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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Isis paying smugglers up to $2,000 in recruitment drive among child refugees in camps.

Isis paying smugglers up to $2,000 in recruitment drive among child refugees in camps. (Guardian).

Islamic State is paying the smugglers’ fees of child refugees in a desperate attempt to attract new recruits, according to a report highlighting the potential vulnerability of unaccompanied minors to radicalisation.

The report, from counter-extremism thinktank Quilliam, also says that an estimated 88,300 unaccompanied children – identified by the European Union’s police agency Europol as having gone missing – were at risk of being radicalised.

Citing failures in the approach of Europe, particularly the UK, towards protecting child refugees travelling alone, the report, published on Monday, warns that jihadi groups, including Isis and Boko Haram, have attempted to recruit within refugee camps using financial incentives, as well as working with the people smugglers.

Quilliam said that Isis had offered up to $2,000 (£1,600) to recruit within camps in Lebanon and Jordan. Last year, Jordanian special forces reportedly found what they described as an Isis sleeper cell inside a refugee camp near Irbid, north Jordan. Additional reports indicated that Isis had tried to recruit refugees by supplying food previously withheld from camp residents.

Researchers identified a number of risk “hotspots” where refugees and young people were particularly vulnerable to recruitment by extremist organisations. One of the most acute of these is the north African coast where Quilliam said Isis fighters have offered £800 to those who join them.

Another so-called hotspot is the south Libyan town of Qatrun, where reports have indicated that Isis, which is believed to have between 4,000 to 6,000 fighters in the region, has waived £450 smuggler fees to allow refugees to travel north if they joined its ranks. Read the full story here.

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