Hat tip to Stakhanov for a link to this article:
More and more people from the Russian Caucasus region are crossing from Belarus into Poland, where the vast majority immediately apply for refugee status. According to the Polish border authority, 90 percent of all asylum requests are made at the Brest-Terespol border crossing. In the first half of 2013, 9,500 people requested asylum: 8,730 were of Russian origin. That's almost twice as many as in the previous year.
Passport control at the train station in Belarus is not usually a problem for North Caucasians. Belarusian border officials are not required to check whether Russian citizens have a visa for the EU, they just have to check that their passports are in order.
When the train leaves the station, it's immediately apparent how nervous people are. They are reluctant to engage in conversation. All you find out is that most of them are from Chechnya, and that they're travelling without an EU visa. They say they want to go to the West, and that they have relatives already living there. The situation in their homeland is "not good". There is "no freedom."
When the train arrives in Terespol, people with a valid EU visa are allowed to leave the train first. Those without a visa sometimes have to wait several hours in the train before Polish border officials take them to a special room where they are questioned by the Polish authorities. The asylum seekers have often been advised what to say by fellow Caucasians in Belarus.
...Caucasians abroad are well-connected. If someone has been recognised as a refugee in a EU country, the news spreads very fast, and more and more people come from the northern Caucasus to Brest as a result.
Only around 30 percent of the asylum seekers stay to complete the asylum procedure in Poland. For most of the Caucasians, Poland is not their final destination. They quickly leave the refugee housing and travel illegally to other EU countries, like Germany.
They are usually not aware that according to EU law they cannot apply for asylum in another EU country if they have already applied for asylum at the Belarusian-Polish border. They have to reckon with the possibility that they will be deported back to Poland. But for these North Caucasians, it's still preferable to going back to their homeland.
Here's the most important fact, which this article completely ignores: Chechnya is a hotbed of radical Islamic terrorism:
Since the September 11 attacks, and the Arab revolutions, a new generation of Chechen Muslim radicals, who want to create a Taliban-style government across the Caucasus Mountains to be governed by Sharia, has risen to fight. They are in their 20s and 30s and use the Internet. They reportedly have a website, where Chechen jihadists, from around the world, now fighting in Syria, Pakistan and Turkey, post their reports.
Their new leader, Doku Umarov, called by some Russia's Osama bin Laden, has said, "Today in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, and Palestine our brothers are fighting. Everyone who attacks Muslims wherever they are our enemies, common enemies. Our enemy is not Russia only, but everyone who wages war against Islam and Muslims." Three weeks ago he called to Chechens living in other countries to come home to Chechnya to take part in the fight.
Chechen Islamists are also helping Ukrainian separatists:
The Chechens are also renowned for their deft ambushes and raids. In the Chechen wars, insurgents had a policy of killing officers and contract soldiers who were taken prisoner, but conscripted soldiers were spared.
In Ukraine, the Chechens’ calls of “Allahu akbar,” or “God is great,” are said to strike fear in the hearts of the Russians.
In the interview, the Chechen commander said his men liked to fight with little protective gear. “This is the way we look at it,” he said. “We believe in God, so we don’t need armored vests.”
And let's not forget that Chechens were responsible for the most spectacular acts of terrorism after 9/11:
Russian analysts correctly assessed that without the liquidation of these Islamist warlords, low-intensity warfare in Chechnya could have lasted for a very long time. This assessment was substantiated by tragic terrorist attacks that followed in Chechnya and in Russia itself – airliner bombings, assassinations of pro-Moscow Chechen leaders, and unprecedentedly brutal attacks in the Moscow Theater Siege (2002), Moscow metro (2004) and in Beslan (2004).
The Moscow Theater (Nord Ost) siege was a devastating terrorist event, conducted by a few dozen Chechen terrorists. Armed with automatic weapons and explosives, the assailants took 850 hostages and demanded the complete withdrawal of Russian forces from Chechnya. The siege was led by Movsar Barayev, who was killed along with most terrorists and 129 hostages in the controversial counter-terrorist operation conducted by Russian Special Forces.
In February 2004, Moscow’s residents experienced another severe terrorist attack in the Avtozavodskaya metro station. Forty persons lost their lives this suicide attack, which was perpetrated under the instructions of Shamil Basayev and Ibn al-Khattab.
The attack in Beslan in September the same year was a pinnacle of Chechen Islamist brutality – an event in which hundreds of hostages were killed, including 186 children and hundreds more were wounded or reported missing.
I could go on and on and on citing sources. Everyone except for naive Germans understands that Chechnya is probably the country with the highest proportion of radical Islamists in the entire world right now. Predictably, both Vladimir Putin and his handpicked viceroy in Chechnya are cracking down hard on Islamism in the North Caucasus.
So when these taciturn Chechens vaguely complain that it's "not good" for them and there is "no freedom" in their homeland, it is entirely possible that many of them are radical Islamists fleeing government security measures. But of course, they will lie to German immigration authorities, recycling stories that were already used successfully by former migrants.
Will Germany do what any sane, self-respecting nation would do? That is, detain all of these migrants until a thorough background screening can be performed, carefully analyze their stories of persecution, and immediately reject anyone who lied about his grounds for asylum, and anyone with any ties to radical Islam? Will Germany, in other words, put the security and safety of its citizens -- and by extension, the citizens of Europe -- first and foremost?
A few months ago, I would have said "no". But voices of common sense seem to gradually be re-asserting themselves in Germany recently, so I have a very, very cautious hope.