German politicians are feeling apprehensive. The more refugees enter the country, the higher the chances of infiltration by terrorists. And Germany has taken in more migrants than any other state in Europe.
Approximately a million and a half people displaced from dysfunctional countries and regions have settled in Germany. And since this has been accompanied by a growth in hostility toward the new arrivals, naturally the terrorists are motivated to take action.
Ankara’s behavior is heightening that anxiety – Turkey, having signed a refugee deal with the EU, is openly playing a game of its own. The domestic situation in Turkey is also fairly dysfunctional. The massive military operations against the Kurds, large numbers of civilian casualties, and string of retaliatory terrorist attacks all indicate that Turkey is itself becoming a hotbed of terrorism. Under these circumstances, how will it meet its obligations under the agreement with the EU to regulate the flow of refugees?
And Ankara has its own unique take on these commitments. For example, Islamic State (IS) militants – Mehmet Ozturk plus three accomplices – were found to be behind the recent bombings in Istanbul. Then there were more explosions in Ankara, but there has been no reaction by the Turkish authorities to those terrorist attacks.
One begins to wonder: for what purposes is Erdoğan so selflessly safeguarding the forces of the Islamic terrorists? After all, his military is well aware of their headquarters, training centers, and camps.
Perhaps the Turkish president considers IS to be the leading force in the fight against Bashar al-Assad? Or are there other motives for his behavior? Apparently to throw off suspicion, immediately after the explosions in Brussels Erdoğan announced that one of the suicide bombers – Ibrahim el-Bakraoui – had been detained in Turkey and later expelled from the country, but that Belgian officials had ignored the warnings of the Turkish authorities.
Ankara hoped that Brussels would see this as a feather in the cap of the Turkish security services, as well as proof of Turkey’s sincere desire to cooperate with them in good faith. However, the information provided by the Belgian police that the terrorists behind those bloody acts had been fighting in Syria, and that one of them, Abdelhamid Abaaoud had been an IS executioner, does cast a somewhat different light on the situation. After all, the men’s trip from Europe to Syria had taken them through Turkey. And how many more of these «travelers» are crossing into Europe today, going «unnoticed» by Turkish intelligence?
All the migrant routes are under the control of criminal organizations and Turkish intelligence agencies. Terrorists penetrate Europe via Turkey, but the EU and Ankara have no separate agreement to combat this evil.
That’s going to cause some big headaches for Germany. Once the agreement with the EU was signed on March 17, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu half-jokingly commented that now refugees will go through Bulgaria. There could be some truth to that. Bulgaria has not yet strung up barbed wire fences, and from Turkey it is simpler to slip across that border than into Macedonia or Serbia. However, the terrorists prefer a different route. The journey along the coasts of Greece to Albania is slightly longer, but there are Islamist training camps in Kosovo, and the local Albanian mafiosi have speed boats to ferry them into Italy.
Of course Germany has by far the most to worry about. And that’s because Berlin had the biggest role in the creation of the «independent Republic of Kosovo», and back then opened its doors wide to Albanian immigration. Now Germany is home to Europe’s largest Kosovo Albanian community, as well as the most extensive Albanian criminal networks. Jihadists are using those ties to sneak across the German border.
But Turkey figures most prominently in this route. Lightweight ships will be dispatched to Albania from the Turkish coast. Thus, if it suddenly comes to light that one of the terrorists got into Europe via Albania, it will be obvious that Ankara must have known about it.
These are several of the options terrorists can use to infiltrate Europe – they have not exhausted all their routes. There are many paths, and they can be blocked only through the combined efforts of a group of interested states. Turkey has a leading role in that group, but there is little assurance that Ankara will prove a loyal ally.
Angela Merkel feels she has reached a groundbreaking deal with Ankara, but Turkey’s backroom deals may mean that she can expect to be subjected to new ordeals by the terrorists.