07:41 GMT21 January 2021
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    While seeking new ways to replenish its vaults Daesh (ISIL/ISIS) is making attempts to take over the trade and distribution of drugs in Europe, experts note.

    The evidence continue to mount that Daesh fighters are penetrating into Europe and establishing close ties with mafia and insurgent groups in Eastern Europe and the Balkans.

    "When I was recently in Crimea talking with local Crimean Tatars I learned that among aggressive militia in Ukraine there are also Islamists including those who fought in the Middle East and some of them had connections with the Islamic State [Daesh]. These people might try to cross the Polish-Ukrainian border seeing its permeability and enter the EU," Mateusz Piskorski, PhD in political science and a co-founder of the European Centre for Geopolitical Analysis, told independent Poland-based journalist Konrad Stachnio.

    In his article for New Eastern Outlook, Stachnio reveals that the infamous Dzhokhar Dudayev battalion, presently deployed in Mariupol, comprises Islamist militants including Daesh jihadists.

    According to the author, there is also the Crimean Tatar battalion operating in Ukraine that brought together representatives of various Mideast Islamist factions, in particular Salafists, al-Qaeda and Daesh. The Turkey-backed group is headed by Lenur Islyamov and Mustafa Dzhemilyev.

     It cannot be excluded that the Polish-Ukrainian border will become the entry gate for the influx of migrants, arms and drug trafficking into Europe, he notes, quoting Piskorski.

    Indeed, Daesh is making attempts to take over the trade and distribution of drugs in Europe.

    Allan Hall and Dan Warburton of Mirror reported in mid-January that Daesh jihadists are flooding Britain and other Western European countries with cannabis from Albanian and Kosovo drug farms.

    "The evil caliphate has seized control of a $4-billion Mafia marijuana growing operation in the rural mountains of Albania — giving it a foothold in Europe," the journalists revealed, adding that at the same time the cannabis production is flourishing in neighboring Kosovo.

    Citing the latest CIA intelligence on Albania, the journalists admitted that the region has also become an "increasingly active transhipment point for Southwest Asian opiates, hashish, and cannabis… destined for Western Europe."

    In December 2015, the head of Russia's drug control service Viktor Ivanov called attention to the fact that Daesh is benefiting from transporting heroin and other illegal drugs from Afghanistan into Europe through Turkey and Balkans.

    A year ago the Russian Federal Drug Control Service's (FSKN) reported that Daesh made up to $1 billion annually from drug sales throughout its territories in the Middle East.

    To complicate matters further, the terrorist organization is exploiting the existing criminal routes and channels for its illicit trade, according to Italian journalist and author Roberto Saviano.

    "If we really want to find a way to attack ISIS [Daesh], let's stop and observe what is happening in the world's economy. Governments worldwide must stop tolerating criminal organizations, drug trafficking and money laundering," Staviano wrote in his Op-Ed for The New York Times.

    The journalist emphasized that "there is no such thing as a terrorist group whose routes for moving weapons, soldiers and money are not shared with criminal organizations that have already secured those routes for drug trafficking."

    To halt the spread of the Daesh terrorist activity, the international community should curtail its sources of funding.

    He who hesitates is lost: the flood of drugs poses a significant threat to Europe's stability and security. 

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    Tags:
    heroin, cannabis, drugs, The Syrian war, Daesh, Afghanistan, Europe, Turkey, Albania, Kosovo
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