Anyone could have and should have seen this coming. But no one in power cared to do so.
Last February, the Islamic State boasted it would soon flood Europe with as many as 500,000 refugees. And the Lebanese Education Minister recently said that there were 20,000 jihadis among the refugees in camps in his country. Meanwhile, 80% of migrants who have recently come to Europe claiming to be fleeing the war in Syria aren’t really from Syria at all.
So why are they claiming to be Syrian and streaming into Europe, and now the U.S. as well? An Islamic State operative gave the answer when he boasted in September, shortly after the migrant influx began, that among the flood of refugees, 4,000 Islamic State jihadis had already entered Europe. He explained their purpose: “It’s our dream that there should be a caliphate not only in Syria but in all the world, and we will have it soon, inshallah.” These Muslims were going to Europe in the service of that caliphate: “They are going like refugees,” he said, but they were going with the plan of sowing blood and mayhem on European streets. As he told this to journalists, he smiled and said, “Just wait.” We are waiting in the U.S. as well.
“Nato commander: Isis ‘spreading like cancer’ among refugees,” by Alan Yuhas, Guardian, March 1, 2016:
Refugees from the Middle East and north Africa are “masking the movement” of terrorists and criminals, Nato’s top commander told Congress on Tuesday, despite the protests of human rights groups who say that refugees overwhelmingly have no ulterior motive but escape.
In testimony to the Senate armed services committee, US general Philip Breedlove said that the Islamic State terror group is “spreading like a cancer” among refugees. The group’s members are “taking advantage of paths of least resistance, threatening European nations and our own”, he added.
Breedlove also blamed Russia’s bombing campaign in Syria, in support of autocratic leader Bashar al-Assad, for having “wildly exacerbated the problem”.
The airstrikes, nominally against Isis but largely against the various rebel groups arrayed against Assad, have allegedly killed more than 1,000 civilians, including children. Breedlove said these indiscriminate attacks mean to terrorize Syrians and “get them on the road” toward neighboring countries and Europe.
The Kremlin and Assad intend, according to Breedlove, to use migration as a weapon to weaken European unity and infrastructure. The general said that European nationalist groups that oppose immigration also weaken the continent, and could themselves threaten violence.
Since taking command in 2013, Breedlove has pushed for an aggressive refortification of Europe, calling Russia a “long-term existential threat” to the US, and suggested Europe and the US should do more to counter Assad and Isis in Syria.
Pressed by reporters to back up his assertion with statistics, Breedlove said: “I can’t give you a number on the estimate of the flow.”
Breedlove distinguished between “criminality, terrorist and foreign fighters”, and said that he has seen news reports saying as many as 1,500 fighters have returned to Europe.
“I’m not going to talk to you about intelligence,” he said at a news conference, adding that “many [countries] are saying they see planning happening” for a terrorist attack.
Thinktank and congressional estimates of how many foreign fighters have traveled to Syria vary widely, with 1,500 toward the higher end of numbers of fighters reported to have returned to western nations….