The latest report by the leading British counter-extremism think tank Quilliam also says that underage asylum seekers are at increasing risk of being radicalized by Islamic State’s (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) preachers infiltrating refugee camps and local migrant communities.
“Groups such as Islamic State and Boko Haram recruit using financial incentives within refugee camps and work with smugglers and traffickers to facilitate the journey to asylum,” Quilliam’s report said. According to the think tank, IS is clearly aware of the value of migrant routes in the Eastern Mediterranean as it offers free passage and “a degree of security” to those willing to join IS.
In other instances, IS offers recruits up to $1,000, with the sum being a remarkable financial incentive for some refugees struggling to fund their journeys across the Mediterranean.
“More than 90 percent of arrivals in the EU were in some way facilitated by some form of illegal enterprise,” the report stressed.
Extremist organizations infiltrate and radicalize refugee communities in European countries, the researchers said citing example of Germany, where Islamists reach migrants at refugee centers or local mosques with the pretext of providing aid as well as providing opportunities to preach.
Capitalizing on local authorities’ failure to handle asylum seekers efficiently, Islamist recruiters are therefore “warning them about Western values and norms and inciting refugees against German officials and the German public.” In turn, using excessive force against refugees creates motives for them to radicalize, Quilliam warned.
“The main problem is that asylum seekers are treated like criminals when their crimes are simply fleeing their own country for whatever reason … The lack of humanity in how women were treated seems to result in a loss of privacy, sense of decency, compassion and respect as a result of being detained,” it continued, adding that the UK authorities routinely detain those who survived rape, sexual violence and other forms of torture, in direct violation of their own guidelines.