A black flag belonging to the Islamic State is seen near the Syrian town of Kobani, as pictured from the Turkish-Syrian border.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Islamic State now has the potential to break out of Syria and Iraq and into the heart of Europe without a shot being fired in anger by the Europeans to repel the terror group's stated aims of re-establishing a Caliphate and with it the supremacy of Islam world-wide.
This previously dismissed possibility has become an emerging reality with the record flow of hundreds of thousands of Muslims into Europe by boat in 2014 – as their homes and lives in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan,Yemen and Lebanon have been reduced to rubble by ongoing and continuing conflict over the past four years.
Ironically, and alarmingly, the possibility of some of these asylum seekers already being Islamic State believers – whilst others become potential recruits in pursuing these Islamic State – comes at the same time that Europe is actively seeking to restrain its own already radicalized Muslim citizens from leaving its shores to join Islamic State forces.
What was thought to be fantasy just twelve months ago has been turned on its head with the recent publication of the following statistics by Eurostat – the statistical office of the European Union situated in Luxembourg – whose task is to provide data at the European level that enable comparisons between countries and regions within the EU:
1. Refugees from Syria seeking asylum in the 28 EU countries rose from 49,980 in 2013 to 122,115 in 2014, making up 20 percent of the total number of asylum seekers from all non-member EU countries.
2. In the same period asylum seekers from Iraq jumped from 10,740 to 21,310 whilst Afghani asylum seekers rose sharply from 26,125 to 41,370.
3. Of the 68,400 Syrians actually granted protection status in the EU, more than 60% were recorded in two member states: Germany (25,700) and Sweden (16,800).
Many of these desperate asylum seekers become possible candidates for being persuaded that their lives have been turned upside down by Europe's failed policies in Syria and Iraq and that their hopes for real salvation rest in actively supporting the objectives of Islamic State.
Europe's failure to prevent more than 200,000 deaths that have occurred in Syria and Iraq alone in the past four years with the destruction of many towns and villages and the consequent displacement of millions of Syrians and Iraqis – both internally and externally – is an easily told story that will gain much sympathy with many of these asylum seekers, even as they are being welcomed and absorbed into their European host countries.
France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom are part of a group called the London 11, whose other members are Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and America.
The London 11 has since 2012 expressed its support for the Syrian opposition in its attempt to rid Syria of President Bashar al-Assad. Supplying arms and financial support has clearly proved insufficient to halt the carnage.
On November 10 2014 senior officials of the London 11 met with Syrian National Coalition Leader Hadi al- Bahra.
The best the London 11 could do was "demonstrate collective and united support for the moderate opposition led by the National Coalition, as they fight a two-front war resisting the brutality of the Assad regime and fighting extremists including Daesh (Islamic State)."
Many European countries are part of the American-led coalition which has also failed to effectively halt the progress of Islamic State.
Europe remains a sitting duck whilst it passively sits on the sidelines uttering pious platitudes.