Israel seeks security solutions to combat ISIS infiltrators from Sinai

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, “We have to take into consideration that some [infiltrators] will be recruited along the way & others may belong to global jihad.”

 By Itsik Saban


Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan is demanding that all illegal migrants who have entered Israel through the Sinai Peninsula in recent weeks be labeled as a security risk.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan has voiced concerns about the possibility of Islamic State recruiting illegal African migrants headed for Israel [Archive] – Photo: Reuters

In consultations with security officials, concerns were raised that the Islamic State group, which controls parts of Sinai, may recruit migrants on their way to Israel. Some of the migrants come from enemy states.

“It is not unrealistic that Islamic State and other terrorist groups operating in Sinai would take advantage of [the migrants’] distress to recruit them,” Erdan said on Sunday. “The procedure according to which illegal migrants who enter Israel are taken to the Immigration Authority and the police must be changed. This must be treated as a security issue that requires a solution.”

Israel Hayom learned that following Erdan’s assessment, the Counterterrorism Bureau at the Prime Minister’s Office has begun discussing the issue.

According to information gathered by the police, Israel Prison Service and the Public Security Ministry, there has been a recent surge in the number of illegal migrants trying to enter Israel, with several managing to make it across the border fence.

Some migrants come from enemy countries such as Sudan, adding to concerns that Islamic State operatives may try to recruit them.

“We have to take into consideration that some will be recruited along the way and others may belong to global jihad,” Erdan said.

“We must treat this issue as a real security risk. A scenario in which Islamic State would take a migrant’s family member hostage and make a terror attack inside Israel the condition for release is not baseless concern.”

The Prime Minister’s Office released a statement on Sunday evening, saying, “The National Security Council is holding discussions and reviewing the situation as needed with regard to illegal migrants from Africa.”

Last week, Erdan attacked the High Court’s decision to reduce detention time for illegal migrants, calling it an affront to the state’s efforts to deal with the illegal migrant situation.


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