German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday that her policy of allowing large numbers of refugees fleeing the civil war in Syria into her country has also allowed terrorists to enter Germany’s borders.
Merkel made her comment at a rally in eastern German for her Christian Democratic Union Party, Reuters reported.
"In part, the refugee flow was even used to smuggle terrorists," Merkel said.
Merkel has been one of Europe’s most important proponents of opening up Europe’s borders to refugees fleeing Syria as well as other parts of the Middle East and North Africa. Her effort to open Germany’s borders and those of other European countries has led to growing push back throughout Europe.
There are fears that terrorists can hide among the civilian refugees entering Europe, with little ability to properly screen the refugees because often their native countries do not keep sufficient record to cross-reference.
Reuters estimates that over a million refugees entered Europe in 2015. Most of those refugees were fleeing the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria, aided by Russian airpower, as well as the Islamic State.
Some of the terrorists who have carried out recent terrorist attacks, such as in Istanbul, are foreign fighters who have traveled to the Middle East and then return home or to other countries to launch attacks.