INTERPOL: 50 Islamic State Jihadis Have Entered Italy Among Boat Migrants, May Be on Way to Rest of Europe


INTERPOL has circulated a list of 50 suspected Islamic State militants currently in Italy who the agency believes may attempt to travel to other countries to commit acts of terror.

The Islamic extremists, all Tunisian, are believed to have landed by boat on Sicily between July and October 2017, according to documents seen by The Guardian.

Drafted by the general secretariat of INTERPOL, the list was sent to the Italian interior ministry on November 29th, 2017, and was subsequently forwarded to counter-terrorism units across Europe.

Migration for any potential terrorist in the European Union is facilitated by Free Movement and the  limited or non-existent border checks between EU members, with former INTERPOL chief Robert Noble describing the system as “effectively an international passport-free zone for terrorists to execute attacks on the Continent and make their escape” after the Bataclan massacre.

Four of the Islamic militants are already known to European intelligence agencies. One extremist “may have already crossed the Italian-French border, to reach Gard, a department in southern France, in the Occitanie region,” the international police organisation wrote.

“According to the information obtained in the field of international cooperation, the Tunisian citizens are linked to Isis/Daesh and would have reached Europe aboard unidentified boats,” the memo added.

Italy’s interior minister reacted to the leaked document saying in a statement that it was not aware of the INTERPOL list.

The Officer of the High Commissioner of the United Nations noted in 2015 that some 5,700 Tunisians had travelled to Islamic State-controlled regions in Syria, Iraq, and Libya. However, following the collapse of the self-styled caliphate, INTERPOL is concerned that these terrorists may be reorientating their militant efforts towards Europe.

Anis Amri, the Islamic State-linked Tunisian who stole a lorry and rammed a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 and injuring over 50, travelled to Italy in 2011 during the “al-Horqa” — the wave of illegal immigration to Europe shortly after the start of the Arab Spring.

He then travelled northwards to Germany with a group of asylum seekers during the height of the migrant crisis in 2015, posing as a Syrian national.

According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Italy saw nearly 120,000 migrant arrivals by sea during 2017.

The central Mediterranean country became the number one port for entry for migrants after a deal was struck in 2016 between the European Union and Turkey to stem the flow of migrants into Greece, which saw a staggering 821,000 migrants illegally crossing her borders by the end of 2015.

Since the migrant crisis subsided, 1.5 million migrants have crossed the Meditteranean from the Middle East and North Africa, with arrivals in Italy numbering 179,525 by the end of 2016 and 150,000 by the end of 2015.

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