French Defense Minister Says 'Major Risk' of IS Crossing in to Europe with Libya Refugees. (Naharnet).
Islamic State fighters hiding among refugees traveling from Libya to Italy pose a "major risk" to Europe, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Sunday.
Le Drian said there was an "urgent" need for a political solution to the crisis in Libya to help combat the spread of the Islamic State group (IS), which now has several thousand fighters in the North African country.
"Daesh is installing itself," Le Drian told French TV, using the Arabic acronym for the IS group.
"I have been very worried about Libya since September 2014. They are there, nearly 300 kilometers from the coast, and they are spreading."
He said that put IS only 350 kilometers from the Italian island of Lampedusa, the arrival point for thousands of migrants and refugees leaving Libya for the European Union.
"When good weather comes to the Mediterranean, there is the risk that (IS fighters) could make the crossing, mixing in with refugees. It's a major risk," said Le Drian. Read the full story here.