Following the tragic terrorist attacks in Paris, France, much of the global media debate has been centered around immigration, with many people suggesting that the recent wave of refugees into Europe from the Middle East is responsible for the violence. However, all of the attackers who’ve had their identities confirmed thus far, are actually EU citizens.
Federica Mogherini, the EU’s chief diplomat said earlier this week that the EU was dealing with an “internal threat” in regards to the recent terrorist attacks.
“Let me underline, the profile of the terrorists so far identified tells us this is an internal threat. It is all EU citizens so far. This can change with the hours, but so far it is quite clear it is an issue of internal domestic security,” Mogherini said.
The first attacker to be identified by the media was Omar Ismail Mostefai, a French citizen that the government was warned about multiple times. Also named were two brothers, Salah and Ibrahim Abdeslam, one of which is still on the run, while the other was said to be one of the bombers. The Abdeslam brothers were both EU citizens, as was Bilal Hadfi, another alleged suicide bomber in the attack. Samy Amimour, one of the alleged shooters was also a French native who had become an ISIS sympathizer and traveled to the Middle East to train with them.
The nationality of the unidentified attacker who used a Syrian passport is still unknown, and there are still many other suspects to be considered.
The investigation is ongoing and a global manhunt has begun in search of dozens, possibly hundreds of other people who were involved with the attack. It is certainly possible that refugees and citizens of other countries will be involved or implicated in these attacks. Also, it is true that some of these European terrorists had spent time in the Middle East, and then returned to Europe. However, it is important to point out that a large portion of these suspected terrorists were European, meaning that the attacks could have still taken place even if the borders were entirely shut off.
Even with these facts considered, many people have argued that the attackers’ ability to re-enter Europe could have been prevented with tighter border controls, considering the fact that many of them were on terror watch lists.
This line of thinking fails to consider that ISIS could easily find their way around border controls and that domestic ISIS fighters could very well train within the borders of Europe. Even in the most oppressive and closed societies like North Korea, people are still able to get in and out if they are determined enough, and ISIS is certainly determined enough.
Shutting off a border is actually much more difficult than it sounds as well, and would create numerous problems for millions of innocent and uninvolved people.
Many of the refugees leaving Syria and other areas of the Middle East are actually fleeing attacks from both NATO militaries and ISIS forces. They are people who are stuck in the middle of a conflict that they want no part in, and western countries have a responsibility to take them in because they are largely responsible for the whole situation.
Since 1980, the United States has taken in millions of refugees, hundreds of thousands from the Middle East, and not once has a foreign citizen with refugee status been involved in a terrorist attack.
Some commenters have said that Tamerlan and Dzhokar Tsarnaev, who committed the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, were refugees. However, as Reason pointed out, they were the children of asylees who were here under a different legal status.
As Bloomberg News explained the two were given “derivative asylum status” and didn’t come through the refugee admissions program.
John Vibes is an author and researcher who organizes a number of large events including the Free Your Mind Conference. He also has a publishing company where he offers a censorship free platform for both fiction and non-fiction writers. You can contact him and stay connected to his work at his Facebook page. You can purchase his books, or get your own book published at his website www.JohnVibes.com.