Oh, but hey, come on in here…
Hundreds of asylum-seeking young people are going missing from care once they arrive in Britain, amid concerns they have been targeted for radicalisation by extremist groups during their journey to the UK, a think tank report has warned.
Militant groups such as Islamic State are deliberately preying on vulnerable young people for recruitment, as they make the perilous journey across the Middle East and north Africa, to Europe.
Extremists try to “buy” the allegiance of migrants and make them feel indebted, by working with people traffickers and funding their travel, the research by the Quilliam Foundation found.
Hundreds of young people are then dropping out of the asylum system when they arrive in the UK because they fear they will be sent home. Once beyond sight of the authorities, they may then regain contact with the smuggling networks and extremists they met on their way.
Nikita Malik, lead author of the report and a senior researcher with the counter extremism think tank, said young people risked “falling back into the hands of traffickers and extremists who have helped them. It’s almost a sense of debt.”
More than 340 unaccompanied asylum seeking children went missing in the first nine months of 2015, double the number from a year earlier. By the end of 2015, 132 were still missing.
Young people are being targeted in refugee camps in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, and also as they pass through Libya. The report found Islamic State was offering free passage for those crossing the Libyan deserts, if they pledged allegiance. […]