Islamic State fighters could arrive in Europe in migrant boats, Italy warns

Islamic State fighters could arrive in Europe in migrant boats, Italy warns

Milan : Islamic state (ISIS) fighters who have been chased from their former stronghold of Sirte in Libya could try to enter Europe by hiding among migrants heading across the Mediterranean in smugglers’ boats, Italy has warned.

The International Organization for Migration estimates that over 260,000 refugees and other migrants have arrived in Europe this year after crossing the Mediterranean Sea and that more than 3,100 have died attempting to cross.

The IOM said Tuesday that 263,636 people arrived by sea between Jan. 1 and Sunday — compared with 354,618 from January through the end of August 2015. It said 160,888 had arrived in Greece and 100,244 in Italy.

The organization put the number of dead or missing in the Mediterranean this year at 3,176 through Sunday — higher than the 2,754 it recorded in last year’s first eight months. More than 2,700 of those cases were on the dangerous central Mediterranean route between North Africa and Italy.

Hundreds of Islamic State fighters are fleeing Sirte after coming under sustained assault by Libyan ground forces and air strikes by US fighter jets and drones.

There is now a much greater risk that some terrorists could attempt to pass themselves off as migrants or refugees, according to the head of the parliamentary committee that oversees the Italian intelligence services.

If they were successful in reaching Italy, the Isil members could plan attacks on targets in Europe.

Source : New Europe

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