ISIS Terrorists Tapping Organized Crime to Infiltrate Europe
With the help of organized crime organizations, ISIS terrorists are reportedly buying legitimate British passports that can evade detection by security authorities, the Daily Beast reports.
An Italian intelligence investigation into the Camorra crime family discovered an ISIS advertisement on the deep web, which linked to a Naples firm capable of producing sophisticated biometric passports.
“We are selling original UK Passports made with your info/picture. Also, your info will get entered into the official passport database,” the advertisement read. “So its (sic) possible to travel with our passports. How do we do it? Trade secret! Information on how to send us your info and picture will be given after purchase! You can even enter the UK/EU with our passports, we can just add a stamp for the country you are in.”
Other recent investigations have also shed light onto the broader ties between terrorists and European criminal organizations, including the smuggling of weapons and forged documents.
Last year, Italian authorities arrested an Iraqi man in Naples for facilitating weapons and document transfers to the Islamic State.
“Naples has been, for many years, a central logistics base for the Middle East,” prosecutor Franco Roberti told the Daily Beast last year, adding that “the Camorra (mafia) is also active in the world of jihadist terrorism that passes through Naples.”
These reports show that terrorists are diversifying their funding sources, and using various criminal means to underwrite their violent activities.
Lacking a formal state sponsor, and facing setbacks in Syria and Iraq, the Islamic State is starting to depend more on criminal relationships to fuel its operations and to smuggle its terrorists into Western countries in order to carry out attacks.