Evidence that ISIS members are being moved through Greece into the rest of Europe has been uncovered by a CBS News report, which aired on Thursday.
Human smuggling is known to be big business in the Greek capital, but this is the first time a reporter has been able to film a human smuggler actually discussing how he helps ISIS members and their families travel to other European countries from Athens.
Filming with a hidden camera, the report includes an interview with a North African man named Alrayes, who runs a smuggling syndicate, moving people from Athens to countries in western Europe for around $8,000 each.
The smugglers use stolen identity documents to ease their way through passport controls.
“‘From Athens, you go [to] Italy, you arrive there in Italy. I have people will help you with everything. It’s very easy,” he explains to the undercover female interviewer.
Reporter Holly Williams posed not as a refugee, but as an ISIS wife, who desired safe passage to Germany. “No problem,” Alrayes told her. In fact, he said, he had moved other ISIS members before.
He even bragged that he’d smuggled three brothers of notorious al Qaeda terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a claim that cannot be confirmed.
The CBS News investigative team went undercover again, this time posing as smugglers themselves, and found criminals with hundreds of identification documents, including US passports, for sale in Athens. The men told the undercover team that they try to match their customers with an ID of someone they resemble.
The smugglers then use the stolen documents to fly people from Athens to Spain or Italy, where they claim security is lax. From there, they can travel anywhere in western Europe with no border checks, says the disturbing CBS report.