‘Good timing for EU to close its borders covered by the IS threat’
According to German media citing American Intelligence, the Islamic State is trying to send under-cover “agents” to Europe among refugees. This year thousands of refugees reached Europe, mainly Greece and Italy, and most of them moved on to France, Germany or Sweden seeking asylum. Eight EU countries, including the UK, Spain, Germany and France, are pushing Brussels to restrict the free movement right within the EU, demanding tougher border checks to prevent extremists coming in.
RT:How likely is the scenario of jihadi militants making their way into Europe, disguised as refugees? Is this reality?
Chris Bambery: I think for the David Cameron, Francois Hollande and Angela Merkel governments this brings together two elements, which is quite like manna from heaven. All these governments are faced with critics on the right who are critical of the EU and critical of migration. And in one fell swoop, Cameron, Merkel, and Hollande can conjure this up and say “Look, we are going to be tough on the borders, we are not in favor of open borders inside the EU. We are going to be tough, and of course we are going to be tough on these Muslims, these jihadists.” This brings together these two elements, which I think is good timing in a sense for these governments. They can be seen to be tough on the European issue, when they are faced with a challenge on that issue by the right-wing anti-immigrant parties, and of course by conjuring up this specter as well, they can use it as justification for involvement of Britain and France and other states in the air strikes.
I think we have to ask a question, it’s not so easy to get into Europe. People are risking life and limb to get by small boats across the Mediterranean because it’s not easy by other ways. Britain and France are only allowing a few hundred refugees from Syria when there are tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands in the neighboring states – Lebanon, Iran, Turkey and so forth. So I take all this stuff with a pinch of salt, and I take it because I don’t believe there is no threat from these groups. I think there is. It’s more likely to come from people already living here they are in contact with, rather than people returning from Syria and Iraq because this is not quite so easy to get through Turkey and come back to Britain, France or Germany. British security forces have been monitoring Turkey for a long time.
RT:The EU wants tougher border checks to prevent extremists from coming in. Do you think this will help? Is it a crackdown that is going to work?
CB: I think it’s going to be a crackdown as a part of the ongoing essential Islamophobic agenda which really tries to target Muslims as the enemy within, and is a threat to us all. I think the agenda itself creates this problem because by alienating the European Muslim population - it sends them towards these jihadists, because it’s not so easy to go into Turkey, through Turkey to Syria. I know people who have done this the name of charity work. British secret service is monitoring you leaving Britain; they are monitoring you when you are arriving in Turkey with the aid of the Turkish security forces. It was true that Turkey gets the border open for these people, although we should remember that Britain, France and America were happy for them to go through when these were good guys fighting the Assad regime. They have monitored these people every step. And the idea they can somehow infiltrate the way back into British or French or wherever society so easily - it’s not that simple. If the security forces can’t keep an eye on these people, I think we should be asking what they have been doing for the past decade or so in terms of the so-called “war on terror.” These people have been monitored every step. I think it’ll more difficult to come back to this country and launch these campaigns. Of course these people are threats, but to stress the point again, two-three years ago they were not threats, they were allies of Britain, America and France in the war against the Assad regime.
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