The Associated Press (AP) reports that jihadi fighters are increasingly buying tickets on cruise ships to join extremists in battle zones in Syria and Iraq.
The AP states that jihadists are trying to bypass travel restrictions in neighboring Turkey.
According to the AP, Turkey says that it has been deporting hundreds of terrorists caught in airports and bus stations. But there are some 15,000 fighters or more from 81 countries traveling to the Middle East to fight for extreme Islamic causes.
The BBC reports that Islamic militants are using of cruise ships "more and more."
The AP quotes outgoing Interpol chief Ronald Noble as saying:
"Originally, our concern about people on cruise ships – dangerous people on cruise ships – really focused on the classic sort of rapist, burglar, or violent criminal. But as we’ve gathered data, we’ve realized that there are more and more reports that people are using cruise ships in order to get to launch pads, if you will – sort of closer to the conflict zones – of Syria and Iraq."
Terrorism is a concern for any kind of international travel. The current news does not suggest an attack by such groups on cruise ships but there is historical evidence of such attacks. We have written about plans uncovered two years ago by al Qaeda to seize cruise ships and dress passengers in orange jump suits and execute them. Three decades ago, Arab terrorists killed cruise passenger Leon Klinghoffer on the Achille Lauro cruise ship and a decade ago our U.S. Navy lost several dozen sailors who were blown up during the attack on the U.S.S. Cole by an al Qaeda group.
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