Extremists free to travel to UK because EU states cannot agree on the definition of a ‘foreign fighter’

Extremists free to travel to UK because EU states cannot agree on the definition of a ‘foreign fighter’

Jihadi terrorists are not being blacklisted on a European Union terrorist database and could be left free to travel to Britain because members states cannot agree on the definition of a “foreign fighter”, an internal EU report has revealed.

A document written by the Dutch government, the current President of the EU Council, said an “absence of common standards” between EU countries which “diminishes the impact of information sharing” on a pan-EU terror watchlist.

The loophole will add further pressure on the Government to review border security. This week The Telegraph launched a campaign to highlight weaknesses in border security.

In the restricted 10-page document, the Dutch voiced their “concern” over the “lack of common criteria defining foreign fighters in the member states” and suggested a 12 point checklist to other member states.

The paper – dated April 5 – said: “ The lack of common criteria defining foreign fighters in the Member States is a concern, especially with regards to the upload of alerts and action by the end user on a hit.

“Differences in national procedures for adding ‘terrorism-related activity’ as a type of offence make it difficult to establish any clear typology.

“In order to provide clear expectations of actions to be taken and necessary response, indicative criteria should be drafted regarding exchange and sharing of information on individuals involved in travelling to and from jihadi areas of conflict.”

It resolved to require other member states to agree to enter the details of a jihadi on a pan-EU database if one of 12 criteria applies, such as whether they have fought in or visited conflict zones.

The report, published on the Statewatch’s website, warned that “absence of common standards between member states diminishes the impact of information sharing and follow-up actions” against the extremists.

Separately, it emerged that terrorists are able to slip into Britain because it is not “mandatory” for member states to enter the details of people who have been expelled or halted at the border onto the EU watchlist known as SIS.

The warnings came from the British and French governments in another EU Council restricted memorandum, dated March 8.

It said: “The absence of any requirement to record expulsion or removal decisions on SIS creates a gap that terrorists and criminals can exploit.”

The loophole means that an extremist could have been denied entry into one country – such as Spain – because they show signs of being a jihadist.

But if that intelligence is not logged on the system, then they could slip into Britain or another EU states as border guards would be unaware of their history.

Read more – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/22/extremists-free-to-travel-to-uk-because-eu-states-cannot-agree-o/

Photo : AP/AP