The suspected mastermind behind the ISIS attack on the Istanbul airport that claimed the lives of 44 people was a “refugee” who was protected by the European Court for Human Rights after Russia tried to have him extradited.
Chechen national Ahmed Chataev was on a Russian terrorism watchlist since 2003, but received asylum in Austria after he claimed that he was severely tortured and under persecution from Russian authorities.
Chataev was later arrested in Sweden after Kalashnikov assault rifles, explosives and ammunition were found in his car, but he only spent just over a year in prison.
“In 2010, Chataev was arrested in Ukraine with his mobile phone files containing a demolition technique instruction and photos of people killed in a blast,” reports RT.
“Russia requested his extradition on terrorism-related charges but the European Court for Human Rights ordered Ukraine not to hand him over to Russia with Amnesty International also urging Ukrainian authorities to halt extradition as Chataev “could face an unfair trial and would be at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.”
Russia again tried to extradite Chataev a year later as he was crossing the border between Turkey and Bulgaria, but human rights groups pointed to his refugee status in Austria to block Moscow from getting their man.
Having evaded capture, Chataev left Georgia for Syria in February 2015 where he joined other ISIS jihadists and subsequently took a leadership role in the Islamic State hierarchy.
This is by no means the first time that ISIS terrorists have exploited Europe’s refugee influx to plot bloody attacks.
Earlier this month it was revealed that four Syrian refugees, two of whom arrived in Europe via the Balkans last year amidst the migrant influx, had plotted a Paris-style massacre on the streets of Dusseldorf, Germany.
At least three individuals who posed as “refugees” were also connected to the Paris attacks, including the mastermind behind the plot, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, who brazenly revealed how he exploited the migrant red carpet to plot bloodshed.
“My name and picture were all over the news yet I was able to stay in their homeland, plan operations against them and leave safely when doing so became necessary,” Abaaoud told Dabiq magazine.
An Islamic State manifesto released last December brags about how the terror organization has exploited the refugee program to send jihadist sleeper cells to Europe since 2012.
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