Germany’s Refugee-Driven Terror Problem Out of Control After a Dozen Incidents Since Jan 2016

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, July 29, 2017:

Yesterday it was Hamburg. Today or tomorrow it could be anywhere else in Germany.

As I chronicle below, there have been a dozen terror-related incidents in Germany since January 2016, indicating that the problem may be at a tipping point as the number of fatal terror attacks in Western Europe has exploded in just the past few years.

And much of the recent problem is refugee-driven.

The attacker who killed one and injured seven at a supermarket in Hamburg Friday while shouting “Allah akbhar” was a Palestinian born in the UAE who was in the country illegally and was scheduled for deportation.

He entered the country in 2015 during the massive rush of Syrian migrants, during which 900,000 entered the country.

Video taken at the scene of yesterday’s attack shows him fending off bystanders who subdued him and being taken under arrest by police:

Local media reported that the attacker was an Islamist already known to German authorities:

With parliamentary elections looming in September, the Hamburg attack reopens the debate in Germany about Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to let more than a million immigrants enter the country since the summer of 2015.

Hamburg Mayor Olaf Scholz lashed out on Facebook yesterday, noting that the attacker had been welcomed in Germany, only to “direct his hatred towards us.” He also called for deporting any dangerous immigrant Islamists.

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Improving Muslim Integration: Sending in the Clowns

The surreal world of Sweden’s new migration policy.

Front Page Magazine, by Bruce Bawer, July 19, 2017:

If some of the things that are being done in Sweden today weren’t demonstrably true, they’d be unbelievable. If they weren’t so idiotically tragic, they’d be brilliantly funny.

What follows is not a joke. Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and his crew have come up with a great new way to improve integration.

One word: clowns.

A quick reminder: thanks to the astronomical cost of feeding, housing, and clothing immigrants who prefer not to support themselves, and the equally formidable expense of policing those multiculturally enriched, high-crime areas that the authorities haven’t already given up on policing, Sweden is bleeding cash – big time. Among the results: major cutbacks in outlays for schooling, health care, and benefits for the elderly.

Nonetheless, the Swedish Migration Board has managed to find an unspecified number of kronor – apparently in the millions – to spend on the services of an organization called Clowner utan Gränser. Translation: Clowns without Borders (hereafter CWB). According to an article in the invaluable Friatider website, CWB plans to “’play’ its way to better integration.”

The Migration Board specifies that the clowns will be used to integrate non-EU immigrants – which in Sweden, of course, mostly means Muslims.

After reading Friatider’s story, I naturally went straight to CWB’s website. Front and center is detailed information about how to contribute money to this thing: “Become a donor and spread laughter every month!”

Click on “about us” and you’ll find out that CWB was founded in 1996 and operates in a dozen countries, sending clowns into refugee camps and youth prisons. CWB’s declared mission is “to meet children in pleasure, play, and joy.” It seeks to create “hope, humanity, and the will to live.” Its vision is “a world filled with play, laughter, and dreams, where all people have the opportunity to develop, express themselves freely, and feel hope even in vulnerable situations.” All its work “is done in our belief that it creates a better world.”

Of course it would be terribly cynical to call B.S. on all this. I’m sure it’s totally on the level and every bit as wondrous and magical as it sounds – and worth every kronor.

Just speaking for myself, however, the last thing I can imagine wanting to see if I were a little kid in a Third World refugee camp or youth prison would be a bunch of guys in clown outfits climbing out of a tiny car, juggling bowling pins, riding unicycles, making balloon animals, and sweeping up spotlights. Not to put too fine a point on it, but is any child ever really entertained by the antics of clowns? I’ve always had my doubts. All I know is that for as long as I can remember, clowns struck me me as witless, depressing, and vaguely creepy. Their costumes look as if they must be sweaty and smelly. A painted-on smile seems the very opposite of cheery. But hey, maybe that’s just me.

Also, the whole premise reminds me of the notorious Jerry Lewis movie The Day the Clown Cried (1972)about a clown who entertains Jewish children on a train to Auschwitz and then on their way into the gas chambers. It was never released because it was considered to be in outrageously bad taste. Just sayin’.

I did react to one detail on CWB’s site. It informs us that the group “is based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.” What is that supposed to mean? As it happens, the convention in question is one of those ridiculous international agreements that are at best meaningless and at worst menacing, but that diplomats from countries like Sweden are crazy about. The U.S. is the only nation on earth to have refused to ratify it, one reason being that it can be interpreted as denying basic parental rights. (In the recent case of the critically ill baby Charlie Gard in the U.K., it was reported that the court’s refusal to let the parents seek extraordinary treatment for their son was founded, at least in part, on the UN convention.) Needless to say, the fact that the convention has been ratified by every government on earth other than America’s mean that it’s gotten the stamp of approval from places where children are openly enslaved, prostituted, and put to work in factories. So CWB’s pious mention of this hollow document – this empty, worthless specimen of pure technocratic sanctimony – is, for this reader, for what it’s worth, something of a red flag.

But the main point here, obviously, is that the eagerness of the Swedish Migration Board to bring “play, laughter, and dreams” to Muslim children makes one thing perfectly clear: namely, that – even after all these years, all these immigrants, and all these failed efforts at integration – Swedish authorities still don’t know the first damned thing about Islam. Have none of them ever come across the Ayatollah Khomeini’s famous pronouncement on the subject of play and laughter? “Allah,” declared Khomeini, “did not create man so that he could have fun. The aim of creation was for mankind to be put to the test through hardship and prayer. An Islamic regime must be serious in every field. There are no jokes in Islam. There is no humor in Islam. There is no fun in Islam. There can be no fun and joy in whatever is serious.”

To reread Khomeini’s ukase is to experience, shall we say, an increased curiosity as to the potential results of the Swedish Migration Board’s inspired new initiative. What can happen? One imagines a troupe of these clowns dancing and frolicking their way into some no-go zone in Malmö and ending up in a decapitation video. One pictures some burka-clad version of Kathy Griffin posing for the camera, holding up a clown’s real head by its fake red hair. Now that’s one image that likely would bring a few laughs to some of the humor-deprived denizens of Rosengård or Rinkeby.

I’ve Worked with Refugees for Decades. Europe’s Afghan Crime Wave Is Mind-Boggling.

Afghans stand out among the refugees committing crimes in Austria and elsewhere. Why?

The National Interest, by Cheryl Benard, July 11, 2017:

In 2014, when waves of refugees began flooding into western Europe, citizens and officials alike responded with generosity and openness. Exhausted refugees spilled out of trains and buses to be met by crowds bearing gifts of clothing and food, and holding up placards that read “Welcome Refugees.”

This was a honeymoon that could not last. Some of the upcoming difficulties had been anticipated: that the newcomers did not speak the local languages, might be traumatized, would probably take a long time to find their footing, and had brought their ethnic, religious and sectarian conflicts with them, causing them to get into battles with each other. All of these things happened but—as Angela Merkel promised—were manageable. “Wir schaffen das.”

But there was one development that had not been expected, and was not tolerable: the large and growing incidence of sexual assaults committed by refugees against local women. These were not of the cultural-misunderstanding-date-rape sort, but were vicious, no-preamble attacks on random girls and women, often committed by gangs or packs of young men. At first, the incidents were downplayed or hushed up—no one wanted to provide the right wing with fodder for nationalist agitation, and the hope was that these were isolated instances caused by a small problem group of outliers. As the incidents increased, and because many of them took place in public or because the public became involved either in stopping the attack or in aiding the victim afterwards, and because the courts began issuing sentences as the cases came to trial, the matter could no longer be swept under the carpet of political correctness. And with the official acknowledgment and public reporting, a weird and puzzling footnote emerged. Most of the assaults were being committed by refugees of one particular nationality: by Afghans.

Actually Afghans should not even have been part of the refugee tide, at least not in significant numbers. It was the Syrians who were expected. Afghanistan, a place of lingering and chronic conflict, is no longer on the official refugee roster—that’s reserved for acute political and military emergencies. Still, European authorities and the public were sympathetic, and could understand why Afghans would want to leave a country rife with suicide bombings and empty of opportunity. Also, Europeans held a baseline positive sentiment towards Afghanistan. Many baby-boomer Europeans had, in their hippie days of yore, traversed that country in the legendary VW buses, and retained fond memories of friendly, hospitable people. Later everyone had mourned the loss of the Bamiyan Buddhas and felt for the poor people suffering under Taliban rule. And after that, NATO had been part of the “coalition of the willing.” Europeans were predisposed to be positive towards Afghan refugees. But it quickly became obvious that something was wrong, very wrong, with these young Afghan men: they were committing sex crimes to a much greater extent than other refugees, even those from countries that were equally or more backward, just as Islamic and conservative, and arguably just as misogynist.

This is not an article that has been fun for me to write. I have worked on issues related to refugees for much of my professional life, from the Pakistani camps during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan to Yemen, Sudan, Thailand, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Lebanon, Bosnia, Nicaragua and Iraq, and have deep sympathy for their plight. But nowhere had I encountered a phenomenon like this one. I had seen refugees trapped in circumstances that made them vulnerable to rape, by camp guards or soldiers. But for refugees to become perpetrators of this crime in the place that had given them asylum? That was something new. Further, my personal and professional life has endowed me with many Afghan and Afghan American friends, and there is nothing collectively psychopathic about them. They are doctors, shopkeepers, owners of Japanese restaurants, airport sedan drivers, entrepreneurs, IT experts, salesladies at Macy’s—they’re like everyone else. The parent generation tends to be a bit stiff, formal and etiquette conscious. It is impossible to imagine any of them engaging in the sort of outlandish, bizarre and primitive sexual aggression their young compatriots are becoming infamous for. Yet here we are.

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The Terrifying Way Sweden Is Killing Itself

(Shutterstock)

PJ Media, by Bruce Bawer, July 10, 2017:

I could be writing every week about Sweden. Every day. Every hour. For reasons that will be analyzed by historians for a long, long time – provided the Western world doesn’t become so thoroughly Islamized that the possibility of objective historical scrutiny is utterly obliterated – the Swedes have chosen a path of cultural and societal suicide that puts all other countries in the shade.

For anyone curious about self-destructive psychopathologies, it is a grimly fascinating phenomenon. Why, of all places, Sweden? How can a Swedish woman raped by an illegal Muslim immigrant be so bursting with racial guilt that she hesitates to report the crime to the police for fear that her report might lead to her rapist’s punishment or deportation? Or, more generally, because news of the offense might result in an increase in “Islamophobia?”

This is the kind of madness that’s going on in Sweden now. More than any other country in Europe, it has a government and a media that are in denial about the truth, a legal system that punishes those who dare to tell the truth, and a people who have been brainwashed for decades with the vile lie that they have a moral obligation to hand their country over to hostile, despotic strangers from far away.

No, Sweden isn’t North Korea. The ugly news does get out, one way or another. Some of it, anyway. It’s just that, with extremely rare exceptions, the important facts about the nation’s disastrous Islamization don’t find their way into the country’s own mainstream media. On the contrary, Sweden’s major TV, radio, and print outlets are notorious for the fidelity with which they parrot the government line and omit or whitewash uncomfortable news developments.

No, if you’re looking for the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about most of the nasty stuff going on in Sweden these days, you’re better off checking out Swedish websites such as Avpixlat and Fria Tider, the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Postenand two Norwegian sites: document.no and rights.no, the latter being the site of the organization Human Rights Service.

I’ve previously quoted a March 11 Jyllands-Posten editorial that spelled out the Swedish situation quite frankly: what should “most worry Sweden’s neighbors,” the Danish editors wrote, is the Swedes’ “unwillingness to openly and honestly discuss the government-approved multicultural idyll. … In the long run, the mendacity that characterizes the Swedish debate cannot be maintained. The discrepancy between the official, idealized version of Sweden, ‘the people’s home,’ and the brutal reality that everyone can see has simply become too great.”

Indeed. This is a country where rapes by Muslim men are systematically ignored by the authorities or responded to with minimal punishment. Routinely, Swedish courts refuse to return these monsters – some of whom have repeatedly subjected small boys and girls to violent sexual abuse – to their home countries for fear that they’ll be put in danger. In other words, Swedish judges care more about the safety of foreign rapists than that of Swedish children.

(No wonder U.S. News and World Report has just named Sweden the best country in the world to be an immigrant. Yet another cockeyed ranking. The proper question isn’t which country is best for immigrants, but which country has the most sensible immigration policy.)

It’s a country where even prominent Swedish feminists – fanatical boosters of multiculturalism – are now moving out of Muslim-heavy neighborhoods not only because of the Muslim rapists but because of the Muslim “morality police,” who are less concerned with monitoring rapists than with controlling women’s conduct. (One such feminist organized “coffee shop meetings” with Muslim male community leaders in an attempt to resolve the situation, but gave up.)

It’s a country where the government rolls out the red carpet for returning ISIS members, giving them special benefits, in hopes that they’ll see the light and put down their weapons.

It’s a country where, while Muslim rapists and terrorists are forgiven, critics of immigrant conduct are punished. In May, a 70-year-old woman in Dalarna, Sweden, was arrested for writing on Facebook in 2015 about immigrants who “set cars on fire and urinate and defecate in the streets.” (She faces up to four years in prison.)

No surprise, then, that on July 7, Jyllands-Posten reported that the Swedish government plans to alter the nation’s Constitution in such a way as to give itself the power to limit online free speech about precisely these ticklish matters. Among other things, wrote Jyllands-Posten, it will become illegal “for certain websites to publicize information about private persons’ ethnicity or conviction of crimes.”

Of course: the best way to address the ever-rising tide of Muslim criminality is to close down every last media outlet that reports honestly about it. The mainstream Swedish media are already playing ball; it’s just a few recalcitrant websites that need to be scrubbed clean. Presumably the next step will be to block access in Sweden to Jyllands-Posten and other foreign news sources that tell Swedes the truth about what’s going on within their own borders.

Then everything will be just perfect, no? And what are the chances that no matter how much Sweden tightens its already alarming (if currently tacit) limits on freedom of speech, Reporters without Borders will keep Sweden at its ridiculous #2 spot on the World Press Freedom Index?

Also see:

Europe’s Mass Migration: The Leaders vs. the Public

Gatestone Institute, by Douglas Murray, July 9, 2017:

  • “[T]he more generous you are, the more word gets around about this — which in turn motivates more people to leave Africa. Germany cannot possibly take in the huge number of people who are wanting to make their way to Europe.” — Bill Gates.
  • The annual survey of EU citizens, recently carried out by Project 28, found a unanimity on the issue of migration almost unequalled across an entire continent. The survey found that 76% of the public across the EU believe that the EU’s handling of the migration crisis of recent years has been “poor”. There is not one country in the EU in which the majority of the public differs from that consensus.
  • At the same time as the public has known that what the politicians are doing is unsustainable, there has been a vast effort to control what the European publics have been allowed to say. German Chancellor Angela Merkel went so far as to urge Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to limit posts on social media that were critical of her policies.

Is Bill Gates a Nazi, racist, “Islamophobe” or fascist? As PG Wodehouse’s most famous butler would have said, “The eventuality would appear to be a remote one”. So far nobody in any position of influence has made such claims about the world’s largest philanthropist. Possibly — just possibly — something is changing in Europe.

In an interview published July 2 in the German paper Welt Am Sonntag, the co-founder of Microsoft addressed the ongoing European migration crisis. What he said was surprising:

“On the one hand you want to demonstrate generosity and take in refugees. But the more generous you are, the more word gets around about this — which in turn motivates more people to leave Africa. Germany cannot possibly take in the huge number of people who are wanting to make their way to Europe.”

These words would be uncontroversial to the average citizen of Europe. The annual survey of EU citizens recently carried out by Project 28 found a unanimity on the issue of migration almost unequalled across an entire continent. The survey found, for instance, that 76% of the public across the EU believe that the EU’s handling of the migration crisis of recent years has been “poor”. There is not one country in the EU in which the majority of the public differs from this consensus. In countries such as Italy and Greece, which have been on the frontline of the crisis of recent years, that figure rockets up. In these countries, nine out of ten citizens think that the EU has handled the migrant crisis poorly.

How could they think otherwise? The German government’s 2015 announcement that normal asylum and border procedures were no longer in operation exacerbated an already disastrous situation. The populations of Germany and Sweden increased by 2% in one year alone because of that influx of migrants. These are monumental changes to happen at such a speed to any society.

Philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates recently said in an interview: “…you want to demonstrate generosity and take in refugees. But the more generous you are, the more word gets around about this — which in turn motivates more people to leave Africa. Germany cannot possibly take in the huge number of people who are wanting to make their way to Europe.” (Photo by World Economic Forum/Wikimedia Commons)

At the same time as the public has known that what the politicians are doing is unsustainable, there has been a vast effort to control what the European publics have been allowed to say. Chancellor Merkel went so far as to urge Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to limit posts on social media that were critical of her policies. This was just one example of a much wider trend. Across the continent, any private or public figure who dared to warn that importing so many people in such a disorganised manner was the origin of a catastrophe found themselves impugned with the darkest imaginable motives.

Even after the November 2015 terror attacks in Paris, and the discovery that members of the terror-cell had slipped in and out of Europe using the migrant routes, European leaders dismissed public concerns about the migration crisis. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker berated the public and the few politicians who opposed Merkel after the Paris attacks:

“I would invite those in Europe who try to change the migration agenda we have adopted – I would like to remind them to be serious about this and not to give in to these base reactions that I do not like.”

It is understandable that some humanitarian impulse might prevail during a period in which thousands of people were crossing the Mediterranean and many were drowning. Back then in 2015, at the height of the crisis, Bill Gates himself urged America to take in migrants at the levels that Germany was taking them in. Since then, however, Gates has noticed what most people who live in Europe have noticed — which is that while opening your country’s borders may have a short-term moral appeal, it causes a whole variety of long-term societal concerns.

It is these concerns — which the European public can see all around them, as well as on their newspapers’ front-pages — which lead the majority of the public across Europe to want the flow of migrants to be reduced. In his recent German newspaper interview, Bill Gates also expressed this sentiment — and starkly — saying, “Europe must make it more difficult for Africans to reach the continent via the current transit routes.”

All this is, of course, true. It is not possible for Europe to become the home for everyone and anyone in Africa, the Middle East or Far East who manages to cross a fairly narrow stretch of water. The people of Europe have known this for a long time. Some people — heavily criticised by the mainstream media and the political class — have even expressed this. But perhaps now that a measured and surely non-Nazi philanthropist such as Bill Gates has noticed it, something will change. It is probably too much to hope for that the Western European political class might actually listen to his advice. But might they at least rein in their disdain for the reasonable concerns of the general public?

Douglas Murray, British author, commentator and public affairs analyst, is based in London, England.

***

Also see:

Shocking Footage Reveals Cultural And Demographic Transformation Of Italy (VIDEO)

Gateway Pundit,  by Damien Cowely, June 27, 2017:

Not Islamabad or Karachi but Italy.

A short video published online and spreading on social media offers a glimpse of the dramatic cultural transformation underway in Italy.

Purportedly filmed in Monfalcone, a manufacturing hub not far from Trieste, in Friuli Venezia Giulia province (Northern Italy), the video shows a large crowd of men leaving celebrations for the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan. The month-long fast observed by Muslims ended on Sunday.

Previously unknown to most Europeans, Ramadan and the celebration of Eid al-Fitr have become an increasingly significant part of the cultural landscape with socialist politicians in certain countries even calling for the Muslim celebration of Eid to be added as a state holiday.

A stream of men in traditional Islamic garb can be seen leaving the celebration, an uncontroversial sight for the Islamic world but remarkable given that the location is Northern Italy.

As with many European countries outside of France and the United Kingdom, mass immigration is a relatively new phenomenon to Italy, and is increasingly transforming its towns and cities. In a similar pattern to Ireland and Denmark, large scale immigration essentially began in the 1990s, with numbers exploding in the 2000s.

Meanwhile, on Italy’s southern coastline, huge numbers of African migrants continue to arrive daily, many ferried directly from the Libyan coast by well-funded NGOs and European naval vessels. Over 3,000 arrived on Sunday alone, followed by 5000 more on Monday.

Official statistics show the cultural and religious impact of Italy’s porous borders; while only 2,000 Muslims lived in Italy in 1970, the figure had risen to nearly 2 million by 2015, with a rapid increase since that time.

Excluding EU citizens, Italy counted just under 4 million foreign residents as of January 2016, out of a total population of 60 million. This figure also excludes illegal immigrants.

Worryingly for Italy and its Catholic heritage, the country now has one of Europe’s lowest fertility rates at 1.35 children per woman, well below the replacement level of 2.1 required to maintain a stable population.

Video clips such as the one below are increasingly causing scandal amongst Italians, frequently circulating on social media and fueling a nationalist movement which seeks to stem the tide of arrivals.

Also see:

Europe: More Migrants Coming

Gatestone Institute, by Soeren Kern, May 5, 2017:

  • “In terms of public order and internal security, I simply need to know who is coming to our country.” — Austrian Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka.
  • Turkey appears determined to flood Europe with migrants either way: with Europe’s permission by means of visa-free travel, or without Europe’s permission, as retribution for failing to provide visa-free travel.
  • The migrants arriving in Italy are overwhelmingly economic migrants seeking a better life in Europe. Only a very small number appear to be legitimate asylum seekers or refugees fleeing warzones.
  • The director of the UN office in Geneva, Michael Møller, has warned that Europe must prepare for the arrival of millions more migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

The European Union has called on its member states to lift border controls — introduced at the height of the migration crisis in September 2015 — within the next six months.

The return to open borders, which would allow for passport-free travel across the EU, comes at a time when the number of migrants crossing the Mediterranean continues to rise, and when Turkish authorities increasingly have been threatening to renege on a border deal that has lessened the flow of migrants from Turkey to Europe.

Critics say that lifting the border controls now could trigger another, even greater, migration crisis by encouraging potentially millions of new migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East to begin making their way to Europe. It would also allow jihadists to cross European borders undetected to carry out attacks when and where they wish.

At a press conference in Brussels on May 2, the EU Commissioner in charge of migration, Dimitris Avramopoulos, called on Austria, Denmark, Germany, Norway and Sweden — among the wealthiest and most sought after destinations in Europe for migrants — to phase out the temporary controls currently in place at their internal Schengen borders over the next six months.

The so-called Schengen Agreement, which took effect in March 1995, abolished many of the EU’s internal borders, enabling passport-free movement across most of the bloc. The Schengen Agreement, along with the single European currency, are fundamental pillars of the European Union and essential building-blocks for constructing a United States of Europe. With the long-term sustainability of the single currency and open borders in question, advocates of European federalism are keen to preserve both.

Avramopoulos, who argued that border controls are “not in the European spirit of solidarity and cooperation,” said:

“The time has come to take the last concrete steps to gradually return to a normal functioning of the Schengen Area. This is our goal, and it remains unchanged. A fully functioning Schengen area, free from internal border controls. Schengen is one of the greatest achievements of the European project. We must do everything to protect it.”

The temporary border controls were established in September 2015, after hundreds of thousands of migrants arrived in Europe, and when EU member states, led by Germany, gave special permission to some EU countries to impose emergency controls for up to two years. Since then, the European Union has approved six-month extensions of controls at the German-Austrian border, at Austria’s frontiers with Hungary and Slovenia and at Danish, Swedish and Norwegian borders (Norway is a member of Schengen but not the EU). Several countries have argued that they need border controls to combat the threat of Islamic militancy.

On May 2, Sweden, which claims to conduct the most border checks among the EU countries, announced that it will lift controls at its border with Denmark. Sweden received 81,000 asylum seekers in 2014; 163,000 in 2015; 29,000 in 2016, and the same is expected for 2017.

On April 26, Austria called for an indefinite extension of border controls. “In terms of public order and internal security, I simply need to know who is coming to our country,” Austrian Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka said. Austria, which accepted some 90,000 migrants in 2015, also called for a “postponement” of the EU refugee distribution program, which requires EU member states to accept a mandatory and proportional distribution of asylum-seekers who arrive in other member nations.

On March 9, Norway extended border controls for another three months.

On January 26, Denmark extended border controls for another four months. Integration Minister Inger Støjberg said that his government would extend its border controls “until European borders are under control.”

On January 19, Germany and Austria announced that border controls between their countries would continue indefinitely, “as long as the EU external border is not adequately protected.”

Meanwhile, the number of migrants making their way to Europe is once again trending higher. Of the 30,465 migrants who reached Europe during the first quarter of 2017, 24,292 (80%) arrived in Italy, 4,407 arrived in Greece, 1,510 arrived in Spain and 256 arrived in Bulgaria, according to the International Office for Migration (IOM).

By way of comparison, the number of arrivals to Europe during each of the first three months of 2017 exceeded those who arrived during the same time period in 2015, the year in which migration to Europe reached unprecedented levels.

The trend is expected to continue throughout 2017. Better weather is already bringing about a surge of migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Libya to Europe. During just one week in April, for example, a total of 9,661 migrants reached the shores of Italy.

The migrants arriving there are overwhelmingly economic migrants seeking a better life in Europe. Only a very small number appear to be legitimate asylum seekers or refugees fleeing warzones. According to the IOM, the migrants who reached Italy during the first three months of 2017 are, in descending order, from: Guinea, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Senegal, Morocco, Mali, Somalia and Eritrea.

In February, Italy reached a deal with the UN-backed government in Tripoli to hold migrants in camps in Libya in exchange for money to fight human traffickers. The agreement was endorsed by both the European Union and Germany.

On May 2, however, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel reversed course by saying the deal ignored the “catastrophic conditions” in Libya and would not curb migration. He said that Germany now favored tackling migration by fighting instability in Africa:

“What we are trying instead is to help stabilize the countries on the continent. But that is difficult. We will have to show staying power, stamina and patience. This is in the interest of Africans but also in the interest of Europeans.”

Gabriel’s long-term solution — which in the best of circumstances could take decades to bear fruit — implies that mass migration from Africa to Europe will continue unabated for many years to come.

Italy has emerged as Europe’s main point of entry for migrants largely because of an agreement the European Union signed with Turkey in March 2016 to stem migration from Turkey to Greece. In recent weeks, however, Turkish authorities have threatened to back out of the deal because, according to them, the EU has failed to honor its end of the bargain.

Under the agreement, the EU pledged to pay Turkey €3 billion ($3.4 billion), as well as grant visa-free travel to Europe for Turkey’s 78 million citizens, and to restart accession talks for Turkey to join the bloc. In exchange, Turkey agreed to take back all migrants and refugees who reach Greece via Turkey.

After the deal was reached, the number of migrants reaching Greece dropped sharply, although not completely. According to data supplied by the European Union on April 12, a total of 30,565 migrants reached Greece since the migrant deal took effect. Only 944 of those migrants have been returned to Turkey. Still, this is in sharp contrast to the hundreds of thousands of migrants who entered Greece at the height of the migration crisis. Turkey’s continued cooperation is essential to keep the migration floodgates closed.

On April 22, Turkey’s Minister for EU Affairs, Ömer Çelik, issued an ultimatum, warning the European Union that if it does not grant Turkish citizens visa-free travel by the end of May, Turkey would suspend the migrant deal and flood Europe with migrants.

On March 17, Turkey’s Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu warned that his country would “blow the mind” of Europe and renege on the deal by sending 15,000 Syrian refugees a month to Europe:

“We have a readmission deal. I’m telling you Europe, do you have that courage? If you want, we’ll send the 15,000 refugees to you that we don’t send each month and blow your mind. You have to keep in mind that you can’t design a game in this region apart from Turkey.”

In February 2016, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had already threatened to send millions of migrants to Europe. “We can open the doors to Greece and Bulgaria anytime and we can put the refugees on buses,” he told European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. In a speech, he signaled that he was running out of patience:

“We do not have the word ‘idiot’ written on our foreheads. We will be patient, but we will do what we have to. Don’t think that the planes and the buses are there for nothing.”

In February 2016, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (left) threatened to send millions of migrants to Europe. “We can open the doors to Greece and Bulgaria anytime and we can put the refugees on buses,” he told Jean-Claude Juncker (right), President of the European Commission. (Image source: Turkish President’s Office)

European officials say that to qualify for the visa waiver, Turkey must meet 72 conditions, including the most important one: relaxing its stringent anti-terrorism laws, which are being used to silence critics of Erdoğan, especially since the failed coup in July 2016. Turkey has vowed not to comply with the EU’s demands.

Critics of visa liberalization fear that millions of Turkish nationals may end up migrating to Europe. The Austrian newsmagazine, Wochenblick, recently reported that 11 million Turks are living in poverty and “many of them are dreaming of moving to central Europe.”

Other analysts believe Erdoğan views the visa waiver as an opportunity to “export” Turkey’s “Kurdish Problem” to Germany. According to Bavarian Finance Minister Markus Söder, millions of Kurds are poised to take advantage of the visa waiver to flee to Germany to escape persecution at the hands of Erdoğan: “We are importing an internal Turkish conflict,” he warned. “In the end, fewer migrants may arrive by boat, but more will arrive by airplane.”

The European Union now finds itself in a Catch-22 situation. Turkey appears determined to flood Europe with migrants either way: with Europe’s permission by means of visa-free travel, or without Europe’s permission, as retribution for failing to provide visa-free travel.

Greek officials recently revealed that they have drawn up emergency plans to cope with a new migrant crisis. Turkey is hosting some three million migrants from Syria and Iraq, many of whom are presumably waiting for an opportunity to flee to Europe.

Italy is also bracing for the worst. Up to a million people, mainly from Bangladesh, Egypt, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sudan and Syria are now in Libya waiting to cross the Mediterranean Sea, according to the IOM.

The director of the United Nations office in Geneva, Michael Møller, has warned that Europe must prepare for the arrival of millions more migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East. In an interview with The Times, Møller, a Dane, said:

“What we have been seeing is one of the biggest human migrations in history. And it’s just going to accelerate. Young people all have cellphones and they can see what’s happening in other parts of the world, and that acts as a magnet.”

German Development Minister Gerd Müller has echoed that warning:

“The biggest migration movements are still ahead: Africa’s population will double in the next decades. A country like Egypt will grow to 100 million people, Nigeria to 400 million. In our digital age with the internet and mobile phones, everyone knows about our prosperity and lifestyle.”

Müller added that only 10% of those currently on the move have reached Europe: “Eight to ten million migrants are still on the way.”

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter.

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