Italy investigates ISIS link to migrant crisis admitting ‘the risk we have taken is HIGH’

ISIS is sending tens of thousands of its crazed followers across the Mediterranean posing as migrants to get into Europe, Italian politicians fear.

Refugees have arrived at the port of SalernoGETTY

Refugees have arrived at the port of Salerno

A secret task force is investigating whether ISIS is organising the mass migration as hundreds of asylum seekers land on their shores each day.

Italy’s justice minister Andrea Orlando told a parliamentary committee: “From the information available, there is an investigation underway focused on whether representatives of ISIS have crucial roles in controlling and managing migrant flows to Italy.

“The risks we have to take on are high.”

Italy’s justice minister Andrea Orlando GETTY

Italy’s justice minister Andrea Orlando

European police agency Europol is said to be involved in the probe which covers the EU Shengen area.

Most of the migrants that end up in Italy are from Libya.

They are aided on their journey by criminal gangs who are charging thousands of pounds to facilitate the trip.

While the majority are genuine asylum seekers and migrants, it is believed ISIS has a plan to export as many radical Islamists to Europe as they can in order to carry out terror attacks.

The risks we have to take on are high

Italy’s justice minister Andrea Orlando

Numerous attacks in Belgium, France and Germany have killed hundreds of innocent men, women and children over the past year.

In May German authorities confirmed they were probing 40 Islamist militants among more than 1.1 million asylum seekers who have sought residence there.

Federal police agency, the Bundeskriminalamt said 369 reports of possible extremists had been made and a proportion required further investigation.

Earlier this week MPs called for Royal Navy ships to be drafted in to fill the gaps in border defences that have left the country wide open to criminal gangs and potential terrorists.

Migrants have set up camp in the streets of RomeGETTY

Migrants have set up camp in the streets of Rome

The latest scathing verdict on Britain’s border security came in a report on the Migrant Crisis from the Commons Home Affairs Committee.

The report said: “Terrorists do not see national borders as a barrier to their barbarism and people with illegal or lethal intent will continue to try to find ways through any security system.

“Cooperation and continued vigilance are necessary.”

The Home Affairs Committee estimated that 227,316 migrants had come to Europe by sea in the first six months of this year, arriving in Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Spain after crossing the Mediterranean from Libya and Egypt. Nearly 3,000 had died during attempted sea crossings.

Hundreds of migrants arrive each day in ItalyGETTY

Hundreds of migrants arrive each day in Italy

Home Affairs Committee chairman Keith Vaz, a former Labour minister, said: “Naval deployments in the Mediterranean have saved lives, but they have failed in their twin tasks of deterring migrant flows and disrupting and destroying criminal smuggling networks.

“The EU’s response in combating people traffickers who are exploiting, exacerbating and profiting from this crisis has been poor. These criminal gangs are the only winners.”

He added: “Criminal gangs continue to exploit weaknesses in security at small ports in Britain to illegally transport migrants from the continent.

“Despite maritime security being critical to an island nation, Border Force is operating worryingly low numbers of vessels to protect our borders.

“Royal Navy vessels must be used in our sea war against the traffickers.”

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