In comments that may appear tailor-made to provide the excuse for European nations to reject refugees, Lebanese Education Minister Elias Bousaab told British PM David Cameron today that he estimates that two out of every 100 Syrian refugees are “ISIS-trained fanatics.”
The claim of 2% is absurd on its face, as the whole ISIS faction is estimated at about 30,000 people. Even if every single ISIS fighter in Syria and Iraq bailed on the movement to become a hidden refugee plan, it would be less than 1% of the 4 million refugees that have fled Syria.
Indeed, all the talk about ISIS as a threat to Europe since its founding has centered on the fact that they don’t need to sneak into the country as refugees, because many of them came from Europe in the first place and have European passports that would give them easy access to areas refugees simply couldn’t get to.
There’s been no indication anywhere that any of the refugees who fled to Europe are from ISIS, and indeed most appear to be explicitly trying to get away from ISIS, which controls more than half of Syria. The attempts to vilify the refugees are part and parcel to the effort to justify denying them refuge on “national security” grounds, and in that regard are a welcome message for the government leaders there.