A 21-year old from Morocco has been arrested by German authorities at a refugee center near Stuttgart on suspicion of being an Islamic State recruiter. The man was sought under a European arrest warrant issued by Spanish authorities. He used a false identity to pose as an asylum seeker.
According to The New Observer, this is the first time German authorities have arrested a terror suspect masquerading as an asylum seeker.
At the same time it was reported the German government seized 10,000 fake Syrian passports, which are being sold to those seeking to gain entry to the EU for around $1,500 each. Possession of a Syrian passport makes claiming asylum a lot easier.
Out of 213,000 migrants who arrived in April, only 44,000 were from Syria, according to figures from Eurostat, the official EU statistics agency. Others come from a variety of countries including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria, and across North Africa.
Clarion has previously reported on the delicate balancing act now required of Europe’s policy makers in response to the crisis. The Islamic State has said it is importing fighters into Europe disguised as refugees. These numbers will be compounded by the threat from returning European citizens who fought as jihadists in Syria.
ISIS is also profiting from the lucrative people-smuggling industry that has sprung up as the Syrian Civil War has worsened. Time magazine reported earlier this year it had seen intelligence reports saying ISIS had deliberately attacked refugee camps and created additional refugees to create more refugees – and thus more customers for its people-smuggling operation.
Queen Rania of Jordan, whose country has so far taken in 1.4 million refugees, called on Europe to take in more asylum seekers, warning that failure to do so "risks creating a defeated and disillusioned generation,' she said, 'who, at their most desperate, could be susceptible to extremists' ideology."
Instead, Saudi Arabia has offered to construct 200 mosques in Germany for Syrian refugees who arrive there, something Oxford Professor and prominent atheist Richard Dawkins branded a “sick joke.” He asked on Twitter, “Is it conceivable that Saudi seriously thinks MOSQUES will contribute to the welfare of the migrants in Germany?”
This shows the intent of Saudi Arabia – not to help those fleeing the war, but to use them as pawns in their attempt to spread their Wahhabist form of Islam (the root of all Sunni Islamist movements) around the world.
Europe must be careful in balancing its humanitarian obligations with its security needs.