A the Islamic State continues to push ideology and operatives further into Europe, the threat to global security has increased exponentially. This flow of fighters combined with the groups methodology for systematically taking ground dates back to ISIS’s beginnings.
Here, Business Insider shows the flow and connectivity of the European Refugee crisis. As has been reported on by various media outlets, the Islamic State has capitalized upon this refugee crisis by inserting its operatives and advanced reconnaissance teams into the flow.
Comparing the refugee crisis graphic to known attacks or attempted operations by the Islamic State shows us that these same facilitation routes are being used. Law Enforcement and intelligence organizations have the enormous challenge of attempting to insert themselves into and disrupt these facility networks.
To see the flow and connectivity of these facilitation routes, check out the interactive by Lucify. The interactive provides a view of the extensive issues Europe is now facing.
The current issues have historical precedence. As the Economist graphic illustrates below, these networks have been around for centuries. Smugglers throughout Africa, the Middle East and Europe have continued to grow and adapt their smuggling networks as the economies of Europe have evolved. These extensive facilitation routes will make reducing terrorist travel next to impossible.
Coupled with the “no go” zones throughout Europe - locations where the populations are predominantly Muslim and where police will not venture - European policy has provided ISIS with sanctuary for both its ideology and its operatives. This will make thwarting future terrorist attacks one of the most difficult tasks Europe has ever faced. We will explore the cultural divides and “no go” zones later this week.