ISIS “Successfully Weaponizing Refugees” Warns Intel Agencies Following 112 U.S. Arrests

Western Intel Agencies Warn ISIS is “Successfully Weaponizing Refugees” Following Hundreds of U.S. Arrests for ISIS Related Crimes.

As the corporate media blasts those concerned that the influx of refugees into the United States will cause a spike in terrorism as Islamophobic xenophobes intelligence agencies are warning that ISIS is now successfully weaponizing refugees.

A new report from the United States state-run media, Voice of America, warning of the threat has been followed with a Europol intelligence report detailing how ISIS is infiltrating refugees to send terrorists into western nations.

With Europe’s open border policies the media is now telling the public that terrorism in their countries just may be a new way of life they will have to get used to.

As Voice of America warns that the Islamic state is successfully weaponizing refugees they are also making it clear that the threat from Islamic Jihadists isn’t just from Refugees. Instead Voice of America reports that since 2014 there have been 112 people charged with ISIS related crimes in the United States and most them were radicalized inside the United States.

The implication is that while the trend of domestically radicalized terrorists continues to grow the overall number of terrorist only be augmented by adding additional terrorists from “weaponized refugees” who are increasingly infiltrating western nations due to Europe’s open borders and policies under President Obama has increased refugees by orders of a magnitude.

Meanwhile as President Obama leaves office the media reports his claims there hasn’t been a single terrorist attack on U.S. soil so so surely those 112 people must have been falsely arrested.

From Voice of America:

Fears Growing Islamic State Successfully Weaponizing Refugees

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other government members visit the site of the attack in Berlin, Germany, Dec. 20, 2016, the day after a truck ran into a crowded Christmas market and killed several people.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other government members visit the site of the attack in Berlin, Germany, Dec. 20, 2016, the day after a truck ran into a crowded Christmas market and killed several people.

WASHINGTON — Western security officials are increasingly worried that the Islamic State terror group may be a step ahead of their renewed efforts to stop terrorist infiltration of their countries.

Fears once centered on IS using migrant and refugee flows to sneak in highly trained operatives bent on carrying out attacks. Now they have expanded to include an equally dangerous possibility.

A growing number of officials now warn that the terror group may be looking to essentially weaponize refugees and other vulnerable immigrant populations after they have successfully crossed Western borders and passed through what look to be ever-tougher vetting processes.

“We have to be ready,” said Fabrice Leggeri, executive director of Frontex, the European border and coast guard agency, speaking prior to the deadly attack in Berlin.

“Some people might get radicalized or manipulated or used or utilized by terrorist groups after they enter the EU,” he said. “This is something where I don’t have clear indications.”

A Europol report published in November, “Changes in Modus Operandi of Islamic State (IS) revisited” — is even more explicit.

“A real and imminent danger is the possibility of elements of the [Sunni Muslim] Syrian refugee diaspora becoming vulnerable to radicalization once in Europe and being specifically targeted by Islamic extremist recruiters,” the report stated. “It is believed that a number of jihadists are traveling through Europe for this purpose.”

Christmas market attack

Just how many terrorist operatives have been sent to Europe to recruit among the growing number of migrants and refugees is unclear. Europol cited German reports that, as of April 2016, there were approximately 300 cases in which jihadists tried recruiting refugees trying to enter Europe.

But there is also a sense that IS, also known as ISIS, is likely not as focused on the numbers as it is on exploiting what it sees as a potent opportunity.

“ISIS just wants to give itself options,” said Robin Simcox, a terrorism and national security analyst with the Heritage Foundation.

“It chimes perfectly with what ISIS would want to do,” he added. “It enables them to extend their foreign operations.”

Adding to the level of concern is the case this past week of Tunisian Anis Amri, who carried out a deadly attack on a Berlin Christmas market.

By most accounts, there were few signs Amri had radical leanings when as a 19-year-old, he arrived in Europe, on the Italian island of Lampedusa.

Even when he left Italy for Germany years later, to seek political asylum, authorities say his behavior was more akin to that of a criminal than of a terrorist.

Yet on Monday, the now 24-year-old Amri used a truck to plow through the crowded market, killing 12 people and injuring 56 others. Before the attack he made a video in which he pledged his allegiance to the Islamic State terror group and its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

A car sits inside a police line as authorities respond to an attack at Ohio State University, Nov. 28, 2016, in Columbus, Ohio. A man plowed his car into a group of pedestrians and began stabbing people before he was shot to death by a police officer.

A car sits inside a police line as authorities respond to an attack at Ohio State University, Nov. 28, 2016, in Columbus, Ohio. A man plowed his car into a group of pedestrians and began stabbing people before he was shot to death by a police officer.

Ohio State University attack

U.S. officials are also concerned, pointing to an attack on American soil barely a month earlier — the November 28 car attack at Ohio State University carried out by Abdul Razak Ali Artan, a Somali-born refugee with legal, permanent resident status.

“I do think he did radicalize in the United States,” the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Representative Mike McCaul, said at the time, voicing concern it was a vulnerability that could be exploited again.

“They can come in and be what they call ‘clean’ and radicalize after they’re in the United States,” he said. “That’s where the [U.S.] counter-radicalization program needs to be more robust.”

Yet improving security measures to prevent refugees from being targeted for radicalization is likely to be challenging, especially since terrorist recruiters often work without the need for face-to-face interaction.

“As long as the Islamic State, as long as [al-Qaida] have an external operations capability, have access to the internet, we have to be concerned,” said U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson during a forum in Washington late last month. “I think there is little doubt we need to build these bridges to communities in which [IS] is trying to recruit.”

Not just refugees

Despite concerns and political rhetoric about the vulnerability of refugees in Europe and the U.S. to radicalization, there is also skepticism about the degree to which IS or other terror groups are specifically targeting those communities.

“When it comes to refugees being radicalized after they come to a host country, this is quite low in number, actually,” according to Mubin Shaikh, a terrorism expert who has previously worked with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.

According to the George Washington University’s Program on Extremism, 112 people have been charged with IS-related crimes in the U.S. since March 2014. The vast majority of them were U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

“Much of ISIS’s argument is, of course, that Muslims — immigrants, converts, everyone — will never be included and accepted in the West because of the very fact that they are Muslim,” said Program on Extremism fellow Amarnath Amarasingam.

“This message, it could perhaps be argued, but gently, may indeed resonate more in some countries and with some communities,” he added. “But is ISIS specifically targeting immigrants? Not really.”

Jeff Seldin – Jeff works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters and is national security correspondent. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @jseldin or on Google Plus.

From Zero Hedge:

Europol Admits ISIS Actively Targeting Refugees To Carry Out Terrorist Attacks In The EU

Confirming what most of us deduced long ago via the application of just a bit of common sense, Europol and Frontex, Europe’s  border and coast guard agency, are finally admitting that their intelligence indicates coordinated efforts on the part of ISIS to recruit asylum seekers, both in Syria and in migrant camps after they’ve already reached Europe, to carry out terrorist attacks.  In a report published my Europol, counter-terrorism experts warn that, among other things, “Syrian refugee diaspora may become vulnerable to radicalisation once in Europe and may be specifically targeted by Islamic extremist recruiters.”

  • Radicalised persons are not necessarily profound believers
  • Elements of the (Sunni Muslim) Syrian refugee diaspora may become vulnerable to radicalisation once in Europe and may be specifically targeted by Islamic extremist recruiters
  • The majority of attacks claimed by IS appear to be masterminded and perpetrated by individuals inspired by IS, rather than those who work with the organisation directly
  • Intelligence suggests that IS has assembled teams in Syria which are sent to the EU tasked with carrying out attacks
  • Training possibilities for IS are believed to be decreasing in Syria

The report goes on to note that “German authorities were aware of around 300 recorded attempts made by jihadists to recruit refugees” as of April 2016 while Merkel continued to relentlessly push her “open-border” policies.

The majority of attacks carried out in the name of IS appear to have been masterminded and performed by individuals who were inspired by IS, rather than those who worked with the terrorist organisation directly. Intelligence suggests, however, that IS has also put together teams in Syria which are sent to the EU tasked with carrying out attacks. It is believed that this ‘external terrorism network’, began sending fighters abroad two years ago.

Given that it is in the interests of IS to inflame the migration crisis to polarise the EU population and turn sections of it against those seeking asylum, there is a risk of some infiltration of refugee camps and other groups. The extent of this is unknown, however, making the subject susceptible to exaggeration and exploitation especially by populist factions and (extreme) right-wing parties. A real and imminent danger is the possibility of elements of the (Sunni Muslim) Syrian refugee diaspora becoming vulnerable to radicalisation once in Europe and being specifically targeted by Islamic extremist recruiters. It is believed that a number of jihadists are travelling through Europe for this purpose. According to unconfirmed information, German authorities were aware of around 300 recorded attempts made by jihadists to recruit refugees who were trying to enter Europe by April 2016.

Moreover, Europol notes that the power vacuum in Libya has resulted in the country becoming a “springboard” for “EU foreign terrorist fighters who, on returning to Europe, plan further terrorist attacks.”

CT experts are concerned that Libya could develop into a second springboard for IS, after Syria, for attacks in the EU and the North African region. Since mid-2015 Libya has become a major destination for IS fighters in its own right and is believed to having become a hub for EU foreign terrorist fighters who, on returning to Europe, plan further terrorist attacks.

Finally, the report warns that recent success in hitting numerous targets across Europe will only encourage further attacks which are likely to become more violent and sophisticated over time.

The success generated by these terrorist attacks, as seen from an IS perspective, will encourage the group to hit more targets in the EU. Although France appears to be the primary focus of IS, the organisation has threatened all countries that are part of the US led coalition against IS in Syria and Iraq, including Germany, the UK and other Member States, which have specifically been mentioned as enemies of IS in several video messages.

 

New attacks by both terrorist groups and lone actors are thus to be expected, most probably following the patterns that have been used in earlier attacks. New variations in attack, for example in the use of car bombs, may also develop.

And while many people have pretty much assumed most of the “findings” above from the “intelligence community,” we guess it’s better that the truth is being revealed later rather than never.  Hopefully Merkel gets a chance to peruse the report before she becomes the latest prominent European politician to find herself without a job.

 

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