The ISIS terrorists, now known to be responsible for the Paris and Brussels attacks, hid themselves among Syrian refugees taken in by European nations. Many nations have welcomed Middle Eastern immigrants as part of humanitarian efforts, in the wake of the Syrian civil war. Communities made efforts to accommodate the needs of newcomers. People volunteered to help.
The Paris and Brussels ISIS attacks, however, have changed the way Europe feels about Syrian refugees. Europe has at least temporarily closed borders to the thousands of homeless Syrians awaiting entry. Due to the terrorist-organized grand scale attacks, and an array of problems associated with trying to integrate vast number of foreigners, many European nations and their citizens are saying no more to potential ISIS operatives.
ISIS terrorists make it difficult for Europeans to trust newcomers. So, now immigrants are suffering on the opposite side of razor wire fences that seal off Greece, as thousands of displaced people gather. Yahoo News reports, the gate to the Western Balkan route into central Europe has been closed for almost a month. This leaves Greece to deal with over 51,000 refugees and other Middle Eastern immigrants fleeing persecution in war-torn regions.
Syrian refugees now camp in open fields owned by farmers who can no longer farm since their land is occupied by foreign men, women, and children and a hodgepodge of tents and makeshift shelters. These migrating populations have nowhere to go, and yet more arrive every day, waiting with the others to be admitted. Are there ISIS supporters or terrorists among them? No one can pick out a single ISIS terrorist from a group of frightened evacuees just by looking.
ISIS terrorists have also threatened Turkey, and their solutions may be far less humanitarian. According to the Independent the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is alleging at least 16 people seeking sanctuary in Turkey have been shot to death in the last four months. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is a U.K.-based monitoring group set up to protect refugees. Independent quotes a people smuggler who confirmed that far more than 16 had been shot attempting to cross the border in recent months.
“[Anyone crossing the Turkish border would] either be killed or captured. Turkish soldiers used to help the refugees across, carry their bags for them. Now they shoot at them.”
Turkey has made a migrant deal with the European Union. Under the agreement, refugees deported from Greek shores will be returned to Turkey in exchange for billions in aid from the EU. The agreement states that Turkey will accept and help to screen Syrian refugees. For every refugee deported to Turkey, the EU will accept another refugee from Turkey that has been there longer. However, it is doubtful either country is prepared to meet the terms according to the Independent.
ISIS Terrorists hid easily among the over 800,000 Syrian refugees who have entered Europe so far this year. European governments and citizens are understandably skeptical about taking in more, but other groups within the various nations feel a humanitarian obligation to do so. CNN reports that European nations are being forced to decide whether to shelter the homeless or protect their own nations from terrorist attacks.
Welcoming Syrian refugees may be required in order to satisfy the UN convention and other international agreements on the treatment of war refugees. Unfortunately, there are not enough resources to vet every single refugee to prove they are not terrorists affiliated with ISIS. Accepting them without vetting is proving to be a far greater risk than assumed at first.
ISIS terrorists, by making attacks on Paris and Brussels, are forcing European nations to choose between remaining humanitarian or isolating themselves for protection.
Are ISIS terrorists creating a new form of terrorism, using pitiful Syrian refugees and attacking the heart and soul of Europe.
[Image by AP Photo /Darko Vojinovic]