17 illegal migrants in Cyprus are ISIS and Al-Qaeda fighters

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Seventeen people who are terrorists of the Islamic State (ISIS) and Al-Qaeda are in Cyprus, specifically in the migrant reception centre in Menogia, the Minister of Interior Nicos Nouris revealed.

Speaking to OMEGA's main news bulletin and commenting on an article in the Alithia newspaper, Nouris explained that these were seventeen people who arrived as illegal immigrants and after being checked through Interpol and Europol, it was confirmed that they were wanted for participating in terrorist organisations and are involved with either ISIS or Al-Qaeda.

The interior minister explained that due to the coronavirus pandemic, they have not been deported yet, but clarified that there is no cause for concern since as soon as the conditions allow, they will proceed to the next stage of their deportation, without specifying exactly where to.

The interior minister did not provide further details on the 17 suspects or their countries of origin.

It is recalled that Cyprus is facing a major problem with the flow of refugees and illegal immigrants, which are mainly channelled from Turkey through the occupied territories in northern Cyprus.

Since the beginning of the year and before the closure due to the coronavirus, another 3,000 immigrants and political refugees arrived in Cyprus. In terms of population, Cyprus is facing the biggest problem in the European Union with what they call refugees, as applicants make up 3% of the local population, close to 30,000.

The Interior Ministry also criticised an event by so-called anti-authoritarians outside the "Pournara" Reception Center in Kokkinotrimithia, where illegal immigrants are staying.

According to the ministry, "the manifestation of the so-called 'antifa' anti-authoritarians, as they call themselves, outside the Pournara Reception Center in Kokkinotrimithia, should be a concern."

"We will not allow anarchy to continue in our country. We do not want to see other areas of our homeland ghettoized. At a time when we are making great efforts to manage the huge number of migrants in our country, by speeding up the asylum process and intensifying the return to their countries of origin, some incentives want to derail the situation," the statement said.