Jihadist organizations such as ISIS and al-Qaida take advantage of the vulnerability of African migrants who enter Europe illegally to radicalize and recruit them. The organizations profile the targets on social media when they seem detached from society and unhappy – which they frequently do. They are then drawn into the world of terrorism with propaganda and an appealing discourse.
This is one of the common methods that jihadist terrorist organizations use to launch cells in Europe, says Christian Ricós Sevilla, a Spanish specialist in insurgence and jihadist organizations. He told The Media Line that Islamic State and al-Qaida are the two main jihadist organizations that have the needed infrastructure to operate in Europe, either to seek migrants to radicalize and recruit or to launch cells that are formed and matured in Africa before being launched in Europe.
“They recruit people in Africa who are already radicalized and when they have a group that they believe has the potential to achieve whatever goal they have set in Europe, they gather them in places they own in the Sahel or the Maghreb, train them, and then send them off,” Ricós Sevilla explains.
There are several ways to relocate the cells in Europe, according to Ricós Sevilla. The cell members who are not yet profiled by the international authorities as part of these organizations can be sent either by plane through Turkey or via the Spanish protectorates in Morocco – Ceuta and Melilla. The profiled ones are usually sent to Europe through illegal migration routes, he says.