Sunday, 17 May 2015

EU pays the Islamic State for migrants

And what worse in the same time pay for IS militants to enter EU.

What happens when you only fight the fire but not the one who lights it is what we see today in EU!  This while a most mad public analysis continues by EU leaders and UN weather to use water or sand while the fire is being fed by ISIS.

Many of the migrants embark from Libya on unseaworthy boats which have foundered with thousands drowning and thousands being rescued by European navies. At least 170,000 refugees made the sea journey last year, and that number looks likely to increase this year, according to the European Union’s border-surveillance organization Frontex.

European Union and African officials are scrambling to find ways to stop the migration. 

Recently The Guardian revealed a 19-page E.U. strategy report to crack down on the smugglers, which included air strikes on boats and possibly the use of troops in Libya.

But while E.U. officials anguish over the plight of people crossing the Mediterranean to get to Europe, the migration has proved an invaluable business opportunity for groups like ISIS. 

So valuable that international crime experts believe or rather speculate that  ISIS might have launched some attacks specifically in order to drive people to flee, and then profit from their flight.  

“They [ISIS] were looking desperately for new funds,” says Christian Nelleman, director of the Norwegian Center for Global Analysis, or RHIPTO, who co-authored this week’s report with the Geneva-based Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, a consortium of organized-crime experts. 

“Unlike al-Qaeda, ISIS needs a totally different scale of funds because they run an army and provide social services,” he says.

ISIS’s sources of funding appear to have changed markedly since 2014. 
For much of last year, ISIS brought in funds from oil smuggling, a key reason why its fighters seized oil facilities in Syria and Iraq, with oil trading earning up to $3 million a day, according to U.N. estimates. But those earnings have crashed, perhaps by half, since last August, when the U.S. and its allies began bombing ISIS oil facilities, according to a Western intelligence report from last January, which was shared with TIME this week. 

The report estimates that ISIS needs between $523.5 million and $815.3 million a year to run its operations, including to pay its fighters, run social services, and buy weapons and ammunition.

Aside from oil, ISIS has recently earned between $22 million and $55 million a year taxing antiquities smugglers, who traffic looted objects out of Syria and Iraq, and between $168 million and $228 million a month taxing small businesses and residents in ISIS-controlled areas, according to the January intelligence report, which said ISIS has “a robust budget for a group numbering in the 30 to 40,000 range.”

In fact, the most robust new business is migrant smuggling, with funds going not only to ISIS but also al-Qaeda-linked groups around the Sahara and militias in Libya, which seized the capital Tripoli last August. Smugglers typically charge each migrant between $800 and $1,000 to reach Libya, either from across the Sahara or from the Middle East, and then between $1,500 and $1,900 to cross the Mediterranean to Europe, according to this week’s Time report.

The Times report suggests ISIS has recently driven Syrians and Iraqis from their homes in a deliberate attempt to increase their control over smuggling routes, and to drive up the numbers of those trying to cross the Mediterranean. 

Syrians now comprise the largest number of migrants crossing the Mediterranean, followed by refugees from the East African nation of Eritrea. The surge in Syrian refugees crossing the Mediterranean since last year appeared to follow ISIS attacks on refugee camps. “Why would they want to attack refugee camps near the Syria-Jordan border?” Nelleman says. 
“The purpose was to drive refugees out.” Many of those refugees made their way to Libya to take dangerous boats to Europe.

Source: Abdul Basit Haroun has told BBC that  smugglers were hiding IS militants on boats filled with migrants. Not that this is a new thought as officials in Italy and Egypt have previously warned that IS militants could reach Europe by migrant boat.
However, experts have cautioned that it is very difficult to verify or assess such claims.

But foremost once again due to the so called politically correct pressure limiting anything spoken against Islamic Militants. It makes one question is it our Governments job to protect Islamic values or our safety?

Whats more than openly agreed upon by all is ....

Mr Haroun based his claim on conversations with smugglers in parts of North Africa controlled by the militants.
He alleged that IS was allowing the boat owners to continue their operations in exchange for half of their income.

About 60,000 people are estimated to have tried to cross the Mediterranean this year, fleeing conflict and poverty. Since the 2011 uprising, Libya has been without a stable government, and the chaos has allowed trafficking networks there to thrive.

In an interview with BBC Radio 5 live Investigates, Mr Haroun said IS used the boats "for their people who they want to send to Europe, as the European police don't know who is from IS and who is a normal refugee or not".

These militants often sat separately from the other migrants, he said.

Earlier this year, the EU's border control agency, Frontex, warned that it was "possible" that foreign fighters were using irregular migration routes to get into Europe.

Egypt's ambassador to the UK has warned of "boats full of terrorists" if the international community does not act, while the Italian government has expressed fears of militants infiltrating the boats, while emphasising that the boats are a humanitarian crisis.

However, experts have cautioned that both countries have an interest in influencing the international response to the Libya crisis, and that it is difficult to verify the threat without evidence.

"Egypt is particularly keen to amplify the threat of Islamic State in Libya as it is desperately seeking approval for international intervention in the country," Alison Pargeter, an analyst focusing on Libya for the Royal United Services Institute, a British defence think tank,

Meanwhile, Christian Kaunert, an expert in terrorism and refugee issues at Dundee University, said the risk of militants infiltrating migrant boats was "plausible - but whether it's absolutely credible is difficult to assess because by definition, when those boats come in, they go unnoticed".

IS, which controls large parts of Iraq and Syria, has been active in recent months in Libya, exploiting a power struggle between rival groups after the fall of Col Muammar Gaddafi.

It is believed that local militias are often active partners with the smugglers, while Libya's coastguard has admitted to the BBC that they cannot handle the volume of migrant boats and will only interfere if a boat runs into trouble. In plain English they let anyone leave without even trying to interfere.

Would it not be the cheapest for all if EU would hold the Libyan side responsible for this and offer help to stop this mass migration. For anyone to jump any border and enter another nation illegally is a criminal offence!  Has the EU leadership forgotten that these laws apply to all equally, and not just us who live in EU, but also the ones who try to enter EU illegally.

News stories and facts and sources: Time Guardian and BBC  

Norwegian Center for Global Analysis, or RHIPTO, who co-authored this week’s report with the Geneva-based Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, a consortium of organized-crime experts. (see it here)
Global Initiative | Libya: Criminal economies and terrorist financing in the trans-Sahara

E.U. strategy report to crack down on the smugglers
Migrant crisis: EU plan to strike Libya networks could include ground forces | World news | The Guardian

Libya's people smugglers: inside the trade that sells refugees hopes of a better life | World news | The Guardian

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