Have 5,000 jihadis come into the EU?

9 June 2016
What was claimed

The head of the EU law enforcement agency says that 5,000 terrorists have come into the EU because of its migration policy.

Our verdict

Rob Wainwright denies that he said any such thing. Europol’s official position is that up to 5,000 EU citizens may have been radicalised and travelled to fight in the Middle East, but perhaps a third of those have returned to Europe, of which a majority aren’t considered a threat.

“That same boss of Europol said that the [EU’s] migration policy… has led to up to 5,000 jihadis coming into the European Union in the space of the last 15 months.”

Nigel Farage, 7 June 2016

The boss of Europol, Rob Wainwright, denies that he said any such thing.

Europol is the EU’s law enforcement agency. The figure of 5,000 refers to its estimate of how many EU citizens have been radicalised by IS and travelled to Syria and Iraq. But the agency stressed to us that “by no means have all of them returned”.

It said that “we suspect less than one third have and of those the largest proportion are unlikely to pose a terrorist threat”.

The idea that all 5,000 are at large in Europe has been cited to a German newspaper article published in February, which Europol says was incorrect and has since been amended.

Neither the agency nor its director link the “serious terrorist threat” to Europe with EU migration or border policiesalthough, as Mr Farage points out, others have.

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