The European Union’s own border agency Frontex is reporting that a record 1.82 million illegal border crossings took place last year—a surge that is making Europe increasingly vulnerable to terror attacks.
The number of detections was six times more than the previous high recorded in 2014.
Those declaring Syrian and Afghan nationalities—594,059 and 267,485 respectively—accounted for the highest share of detections of illegal border-crossings, according to the agency.
The Eastern Mediterranean route—with the European point of contact being the Greek islands in the Aegean—was the most popular with nearly 885,400 illegal crossings being detected.
The data underlines the immediately precarious position Europe now finds itself in regarding the terror threat, the agency stated in its report:
“The Paris attacks in November 2015 clearly demonstrated that irregular migratory flows could be used by terrorists to enter the EU.
“Two of the terrorists involved in the attacks had previously irregularly entered through Leros and had been registered by the Greek authorities. They presented fraudulent Syrian documents to speed up their registration process.
“With no thorough check or penalties in place for those making such false declarations, there is a risk that some persons representing a security threat to the EU may be taking advantage of this situation.”