Israel’s Vulnerable Southern Border: The Threat Posed by African and Muslim Illegal Immigrants

 

 
 
By EMERSON VERMAAT
 
 
July 16, 2012 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Israel’s security and stability is seriously threatened by an ever increasing influx of African and Muslim illegal immigrants in the past seven years. These immigrants crossed the country’s vulnerable and porous southern border, often with the help of local Bedouin tribes in the increasingly lawless Sinai. In 2010 alone, some 13,500 illegal immigrants entered Israel. In the first three months of 2012, the illegal border crossings by Africans amounted to 5,500.  There are now over 60,000 African illegal immigrants in Israel. “If we don’t stop their entry, the problem that currently stands at 60,000 could grow to 600,000, and that threatens our existence as a Jewish and democratic state,” Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned last May.
 
Mr. Netanyahu is not exaggerating and illegal immigration is not just an Israeli problem. Tens of thousands of illegal immigrants enter the United States every year, either by crossing the porous northern border with Canada or via Mexico. “The real aim of border enforcement is to deter illegal acts,” Edward Alden and Brian Roberts write in Foreign Affairs. “Effective enforcement is impossible if lawbreaking is the norm.” “In the last decade, 90-98 percent of the Mexican nationals who tried to enter the United States illegally were ultimately successful.” In addition to poor Mexican immigrants, there is a growing number of illegal immigrants from Africa and the Muslim world who manage to enter the United States – and not so few of them have ties with criminal or terrorist networks.
 
The experience with African and Muslim illegal immigrants and asylum seekers in Europe has shown that it is virtually impossible to deport them to their home countries. They settle in Europe’s big cities where they often pose a serious problem to law enforcement. In Belgium, for example, the bulk of the prison population consists of non-Western immigrants. There are over 600 very heavy criminals with a Moroccan background in those prisons.
 
Likewise, Nigerian and West African criminal networks are now being regarded as posing a substantial threat in Britain, Holland and Italy. “Nigerian organized crime in the UK covers a wide spectrum of illegal activities, including drug trafficking, money laundering, people trafficking and immigration fraud,” writes Mary Alice Young in Jane’s Intelligence Review, the leading British monthly on crime, immigration and terrorism. “The impact that Nigerian organized crime has on the UK is noticeable to law enforcement bodies, not just because of the range of illegal activities perpetrated, but also owing to the level of wealth they can generate.”
Nigerian organized crime also operates from Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands. According to the findings of the Dutch police, these Nigerians cooperate with Latin American and African drug criminals and are making huge additional profits from fraud, prostitution and marriage scams.
Last May, a migrant trafficker was arrested in Amsterdam. It turned out that this man alone was responsible for organizing at least 32 sham or fake marriages between East European women and West African males.
 
 
Raping and assaulting women in Israel
 
African immigrants in Israel have been associated with gang rapes and violent assaults. On April 25, 2012, two African males raped a 15-year old girl and one month later, on May 15, several African immigrants sexually assaulted a woman. Both rape incidents occurred in southern Tel Aviv where many of these immigrants are concentrated. There was a demonstration to protest against the rapes. Carmela Rosner, one of the demonstrators, has lived in the neighborhood for 27 years, Haaretz reported. She “held a sign that read: ‘They rape girls and elderly women, murder, steal, stab, burglarize. We’re afraid to leave home.’ She complained that longtime residents have become a minority in the neighborhood while the Sudanese, she said, are now in the majority.”
 
Rape, polygamy, promiscuity and wife beating is quite common in a lot of African countries. Post-Apartheid South Africa, Nigeria and Congo are the most notorious examples, but women are also often subjected to abuse or maltreatment in African countries with a substantial Muslim population. Prevalence of Aids and other sexually transmittable diseases (STBs) is very high in most African countries.
Immigration from Africa entails importing Africa’s widepread sexual habits and sexual diseases. According to an investigation conducted in Spain in 2006, about 25 percent of the 11,000 sub-Saharan African immigrants tested in the Canary Islands had a sexually transmittable disease or STB.  It is not just STBs such as Aids which pose a serious danger. Illegal immigrants from Africa often contracted malaria, (drug-resistant) tuberculosis,  scabies or so-called “neglected tropical diseases” (NTDs) in their home countries.
 
 
The terrorist threat from Africa and Egypt
 
Most African immigrants in Israel are reportedly from Sudan and Eritrea. Both these home countries have a substantial Muslim population. About 50 percent of the Eritreans are Sunni Muslims and more than 90 percent of the Sudanese are Sunni Muslims, whereas South Sudan is largely Christian.
It was in November 2011 that Kenya’s Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula accused Eritrea of supplying weapons to the Somali terrorist group Al-Shaba(a)b, Al-Qaeda’s Somali affiliate. Eritrea denied the charges but these denials are not very credible. The  Eritrea government has been the subject of United Nations Security Council sanctions since December 2009 precisely because of its support to Somali rebel groups such as Al-Shabab. “In November 2011, the UN Monitoring Group (IMG) repeated claims that Eritrea would support Al-Shabab,” according to a well documented and fairly accurate article in Wikipedia . “The report says that Eritrea gives US $ 80,000 each month to Al-Shabab individuals in Nairobi.”
 
As regards Israel, it is quite likely that there are a number of Muslim radicals among the 55,000 illegal immigrants from Sudan and Eritrea and the 6,000 immigrants from other African countries. The Israeli government cannot take any chances when it comes to the threat of terrorism. This also applies to illegal immigrants from Somalia, Tanzania, Nigeria, Kenya,  Mali, Niger and Mauritania.
 
Al-Qaeda has now taken over northern Mali. After desert gunmen captured Timbuktu, a message was broadcast over the radio station, David Blair, the local correspondent from the Daily Telegraph, reported. “We are going to welcome some foreigners,” the inhabitants of this ancient trading center in northern Mali were told. “A convoy of Land Cruisers duly arrived, laden with bearded fighters clad in sand-colored turbans and robes. These were not rebels from the local Tuareg tribe, who had claimed credit for the fall of Timbuktu, but international jihadists from accross the Muslim world including Algerians, Nigerians, Somalis and Pakistanis. The multinational parade drove home a harsh message: a new state had been born under the effective rule of Al-Qaeda.”
 
David Blair continues: “After Gadaffi’s downfall last year, Libya’s military stockpiles were thrown open to all-comers, turning the country into the biggest source of illegal weapons. Both AQIM and the Tuareg rebels from northern Mali seized their chance: they soon outgunned the national army. Gadaffi had also recruited thousands of soldiers from Mali; one brigade of the old Libyan army consisted almost entirely of Tuaregs. These battle-hardened troops returned to their homeland after he was overthrown, taking their weapons with them. They duly became the backbone of AQIM and the Tuareg rebellion.”
 
In June (2012), a terrorist organization called Ansar el Dine seized control of the three provincies of northern Mali (“Azawad”). Ansar el Dine is in fact the local branch of Al-Qaeda and cooperates closely with Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Nigeria’s Boko Haram and Somalia’s Al-Shabab. “The united groups declared the Islamic Republic of Azawad over their combined  250,000 miles of territory, and the Islamist elements posed harsh sharia law on locals,” Daniel E. Rogell (IPT, Washington) wrote. Turning northern Mali into a despicable Taliban-like state Al-Qaeda jihadists have now even prevailed over their former Tuareg allies.
 
The renewed Al-Qaeda offensive in Africa poses a direct threat to Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Nigeria, Niger, Mauritania and Kenya and also has serious security implications for Israel. Posing as African immigrants or asylum seekers, Al-Qaeda terrorists may now seek to enter Israel from the south. This is how many Muslim terrorists from Africa and North Africa entered the United States, Canada, Australia and Europe after 1989.
 
In Denmark, for example, a Somali immigrant named Muhudin M. Geele tried to kill Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard who created the cartoon of the Muslim prophet Mohammed wearing a bomb in his turban. “We will get our revenge! Blood!” Geele, who has a Danish residence permit, shouted. The Danish security police found out that Geele stayed in close touch with Al-Shabab militants in Sweden, Denmark and Somalia. He also knew Abdi Rahman Mohammed, a Somali immigrant in Sweden who returned to Somalia and killed three Somali ministers in a spectacular suicide attack in Mogadishu (early December 2010).
On August 4, 2009, Australian police arrested four Muslim extremists – two Australian Somalis and two Australian Lebanese. They planned a suicide attack on Holsworthy Barracks, an army training area near Sydney.
 
Al-Qaeda and jihadists from Gaza and Egypt are currently trying to create a new safe haven in the lawless Sinai. Unfortunately, the Egyptian army has largely lost control over this area since the fall of president Hosni Mubarak.  Consequently, terrorist strikes from Sinai have increased lately.
Israel’s security fence in the south is almost ready now. It will not be enough to deter religious Muslim fanatics or desperate economic migrants, but it is better than nothing. Patrols by the Israeli army along the southern border must also be increased drastically. 
 
 
 
 
Emerson Vermaat is an investigative reporter in the Netherlands specialized in European history, crime and terrorism. In 2000 and 2004, he published two lengthy Dutch books on crime among non-Western immigrants in Holland and other European countries. Website: emersonvermaat.com.
 
 
 
 
Sources
 
 
Nederlands Dagblad (Netherlands), May 22, 2012, p. 5 (“Israël wil Afrikaanse asielzoekers weren”). “In 2010 staken 13.500 illegalen de Israëlisch-Egyptische grens over, meestal geholpen door bedoeïenen. Bijna tweederde van de asielzoekers is afkomstig uit Eritrea (veertigduizend), naast ongeveer vijftienduizend uit Sudan en zesduizend andere Afrikanen.”
 
NRC Handelsblad (Netherlands), April 18, 2012 (“Israel wil versneld af van Afrikaanse migranten”). “In de eerste drie maanden van dit jaar staken hier minstens 5.500 Afrikanen de  grens over.”
 
The Guardian (London), May 20, 2012 (“Israel PM: illegal African immigrants threaten identity of Jewish state.”).
 
Belgian TV, Journaal Eén (daily news program), May 28, 2012. Six hundred heavy criminals with a Moroccan background in Belgian prisons.
 
Mary Alice Young, Human cost. Nigerian criminal networks in the UK, Jane’s Intelligence Review, September 2011, p. 45.
 
De Volkskrant (Amsterdam), June 27, 2012, p. 8, 9 (“Verdachte handelde in schijnrelaties”).
 
Nathan Jeffay, Israeli anger over “African” crime wave, Forward.com, June 1, 2012; Gooi en Eemlander (Netherlands), May 25, 2012 (“Israel heeft buik meer dan vol van migranten uit Soedan en Eritrea”).
 
El País (Madrid), September 19, 2006 (“Un sindicato policial denuncia insalubridad y violencia en los centros Canarias por la hacinamiento de inmigrantes illegales”); El Mundo (Madrid), September 19, 2006 (“Cinco policías heridas tras un motín en un centro internamiento de Canarias”). Sexually transmittable diseases among and violent behavior by African illegal immigrants in the Spanish Canary Islands.
 
Jane’s Intelligence Review, December 2011, p. 6 (“Kenya squares up to Eritrea over its alleged arms supply to rebels”).
 
http//en.wikipedia,org/wiki/Al-Shabaab; Al-Jazeera, November 2, 2011 (“Eritrea denies sending arms to Al-Shabab”).
 
The Daily Telegraph (London), July 10, 2012 (“Mali: how the West cleared the way for Al-Qaeda’s African branch”).
 
Daniel E. Rogell, African Al-Qaida affiliates coordinating, IPT Blog, June 26, 2012.
 
Der Spiegel (Germany), January 18, 2010, p. 75 (“Spur nach Göteborg”).
 
De Morgen (Belgium), August 5, 2009, p. 12 (“Australië pakt terreurverdachten met link naar Somalië op”); The Daily Telegraph (Australia), October 27, 2009 (“Accused terrorist Saney Edow Aweys thanked Allah for Victoria’s Black Saturday bushfires that killed 117 people”); The Daily Telegraph (Australia), August 5, 2009 (“Terror suspects ‘sought holy approval”’); NRC Handelsblad, August 4, 2009, p. 5 (“Australië pakt verdachten van terreur op”).

©2012 Emerson Vermaat. All rights reserved. Single copyright release to electronically publish granted PipeLineNews.org LLC., 2012