ISIS will exploit open borders

Dear Editor, I was very pleased that The Irish Catholic highlighted the fact that Pope Francis, when interviewed on Portugal’s Radio Renascenca, issued a timely caution to welcome refugees but not to be naïve due to the dangers of Islamist extremists hiding amongst genuine refugees.   

He was right to speak of the “incredibly cruel terrorist group” (ISIS) just 400 km from Italy, he underscored the “danger of infiltration” from which Rome is not immune. 

There have been many examples in recent months that have shown this to be a real risk. In May, for example, the Libyan government adviser Abdul Haroun told BBC Radio 5 that smugglers were hiding IS militants on boats filled with migrants, and in August Bulgarian authorities detained five men found to be carrying ISIS propaganda, having specific Jihadists prayers and decapitation videos on their phones.  

In mid-September Lebanon’s Education Minister Elias Bou Saab claimed that at least 20,000 jihadis have infiltrated Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon and are plotting to enter Europe. Expressing his fear that Islamic State radicals could make up at least 2% of the 1.1million Syrians living in camps across his country, he warned of a covert jihadi ‘operation’ to get across the Mediterranean and into Europe.

Britain seems to be alive to the warning that Pope Francis gave, agreeing to take 20,000 refugees but only selected from camps in Turkey/Lebanon. 

It’s alarming to think of our hospitality being walked on and ISIS operatives infiltrating Ireland and wreaking their havoc here. So, Minister Fitzgerald, please heed these warnings. By all means welcome genuine refugees but what are your plans to weed out the jihadists?  Last year you told an Oireachtas committee of Garda intelligence that about 30 Irish Muslims had gone to fight in Syria and Iraq.  Please do not compound this problem!  

Yours etc.,

Paddy Monaghan

Dun Laoghaire,   Co. Dublin.