German Chancellor Angela Merkel has admitted that some terrorists entered Europe among the wave of migrants that fled from Syria adding that the refugee flow was used in part to “smuggle terrorists” on to the continent.
Speaking to supporters of her Christian Democrat Union party in eastern Germany, Merkel admitted that militant groups had smuggled jihadists among those genuinely looking to seek asylum in Europe.
“In part, the refugee flow was even used to smuggle terrorists,” she said, as cited by Reuters.
Merkel’s open-door policy, which was criticized by a significant section of the German population, saw more than 1 million migrants arrive in Germany in 2015, with a number of those originating from Syria.
The announcement from Merkel comes just over a week after Germany’s spy chief Hans Georg Maassen said the domestic intelligence agency had obtained information on 17 IS militants who had entered Europe under the guise of refugees.
“There is strong evidence that… 17 people have arrived under Islamic State instructions,” Maassen said.