The top U.S. military commander in Europe told lawmakers Tuesday that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL) is infiltrating the ranks of refugees entering Europe, and that terrorists, returning foreign fighters and criminals are now part of the “daily” flow.
Asked by Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) whether ISIS will continue to try to infiltrate refugee flows, U.S. Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove told the Senate Armed Services Committee, “I think that they are doing that today.”
Breedlove, who is both head of U.S. European Command and NATO supreme allied commander, said that refugee flows one or two years ago were, on the whole, made up of “probably more legitimate refugees” fleeing civil wars, terrorism and other problems.
By contrast, “what we have seen growing in the past months and year is that, in that flow of refugees we see criminality, terrorism and foreign fighters.”
“This criminality, the terrorists and returning foreign fighters are clearly a daily part of the refugee flow now,” he said.