NATO has for the first time admitted that illegal migration represents a security risk, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in London on Wednesday after the NATO summit there.
“As a result, the alliance will mobilize more means and funds against migration and the terrorism that follows it,” Orbán told journalists after the meeting.
Orbán, 56, was prime minister of Hungary when the country, along with the Czech Republic and Poland, joined NATO on March 12, 1999. He added NATO membership was very important for Hungary and he was proud that he could be the one who signed the accession document on behalf of his country.
“NATO membership is also an important identity component of the political community as it was the Christian national forces that brought the country into NATO during our first government,” Orbán said.
He said that since then new challenges have appeared in the world, including mass migration and the security risks posed by the terrorism that follows it. NATO has already previously admitted the nature of these risks, but the major change is that now it has included it among the most significant challenges.
Orbán also praised the work of Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó, whose efforts of several years have resulted in the change of mindset from NATO.
ISIS is still alive in Europe
Orbán’s remarks come at a heightened time of tension in Europe regarding terrorism.
On Nov. 12, three ISIS terrorists were arrested in Germany after planning massive attacks with explosives in Frankfurt. Two of the citizens were of Turkish origin while a third was a German-born citizen with a North Macedonian background.
On Nov. 19, just a week later, German police arrested a Syrian jihadi in Berlin. The man was employed at a primary school as a cleaner and had already been in the country for three years. Despite Germany accepting him into the country, the man had purchased chemicals to produce enough explosives to “kill as many people as possible.”
A little over a week later, on Nov. 29, the London Bridge terrorist attack resulted in two dead and three wounded. The Islamic terrorist attack was not the first one on the bridge either. The entire case has thrown Britain’s legal system into question after it came to light that the terrorist, Usman Khan, was released early after being convicted of terrorism-related charges.
In a sign of the challenges that lay ahead, Turkey, a NATO member, also has plans to start repatriating ISIS terrorists back to their country of origin, according to Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu. He said that their deportations will occur even if fighters had their European citizenship revoked:
“We will send back those in our hands, but the world has come up with a new method now: revoking their citizenships. They are saying they should be tried where they have been caught. This is a new form of international law, I guess. It is not possible to accept this. We will send back Daesh (Islamic State) members in our hands to their own countries whether their citizenships are revoked or not.”
Turkey has thousands of ISIS fighters in its custody, including at least a hundred of German origin. The country’s actions are forcing “Europe to face its militants”, according to the New York Times. The German Interior Ministry said it does not know the identity of the terrorists being sent back to Germany but that the country would have to accept the ISIS fighters if they have German citizenship.
Many countries in Western Europe, including Germany, France and Great Britain, have been beset with terrorist attacks for years. On top of the dozens of attacks that have occurred, security forces in those countries devote enormous resources to monitoring terrorist activity and foiling attacks before they occur.
Title image, (L to R): NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the November 4 NATO summit in London (MTI/Gergely Botár)