Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (shown), speaking to reporters after a meeting of the Visegrad Four group of central European leaders in Warsaw on July 21, declared that there is a clear link between illegal migration to Europe and terrorist attacks in European nations.
“It is clear as two and two makes four, it is plain as day. There is an obvious connection,” Orban said through an interpreter. “If somebody denies this connection then, in fact, this person harms the safety of European citizens.”
As The New American observed in an article last September, Orban has criticized efforts by European Union leaders to impose immigration quotas on member nations before the continent’s borders are made secure. He told Hungarian diplomats in Budapest on September 7:
As long as we can’t defend Europe’s outer borders, it is not worth talking about how many people we can take in....
The quota system wants to treat the effects before it treats the causes of immigration. The main reason for this is because [the EU] cannot control its outer borders.
When he spoke last September, Orban’s principal objection to allowing large numbers of refugees fleeing turmoil in Syria and neighboring counties to enter Europe was based on the potential impact that the new immigrants would have on the historically Christian culture of Europe, noting that they “are mostly not Christians, but Muslims.”
“That’s an important question,” Orban stated in an opinion piece for Germany's Frankfurt Allgemeine Zeitung, “because Europe and Europeanism have Christian roots.”
“Or is it not already a cause for concern in itself, that the Christian culture of Europe is already hardly still able to hold Europe in their own Christian value system?” he asked rhetorically. “If we lose sight of the European idea, [Christianity] can become, on its own continent, a minority.”
Then came a series of terrorist attacks in Europe, with attacks in Paris on November 13 killing 129 people and wounding more than 350 others; bombings in Brussels on March 22 killing 32; and a radicalized truck driver killing another 84 people in Nice, France, on July 14.
All these attacks involved migrants from the Middle East or Muslim counties in North Africa, where ISIS has a presence. ISIS claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks, saying that it was retaliation for the French air strikes on ISIS in Syria and Iraq. ISIS also claimed responsibility for the Brussels bombings. One of the suspects in the Brussels bombings, Mohamed Abrini, was a childhood friend of brothers Salah Abdeslam and Brahim Abdeslam, who were both involved in the attacks in Paris. Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the individual who French and Belgian officials identified as the mastermind of the attacks, is the son of Moroccan immigrants who grew up in Brussels.
Abaaoud is a prime example of how terrorists can blend in with the tens of thousands of refugees claiming asylum in Europe. Last October, he falsely identified himself as Ahmad al Muhammad and was allowed to enter Greece among the waves of Syrian refugees flooding into Europe. He fled Belgium to Syria following a January 15 police raid on a terrorist operation to which he belonged. In February, he was quoted by the Islamic State’s (ISIS’s) English-language magazine, Dabiq, as saying that he had secretly returned to Belgium to lead a terror cell. That he reentered the country so easily, despite his picture having been broadcast in the news, is indicative of the exceedingly poor border security prevalent in Europe.
On July, the Amaq News Agency, associated with ISIS, said Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, the Tunisian immigrant who drove his truck into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, had "executed the operation in response to calls to target citizens of coalition nations which fight the Islamic State.”
ISIS has also claimed responsibility for a July 18 non-fatal, but brutal, ax and knife attack on passengers in a German train by Muhammad Riyad, a 17-year-old Afghan asylum seeker.
With all these attacks being conducted by actual ISIS operatives or radicalized fanatics sympathetic to ISIS, all of whom came to Europe as migrants or the sons of migrants, Orban’s words are quite credible.
Hungary has been the most forceful opponent to unrestrained migration among EU nations. Just as Donald Trump has vowed to build a wall along our border with Mexico, Hungary built a 110-mile-long fence along its border with Serbia.
After Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission asked EU members to accept 160,000 migrants last September, Orban rejected the plan, saying the bloc has no right to “redraw Europe’s cultural and religious identity.” Hungary has joined Slovakia in filing a legal action against the plan.
Hungary will hold a referendum on October 2 when citizens will be asked to vote on the question: “Do you want the EU to prescribe the mandatory relocation of non-Hungarian citizens to Hungary without the approval of the Hungarian parliament?”
The Hungarian government objects to the EU relocation plan on the grounds that it violates its national sovereignty and that terrorists might enter the country disguised as migrants.
As the attacks in Paris, Brussels, and Nice demonstrated, those fears are far from groundless.