October 8 (Reuters) – Europe must take security threats that could arise from migration out of Afghanistan more seriously, European Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson warned on Friday.
“On the terrorist threat from Afghanistan, I have to say my assessment is that the alert level is not high enough. We really need to do more,” she told reporters after a meeting with its European counterparts in Luxembourg.
The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August raised fears in Europe of a repeat of 2015, when nearly a million asylum seekers, mostly Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans, fled to the country. Europe from Turkey to Greece.
At the moment, the EU does not see large movements of Afghans towards its borders and the world has a moral responsibility to protect Afghans in danger, Johansson said.
Nonetheless, she urged member states to properly screen and register all people arriving from Afghanistan.
“This is really important for security. And I must say that I am quite concerned about the enormous risk that Al Qaeda may recover again in Afghanistan,” the commissioner said.
She cited a number of reasons that could cause Afghans to flee their country of origin.
“The situation in Afghanistan is really dire, there is a huge risk of economic collapse, there is a huge risk of famine and humanitarian catastrophe,” Johansson said, adding that even before the Taliban took control, millions of Afghan refugees were living in Pakistan, Iran and Turkey.
Half a million people have been internally displaced in Afghanistan in recent months, according to the United Nations, a number that will rise if health services, schools and the economy fail.
Reporting by Sabine Siebold Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky
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