Militant Islamists taking the Greek road to Syria

Militant Islamists living in the European Union have tried to cross Greece’s borders on their way to back the armed struggle against the Assad regime in Syria, Greek security officials have told Sunday’s Kathimerini.

“Most of them have legal European passports and can therefore easily move between countries in the Schengen area,” an unnamed official told the newspaper, adding that most choose to enter Greece via the northwestern port of Igoumenitsa or the border crossing with Bulgaria, before exiting the country via Evros in the northeast.

In January, Greek border guards arrested a 44-year-old French national who was found to be carrying ammunition inside his truck. Police said the suspect, originally from Chechnya, had fought on the side of Chechen separatists against the Russian security forces.

Evidence suggests he planned to support or even join the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), a jihadist group active in Iraq and Syria.