A knife attack by an Islamist fanatic at the border crossing between Spain and Morocco last week has highlighted concerns about terrorists infiltrating among the hordes of migrants who relentlessly press up against the flimsy barriers of Europe’s two land borders with Africa.

In a recurring pattern of Islamic State-inspired violence seen in Israel, Europe and the U.S., a Moroccan national shouting “Allahu akhbar” stabbed a Spanish police officer before being overpowered Tuesday along the entrance to Spain’s North African enclave of Melilla. Just 240 miles to the west, hundreds of migrants threatened to force their way into Ceuta, Spain’s other holding on Africa’s Mediterranean coast.

The pressures are increasing as Madrid and other European capitals struggle to deal with a surge in migrants fleeing wars and seeking economic opportunity.

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