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Russian Security Service: Refugee crisis used by Islamic State to send people to Europe

September 18, 2015, 12:14 UTC+3 TASHKENT
The officer said the flow of refugees will only grow as Islamic State is seizing new territories
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© AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic

TASHKENT, September 18. /TASS/. The Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization takes advantage of the situation with refugees by sending its own people to Europe, Federal Security Service first deputy director Army General Sergey Smirnov said on Friday.

Talking about the refugee crisis, he noted that "this is a problem because refugees are used by IS to send their own people there." "What they will do in the future and what tasks they will perform, it is hard to say," Smirnov added.

People who underwent training in IS later return to their own countries or go to other regions, he continued. They even come to China, Smirnov noted adding that this is a threat for many countries.

EU refugee flow grows due to IS terror, not Assad

According to the officer, the flow of refugees from regions where the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization is operating will only grow.

"The activities of this [Islamic] ‘State’ will result in the growing flow of refugees, and European countries are the first to suffer," Smirnov said.

"People are running away not from Russia’s support for the Syrian regime, in particular, [Syrian President Bashar] Assad. People are running away from terror, from the impossible living conditions. People flee because they want to stay safe and sound," he added.

"Unfortunately, the group is seizing more and more territories. And because of this, as I think, the flow of refugees will only grow," he stressed.

IS recruitment serious threat for SCO countries

Smirnov also stressed that recruiting citizens of different countries, including member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), is one of the biggest threats coming from Islamic State.

"The most dangerous is recruiting people from these countries. The group goes to the territory of combat actions, participates in them, trains and learns, and then later returns to the territory of our countries," Smirnov said.

He noted that it is done "secretly, and working methods of combat organizations is used." "They use their accumulated experience on our territories. This is the main danger, and it is rather big," Smirnov stressed.

The international data bank on countering terrorism established on Russia’s initiative earlier this year has received new information about people linked to IS and other terrorist organizations.

"According to our information, around 2,400 Russian citizens are already taking part in the activities of this organization, and this is a rather large number," Smirnov said. Talking about Central Asian countries, he noted that "according to our information, around 3,000 citizens of these countries already participate in the activities of this organization [Islamic State]."

Islamic State terrorist organization

The Islamic State is an extremist organization banned in Russia. In 2013-2014, it called itself the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). In June 2014, IS announce the establishment of the "Islamic caliphate" on the territories seized in Iraq and Syria. According to US’ Central Intelligence Agency, the extremist group includes around 30,000 people, while Iraqi authorities claim there are around 200,000 in IS. Among members of the group are citizens of 80 countries, including France, Great Britain, Germany, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, US, Canada, as well as Russia and other CIS countries. According to reports, militants now control around 40% of the Iraqi territory and 50% of the Syrian territory.

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