Would-Be Terrorists Among Migrants: Libya Invokes Terrorism to Ask for EU Money

Written by | Friday, August 25th, 2017

Libyan Prime Minister Faiez Serraj, head of the UN-backed unity government in Tripoli, has urged European countries to provide help in stemming the flow of migrants on the grounds that some of the illegal migrants might pose a security threat when they arrive in Europe. He said that the scores of migrants that have reached his country include also would-be terrorists. “When migrants reach Europe, they will move freely. If, God forbid, there are terrorist elements among the migrants, a result of any incident will affect all of the EU,” he said.
By using migration to ask for Brussels’ help, Serraj was resorting to the same strategy as the toppled Muammar Gaddafi who warned that the EU would be flooded by migrants as a result of the outbreak of the Arab Spring if he were ousted out of power. Almost 98,000 migrants have reached Europe from Libya since January, which is, however, still far less than last year’s record of 170,000 arriving on the Italian shores. Yet, this summer, more than 4,000 migrants have reached Italy from Libya, which is about a fifth of the number during each of the equivalent periods since 2014.
In the meantime, migration issues rule the Italian domestic policy with Rome getting unsettled by the lack of tangible help from other member states. Italy’s Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano said that his country has been ‘abandoned’ by the EU over the refugee crisis, stressing that ‘Italy cannot cope with the burden alone’. EU Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos urged EU member states to help Italy after Rome had threatened to bar rescue boats from its ports. In response, EU interior ministers have agreed to develop a code of conduct for rescue ships.

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