Illegal Immigration – Cracking the Terror/Crime Link
Wars and other humanitarian crisis in the Middle-East and Africa have brought millions of migrants and refugees into Europe, and the stream of migration is continuing. Organized criminal groups often take advantage of the crisis to profit from the human trafficking, with human smuggling joining weapons and narcotic smuggling as their leading profit sources. In addition, as is now unfortunately well known, terror groups leverage the mass migration to smuggle activists as if they are refugees.
Security organizations face a huge challenge in collecting actionable intelligence about the migration and the crime & terror links to it. The key to uncovering meaningful intelligence about the phenomenon is exploring the smuggler’s communications networks, an on-line infrastructure that is as critical for the smugglers as are roads and railways. Through these networks, the smugglers help the migrants plan their move, their point of entry into a transit country, and their journey to their final destination in the EU. By collecting, analyzing and sharing data about smuggling networks and their movements, security agencies create insights and actions to neutralize the related threats.
Please take a look at the attached report, “Risk Analysis for 2017”, by Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency. One of the conclusions of the report is that although there is an increasing pool of relevant information about border crossings, the biggest challenge is knowing how to distill this information rapidly when time is scarce. Data and situational information are not enough: for fully informed decisions, expert analysis and knowledge-generation are critical.