Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


IS jihadists stole 'tens of thousands' of blank passports

20 December 2015, 17:13

Berlin - The Islamic State group may have stolen "tens of thousands" of blank passports that it could use to smuggle its fighters into Europe as refugees, a German newspaper reported Sunday.

The Welt am Sonntag cited Western intelligence sources as saying that IS could have acquired the stolen travel documents in areas of Syria, Iraq and Libya it now controls.

The passports could be issued to would-be attackers to enter the European Union as asylum seekers, according to the report.

Moreover IS has already launched a money-spinning operation with the fake documents, selling them on the black market where they fetch up to 1,500 euros ($1,630) each, Welt said.

European authorities have repeatedly warned of the potential threat posed by refugees travelling with counterfeit documents.

The two unidentified Stade de France attackers in Paris have been tracked back to two fake Syrian passports used to enter Europe.

Also Read: Boko Haram staged 100 attacks in 2 months

"The large influx of people who are travelling to Europe unchecked represents a security risk," the head of EU border agency Frontex, Fabrice Leggeri, told Welt.

Leggeri said that passports issued in war-ravaged countries such as Syria where conditions are chaotic mean that no one can guarantee "that documents that look real were actually issued by an official authority".

Asked about the report, the German interior ministry offered a similar assessment.

"In light of the large number of entering migrants, it cannot be ruled out that among them are for example, criminals, war criminals, members of militant groups or terror organisations. or individuals with extremist views," a spokesman told AFP.

"At the same time, it cannot be ruled out that these people are carrying fake documents."

The German government said last week that it had initially overestimated the proportion of people entering the country with fake Syrian passports, which was in fact far less than the 30 percent announced by the interior minister in September.

Germany has to date maintained an open-door policy for Syrians escaping their country's bloodshed, giving them "primary protection" -- the highest status for refugees.

Germany is Europe's top destination for refugees, most of whom travel through Turkey and the Balkans, and expects more than one million arrivals this year.


Tags isis

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...