'Ghost Vessels' Surfacing in Italian Waters With Islamist Extremists From Pakistan and Turkey: Expert

Ghost vessels are arriving in the South of Italy with Islamist extremists, warn experts

As the entire world is busy dealing with the coronavirus outbreak, there is a sudden rise in the number of ghost vessels arriving in the South of Italy with Islamist extremists from Pakistan and Turkey.

Italy has long been in a logistic hub for both criminal outfits that exploit the hapless refugees and the terrorists who want to transit to and from the European land. News agency ANI quoted an acclaimed Italian scholar and geopolitical expert who said that these Islamic extremists arrested in Italy always depict an interaction between Islamic terrorism and the organized mafia in Italy.

EU border closing in macedonia, greece
A refguee holds a message, "Thank you EU for closing the border" during a protest asking for the opening of borders at a makeshift camp at the Greek-Macedonian border near the village of Idomeni Reuters

"Camorra, Cosa Nostra and 'Ndrangheta have for many years now established a bond of connivance integrated with the terrorists where there is a constant and continuous exchange of weapons, drugs, and false documents," says Margherita Paolini, an Italian scholar and geopolitical expert.

According to the Italian National Antimafia Directorate and other intelligence sources, these Ghost Vessels are full of Pakistani men who arrive in Italy from Turkey,mostly routed via Bosnia. The Italian immigration data reveals that "there's a constant stream of almost only Pakistani refugees from the Balcan route."

This is not the first time when the reports of Ghost Ships of the Mediterranean Sea have surfaced off Italian shores. In 2015, more than 1,000 Syrian refugees reached Italy by sea when hundreds and thousands of people left the Syrian land in the hope of landing a better life and future. They resort to these ghost ships to reach the European shores in the hope of getting rescued by the European navies. But one ship in 2015 nearly crashed into the coast of Italy with 700 people aboard.

Turkish refugees

The reports in the past reveal that the traffickers often use the Turkish ports as hub to transport these Syrian refugees after collecting about $4,000 per person.

However, the concern is that these Ghost Ships not only carry the refugees but also people who might create problems in the European land in the future, especially in terms of national security and terrorism.