Egypt is accusing Turkey of providing more than 10,000 Turkish passports to members of ISIS, the Islamic State, to facilitate travel of fighters across the region.
An Egyptian intelligence official who asked not to be named told WND his country delivered a report to the U.S. documenting the astonishing claim.
The official further charged that Istanbul is serving as the “headquarters” for ISIS planning.
“Turkey continues to allow free passage to Iraq and Syria to IS fighters,” the official added.
If the Turkish passport charge is true, it would present a worldwide ISIS travel threat.
Already, there have been major passport concerns regarding ISIS and its sympathizers.
Earlier this month, a French senate report showed about 47 percent of European jihadists known to have traveled to ISIS-held territory hold French passports.
Scores of British citizens are also known to have joined ISIS. Last month, nine British medical students reportedly travel`ed to Syria to work in hospitals in areas held by ISIS.
In a move that clearly is part of the terrorist group’s symbolic creation of a caliphate, ISIS militants themselves reportedly started issuing their own international ISIS passports.
There are concerns ISIS plans to expand beyond the Middle East to Europe.
In February, WND reported documents released by ISIS supporters and propagandists revealed ISIS is planning to use Libya as a “gateway” to Europe.
The documents, obtained by the Quilliam Foundation, a Britain-based think tank that focuses on counter-extremism, raised the possibility of storming southern European cities to cause “pandemonium” or closing international shipping lines in the Mediterranean Sea.
The purported ISIS documents, obtained and reviewed by WND, received widespread news coverage.
However, some of the more sensational possibilities described within the pages were largely overlooked.
The documents indicate ISIS views Libya as not just fertile ground for a headquarters but as a staging base to infiltrate Europe by boat along with the hundreds of migrants who daily attempt to flee to Italy.
One ISIS document recognized Libya has a “long coastline” that “looks upon the southern Crusader states, which can be reached with ease by even a rudimentary boat.”
The document notes “the number of ‘illegal immigration’ trips from this coast is massive, estimated to be as high as 500 people a day, as a low estimate.”
It states that “according to many [of these immigrants], it is easily possible to pass through Maritime Security Checkpoints and arrive in [European] cities.”
“If this was even partially exploited and developed strategically, pandemonium could be wrought in the southern Europe. It is even possible that there could be a closure of shipping lines because of the targeting of Crusader ships and tankers.”
The Quillium Foundation warns: “Therefore, the opportunities that lie in the exploitation of human trafficking rings make Libya unparalleled as a launching platform for attacking European states and shipping lines.”
The ISIS documents extensively discuss what they claim are massive caches of light, medium and heavy munitions in Libya. Jihadists are urged to make their way to Libya to help expand the caliphate.
“Not only will pressure on the land of the Caliphate in ash-Sham be relieved, but the territories of the Caliphate in ash-Sham, Iraq and Hijaz will be linked with those of their brothers in Libya and the Islamic Maghreb and the defeat of all regimes and tyrants in their way will be enabled.”
How real are ISIS’s claims of migrant boats flooding Europe?
In February, Italy reportedly rescued some 2,164 migrants coming from Libya on about a dozen boats. The incident took place the same day Italian coast guard members were reportedly threatened by four armed men who approached them by speedboat from the Libyan coast.
The U.N. refugee organization, UNHCR, estimates that at least 218,000 migrants from North Africa crossed the Mediterranean by boat last year, with some 3,500 dying on the way.
Italy’s defense minister, Roberta Pinotti, told the country’s Il Messaggero newspaper in February the potential for terrorists infiltrating Italy in boats carrying immigrants from Libya “could not be ruled out.”