German authorities are hunting for dozens of members of one of the most violent jihadist groups in Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra, but who, according to Der Spiegel, entered Germany disguised as refugees.
The men, all former members of Liwa Owais al-Qorani, a rebel group destroyed by the Islamic State in 2014, are believed to have massacred hundreds of Syrians, both soldiers and civilians.
German police have reportedly identified around 25 of the jihadists and apprehended some of them, but dozens more are believed to be hiding in cities and towns across Germany.
In all, more than 400 migrants who entered Germany as asylum seekers in 2015 and 2016 are now being investigated for being members of Middle Eastern jihadists groups, according to the Federal Criminal Police (Bundeskriminalamt, BKA).
The revelation comes amid new warnings that jihadists are posing as migrants and arriving from North Africa on boats across the Mediterranean and onto Italian shores. In an interview with The Times, Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj said that jihadists who had been able to pass undetected into his country were almost certainly making their way into Europe.
“When migrants reach Europe they will move freely,” said al-Sarraj, referring to the open borders within the European Union. “If, God forbid, there are terrorist elements among the migrants, any incident will affect all of the EU.”
Independent MEP Steven Woolfe said:
“These comments show the problem to be two-fold. Firstly, potential terrorists are using the Mediterranean migrant trail as a way of entering Europe unchecked. Secondly, with Europe’s lack of borders due to Schengen rules, once in Europe, they are able to move from one country to another freely. Strong borders are a necessity.”
Around 130,000 migrants arrived in Europe by land and sea during the first eight months of 2017, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The main nationalities of arrivals to Italy in July were, in descending order: Nigeria, Bangladesh, Guinea, Ivory Coast and Mali. Arrivals to Greece were from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Congo. Arrivals to Bulgaria were from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Turkey.
In recent weeks, traffickers bringing migrants to Europe have opened up a new route through the Black Sea. On August 13, 69 Iraqi migrants were arrested trying to reach the Romanian Black Sea coast, having set off from Turkey in a yacht piloted by Bulgarian, Cypriot and Turkish smugglers. On August 20, the Romanian Coast Guard intercepted another boat carrying 70 Iraqis and Syrians, including 23 children, in the Black Sea in Romania’s southeastern Constanta region.
A total of 2,474 people were detained while trying to cross the Romanian border illegally during the first six months of 2017, according to Balkan Insight. Almost half of them were caught while trying to leave Romania for Hungary. In 2016 only 1,624 migrants were detained; most were found trying to cross from Serbia to Romania.
Meanwhile, more than 10,000 migrants reached Spanish shores during the first eight months of 2017 — three times as many as in all of 2016, according to the IOM. Thousands more migrants have entered Spain by land, primarily at the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla on the north coast of Morocco, the European Union’s only land borders with Africa. Once there, migrants are housed in temporary shelters and then moved to the Spanish mainland, from where many continue on to other parts of Europe.
Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, has warned that jihadists are using the migration crisis to enter Europe and plot attacks across the continent. Frontex It has also conceded that it does not know the true number of migrants who have crossed into Europe and has no way of tracking them. In its annual risk analysis for 2016, Frontex wrote:
“The Paris attacks in November 2015 clearly demonstrated that irregular migratory flows could be used by terrorists to enter the EU. Two of the terrorists involved in the attacks had previously irregularly entered through Leros [Greece] and had been registered by the Greek authorities. They presented fraudulent Syrian documents to speed up their registration process.
“False declarations of nationality are rife among nationals who are unlikely to obtain asylum in the EU, are liable to be returned to their country of origin or transit, or just want to speed up their journey. With a large number of persons arriving with false or no identification documents or raising concerns over the validity of their claimed nationality — with no thorough check or penalties in place for those making such false declarations, there is a risk that some persons representing a security threat to the EU may be taking advantage of this situation.”
In an August 31 interview with the Spanish newspaper El Mundo, Gilles de Kerchove, the EU’s Counterterrorism Coordinator said that more than 50,000 jihadists are now living in Europe:
“Three years ago, it was easy to identify someone who has become radicalized. Now, most fanatics disguise their convictions. We do not have exact figures, but it is not difficult to do approximate calculations. United Kingdom, it is not a secret, it has been published, it has 20,000. France, 17,000. Spain much less, but more than 5,000, I suppose. In Belgium almost 500 have gone to Syria and there are about 2,000 radicals or more. I would not venture to a specific figure, but tens of thousands, more than 50,000.”
|Masked Spanish policemen in Madrid arrest a man suspected of recruiting jihadists to fight for the Islamic State, June 16, 2014. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)|
In an interview with the Belgian daily Le Soir, de Kerchove warned that even if the Islamic State is militarily defeated, it will continue to thrive as a “virtual caliphate.” He also said that Europol, the European police office, has identified at least 30,000 active jihadist websites, but that EU legislation no longer requires internet service providers to collect and preserve metadata — including data on the location of jihadists — from their customers due to privacy concerns. De Kerchove said this was hindering the ability of police to identify and deter jihadists: “On metadata, I confess that we pull our hair out.”
An antisemitic flyer found on the University of Houston campus on Tuesday. Photo: Michael Leone / Facebook
Dozens of flyers and stickers promoting neo-Nazi propaganda were found at the University of Houston (UH) this week, the latest incident associated with an increase in white supremacist activity on campuses nationwide.
The flyers, found on bulletin boards, walls, trash bins, and lamp posts at the university’s main campus on Tuesday, included phrases such as, “Beware the International Jew” and “Imagine a Muslim-Free America,” according to a statement shared online by UH’s chapter of the Young Communist League (YCL).
IDF soldiers make a blessing on the traditional Jewish custom of apple and honey to welcome Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. (ChameleonsEye / Shutterstock.com)
The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship) and Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) said they will provide $1.5 million in annual Rosh Hashanah “Fellowship Gift Cards” to 12,000 IDF soldiers marking the upcoming Jewish New Year.
The initiative, coordinated in collaboration with the Association for the Wellbeing of Israel’s Soldiers and the LIBI Fund, will provide more than 10,000 lone soldiers and soldiers $140 gift cards. Another 2,200 soldiers will receive gift cards worth $100.
The cards “will allow the soldiers to celebrate the New Year without the burden of financial stress,” the organizations said in a statement Wednesday.
Gaza-based terror group says it will agree to Palestinian Authority conditions on forming joint government and holding elections
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, center, and spokesman Fawzi Barhoum attend a protest in Gaza City on July 22, 2017, against new Israeli security measures implemented at the holy site, which include metal detectors and cameras, following an attack that killed two Israeli policemen the previous week. (AFP/Mohammed Abed)
For the past week or so, Iranian official media and social networks have been abuzz with anecdotes woven around a football match in Tehran between Iran and Syria and the light it might shed on a complicated relationship.
According to most accounts, a group of Syrians flown in by special charter to cheer their national squad in its bid for a place in the World Cup in Moscow staged an anti-Iran demonstration in the stadium. The Syrian contingent included young ladies who refused to wear the Iranian-style hijab.
Their presence in the stadium highlighted the fact that no Iranian woman is allowed to attend a football match after a fatwa by the “Supreme Guide” that women watching young men running around with bare legs might cause “undue excitement”
An Orthodox man passes a British guard in London, UK. (drserg / Shutterstock.com)
A new in-depth survey conducted by the U.K.-based Institute for Jewish Policy Research (JPR) found that around 30 percent of the British public hold at least one anti-Semitic viewpoint.
The report noted, however, that most of the 30 percent polled also held some positive views about Jews.
Further, around 15 percent of the British public indicated they agreed with two or more anti-Semitic views presented to them, while two percent of British adults polled were found to be “hard-core” anti-Semites.
The survey was conducted by JPR senior research fellow Dr. Daniel Staetsky using face-to-face interviews and online polls.
That’s followed by the sounds of the terrorists assaulting a passenger.
“Please don’t hurt me,” he pleads. “Oh God.”
As the passengers rush the cabin, a Muslim terrorist proclaims, “In the name of Allah.”
As New York firefighters struggle up the South Tower with 100 pounds of equipment on their backs trying to save lives until the very last moment, the Flight 93 passengers push toward the cockpit. The Islamic hijackers call out, “Allahu Akbar.”.
The autumn of 2015 was unusual in almost every way on the north Aegean Greek island of Lesbos from which I am writing. There were tens of thousands of illegal migrants on the island, the native population of which was scarcely 100,000. New refugees arrived every day by the thousands.
One evening, the blue-gray sky grumbled shortly after sunset. The thick clouds blackened and rain poured down over the city with a roar. As I ran across the slippery pavement into a friend’s bar, I heard a group of five poor souls speaking Persian with a Turkic accent and running amok, seeking shelter under the eaves of a building.
While the criminal investigation is closing in on one associate after another, one advisor after another, in one of the most serious affairs in the State of Israel’s history, and perhaps the most serious affair, I find it hard to believe that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was driven by greed when he advanced the submarine deal.
There are doubts. There are associates being questioned one after the other. There are state’s witnesses. Nevertheless, Netanyahu likely wasn’t a partner in crime. He didn’t make decisions on the submarines in a bid to make a profit for himself or for his associates. It’s impossible, just impossible.
Regarding the question that forms the title of this article, I truly believe that the answer is “yes.” It is my belief that Christian Zionism is as obvious a sign of the beginning of the redemption of Israel as are the ingathering of millions of Jews to the land of Israel and the existence of the State of Israel itself. But there are many people who don’t share this perspective.
In the Jewish community, there are still many who are wary of Christian friendship and support. Many Jews are suspicious of an ulterior motive to convert Jews to Christianity that they fear underlies this political partnership.
Last weekend, the world experienced a petrifying “wake up call” when Pyongyang test launched a hydrogen bomb. According to Yukiya Amano, director of the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA), Sunday’s test represents “a new dimension to the threat.” Added Amano, “I think the North Korean threat is a global one now.
In the past, people thought it was a regional one, but that is no longer the case.”
Since 1994, when North Korea decided to pull out of the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), there has been a huge history of attempts to chain the North Korean nuclear beast, including efforts for military cooperation, sanctions and, of course, negotiations.