Saturday

26th May 2018

Europol to send terror experts to Greek migrant camps

The EU joint police body, Europol, will deploy a team of anti-terror experts to Greece in an attempt to single out potential jihadis among the 60,000 people stuck in the country.

The team of 30 European experts will land in Athens by 20 August and travel on to the refugee camps, France24 reports .

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In its 2015 terrorism situation report published last month Europol said there was no evidence that terrorists systematically use refugee routes to enter the EU, although there have been single cases of this happening.

Some members of the terrorist group behind the attacks in Paris and Brussels, in November 2015 and March 2016, were EU nationals who travelled to Syria to receive training by the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS). They slipped back into Europe afterwards by passing themselves off as refugees.

Europol noted in its report that the bigger threat was that Syrian refugees would fall prey to extremist recruiters once in Europe.

EU experts will work to identify individuals who risk being radicalised after being stuck in Greece’s camps, Europol spokesperson Alexandru Niculae told France24.

Earlier this year, Europol sent teams to Greece's “hotspots”, the special detention camps where migrants are supposed to be processed.

Greece has vowed to close down some of its most depressing camps and replace them with better functioning ones.

Greek migration minister Ioannis Mouzalas told the Kathimerini newspaper that there was only around 80-100 people arriving in the country each day, compared with many thousands at the height of the crisis last year.

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The European Commission wants to triple the amount of money for migration in the next EU budget. Earlier this week, EU agencies, NGOs, and the mayor of Athens gave their views at a European parliament public hearing.

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Integration of Syrian refugees in Europe needs scrutiny

Most refugee-related services are outsourced to the private sector and NGOs, which are not adequately monitored and evaluated. When governments and EU institutions provide funding for refugee projects, they should scrutinise the NGOs and private players they work with.

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With an Erdogan-Putin summit on Tuesday, joined by Iran on Wednesday, it is time for Europe to face facts - Turkey's ties with the West are no longer strategic. When Europe goes hither, Turkey deliberately goes thither.

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