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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > The Terror Threat From Libya, Somalia And Yemen

The Terror Threat From Libya, Somalia And Yemen

January 30, 2017

The Terror Threat From Libya, Somalia and Yemen


A large number of ISIS-jihadists succeeded in entering Europe in 2016. Most of them were from Syria, Iraq and Libya. Most of them claimed to be "refugees"and applied for asylum. Although ISIS is being driven away from Northern Libya, this merciless terror group has not been defeated in that country. Just like Al-Qaeda, they are extremely resilient and quite capable of escaping to Europe and create new terror cells there.

Robert Bertholee is chief of the General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) in the Netherlands. He points out that Libya poses a serious terror threat to Europe, although his service's capabilities in tracking dangerous terrorists from Libya have been improved: "Let us assume that we receive information from a friendly intelligence service that an ISIS leader is on his way to Amsterdam and the French receive information that a certain person left Libya and is now on his way to Paris. Previously, these two bits of information would not have been connected, but now we are able to do so." Bertholee claims that a number of arrests have already been made.

Loretta Napoleoni is an Italian-British expert on terrorism. Her latest book "Merchants of Men" is quite alarming. She describes "how jihadists and ISIS turned kidnapping and refugee trafficking into a multibillion-dollar business."She also describes how ISIS profits directly from the migrant traficking route via Libya. "ISIS has established regulations, specifying, for example, that boats sailing from Western shores of the country under its control may carry a maximum of 120 people. Before allowing boats to sail, members of the Islamic State check each one, making sure that the number of migrants does not exceed the imposed capacity. Traffickers pay 50 percent of their profits to ISIS in exchange for the right to sail, so counting the migrants also establishes the amount of tax each boat must pay. In 2015 this tax generated about $20 million for every ten thousand migrants."

"At about $1,600 per person, crossing via the ISIS controlled territory is more expensive than crossing from the eastern shores of Libya, but the journey is safer. ISIS not only commands higher prices for use of its routes, but it also requires migrants to attend a one-week-long Sharia course in order to qualify for safe passage. Hence, ISIS uses the migration flows to proselytize its creed."

In 2016 at least 181,000 migrants arrived in Italy alone. Most of these migrants were from Africa, North Africa and the Middle East and had been trafficked via Libya. About 90 % of them were economic migrants who are not entitled to asylum under international law. In October, in just one month, that is, the total number of "refugee arrivals" to Italy was 27,000. About 4,500 "boat refugees" drowned in the Mediterranean Sea in 2016. The ones who must be blamed are the ruthless migrant traffickers and all those people who take unnecessary risks.

Moreover, rescue operations near the Libyan coast by private humanitarian organizations and European navies or coast guards are counterproductive. They only encourage the criminal migrant trafficking mafias who regard these rescue operations as a wellcome "ferry service" to Italy.

The Dutch TV progam "Nieuwsuur" reported on September 17, 2016, that Dutch prosecutors and the Dutch police are now cooperating with their Italian counterparts. The Italians and the Dutch found out that there are vast criminal migrant trafficking networks both in Holland and Italy. They know most of the names of those who are in charge. These powerful criminal networks consist of Italians, Libyans, Eritreans, Ethiopians and Nigerians. "These networks are responsible for the arrival of large groups of immigrants in the Netherlands," Jan van Nieuwamerongen, the Dutch police liaison officer in Italy, told Nieuwsuur. "It is important to check the way in which these migrants arrive in the Netherlands, because the traffickers resort to horrible crimes such as ill-treatment, extortion, rape and murder."

Hester van Bruggen, the Dutch liaison prosecutor in Italy, told Nieuwsuur that he cooperates with the Italian prosecutor in Palermo, the capital of Sicily where most African and North African refugees arrive first when they enter Europe. "In 90 % of the cases the final destination of these migrants is Northern Europe," he told Nieuwsuur. (Holland, Belgium, Germany, Great Britain, Sweden, Denmark and Norway.) Dutch and Italian prosecutors are now investigating who exactly are behind these extensive criminal networks in Italy and Northern Europe. "The Italians monitor their communications and make use of informers," Hester van Bruggen said.

But it is simply impossible for the over burdened European authorities to check the hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers from the Middle East, Africa and North Africa. That is why ISIS has been so successful in sending its own operatives from Syria, Iraq and Libya to Europe.

Donald Trump's decision to bar people from seven countries

Donald Trump, the new U.S. President, recently signed an executive order to bar people of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for at least three months. Libya is among those seven countries. The other countries are: Syria, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. I do not agree with everything that Trump says or does. For example, I don't believe that NATO is obsolete. But Trump's recent decision to ban migrants/asylum seekers from countries that are deemed a "threat to national security" is right. Look, for example, at Somalia. Lots of Somali asylum seekers who found a safe haven in the United States espouse radical Islam and practise "female genital mutilation( (FGM). At least eighty of them went back to Somalia and joined the ruthless Islamist terror group Al-Shabaab. Some of them even became suicide bombers. That is not the path to "paradise with 72 virgins" waiting for idiots and frustrated males. It is, instead, the path straight to hell.

I heard how opponents of Trump's executive order argue that recent Islamist terror attacks in the United States have been committed by "home grown" terrorists who were born in the U.S. But that is not the whole truth. There are cases of Afghan and Somali asylum seekers or "refugees" who turned to terrorism after their arrival in the United States. The most recent example is Abdul Razak Ali Artan, an 18-year-old Somali "refugee" and student at Ohio State University. He attacked fellow students with a knife, injuring eleven of them. This terror attack occurred on November 28, 2016.

Another recent example is Ahmad Khan Rahami (sometimes spelled as Rahimi). He entered the United States with his parents when he was 7 years old, but would be known as "the bomber in New York and New Jersey" in September 2016. 29 people were injured in New York.

Rahami returned to Afghanistan several times and he also visited Pakistan on at least one occasion. It was most likely there, and not in America, that that his process of radicalization really began.

Then there is Yemen, that Islamist hellhole where Al-Qaeda, ISIS and Iranian backed "holy" fighters are flourishing and fighting each other. Mohammed bin Laden, the father of Osama bin Laden, was born in Yemen. He later moved to Saudi Arabia where Osama bin Laden was born in 1957. As chief of Al-Qaeda,Osama would become one of the world's most dangerous terrorists, the man who was directly responsible for the 9/11 attacks on the United States. Lots of Yemeni jihadists joined Al-Qaeda and ISIS. When Barack Obama took office in January 2009 nearly fifty percent of the more than two hundred prisoners who were still at Guantánamo Bay ("GITMO") were from Yemen.

Many GITMO detainees who were released by the Americans returned to terrorism. For example, Ibrahim Qosi, who is also known as Sheikh Khubayb Al-Sudani, is now an Al-Qaeda leader in Yemen. He is originally from Sudan.

Another example is Said Ali Al-Shihri. This Saudi jihadist had been fighting in the ranks of Al-Qaeda and the Taliban before he was captured in January 2002 and subsequently transferred to Guantánamo Bay. This former GITMO detainee was released in 2007 by the Bush administration, a fatal error once again. Jeremy Scahill, a liberal journalist and writer from New York, reveals some interesting details about this really shocking case: "In January 2009, Shihri appeared on a video with another Saudi who had been imprisoned at Guantánamo, Abu Hareth Muhammad Al-Awfi, and two infamous Yemeni members of Al-Qaeda: Nasir Al-Wuhayshi and Qasim Al-Rimi. In the video, posted on YouTube in late January, the four men, dressed in a mishmash of tribal garb and military gear, announced the formation of a new, regional organization, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)." "By Allah, imprisonment only increased our persistence in our principles for which we went out, did jihad for, and were imprisoned for," declared Shihri. Not very nice fellows.

Not all Syrian refugees are dangerous terrorists, but a number of them certainly are. Three Syrian asylum seekers were arrested in Germany on September13, 2016. They were suspected of having links to ISIS in Syria and being part of a "sleeper cell." Traveling via Turkey, Greece, Croatia and Austria, they aririved in Germany in November 2015. The Germans got their information from the CIA, by the way. CIA and NSA monitored the communications of the three Syrian "refugees." And it was by no means the first time that U.S. intelligence passed on valuable information to their European counterparts.

Emerson Vermaat is an investigative reporter in the Netherlands specialized in crime, terrorism and anti-Semitism. He is now writing a book on "Terror Attacks in Europe by Radical Muslims."

Website: http://www.emersonvermaat.com/


De Volkskrant (Amsterdam), September 17, 2016, p. 7, Rob Bertholee: "De dreiging is in jaren niet zo groot geweest."


Loretta Napoleoni, Merchants of Men. How Jihadists and ISIS Turned Kidnapping and Refugee Trafficking into a Multibillion-dollar Business (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2016), p. 233.

De Volksrant, January 25, 2017, pp. 6, 7, EU wil einde aan "migratieveerdienst"uit Libië.

Nieuwsuur (Dutch TV), September 17, 2016, Sicilië bestrijdt mensensmokkel met anti-maffia methoden


Cato at Liberty, September 20, 2016, The Terrorism Risk of Asylum-Seekers and Refugees: The Minnesota, New York, and New Jersey Terrorist Attacks,


Jeremy Scahill, Dirty Wars. The World is a Battlefield (New York: Nation Books, 2013), p. 254 ("In January 2009, Shihri appeared on a video…"), p. 256 ("Almost half of the more than two hundred prisoners at the camp when Obama took office were from Yemen.")

The Gateway Pundit, February 23, 2016, Confirmed: 117 Gitmo Detainees Returned to Terrorism,


Der Generalbundesanwalt, Aktuelles, September 13, 2016, No. 45, Festnahme dreier mutmasslicher Miglieder der ausländischen terroristischen Vereinigung "Islamischer Staat,"


Focus (German weekly), September 13, 2016, US-Geheimdienst lieferte Hinweis auf Terror-Verdächtige,


Süddeutsche Zeitung (Munich), September 14, 2016, Mutmassliche IS-Terroristen kamen über Balkanroute,


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