrorists, and that can start to build the institutions of a state.
“Do I regret that Britain played our role in getting rid of Gaddafi and coming to the aid of that nation when Gaddafi was going to murder his own citizens in Benghazi? No I don’t.
“It was the right thing for Britain to do. Gaddafi was no friend of our country – the Semtex given to the IRA has done a huge amount of damage in our country.
“Libya, Britain and the world are better off without Gaddafi but we have to do as much as we can now with, I hope, a willing Libyan population and politicians to try and bring that national unity government together – but it has been very hard work.”