Italian FM: Terrorists could infiltrate migrants

ANKARA - The Italian Foreign Minister, Paolo Gentiloni, said on Thursday that there is a risk that terrorists could try to infiltrate migrants who arrive in Italy from Africa. 

The comments came as Gentiloni arrived in London for a security meeting on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. "There are considerable risks of terrorists infiltrating immigration," he said.

Gentiloni said Italy's "security structures are alerted and they function, but that does not allow us to lower the level of concern at all. Terrorists armed with Kalashnikovs are hidden among the tens of thousands of desperate people who land on our coasts."

Gentiloni also said people should not confuse terrorism and migration.

"That does not exclude the fact that in the current climate there can be risks that the intelligence services and security bodies are watching out for," he said.

On Thursday, the Italian government will debate the approval of anti-terror measures at the Council of Ministers.

Matteo Salvini, leader of the Northern League Party, said that Italy must take this seriously and that Gentiloni’s remarks needs to be debated in parliament.

The Italian press reported that some migrants may be deported.

In the first seven months of 2014, more than 87,000 people arrived in Italy by sea, mainly from Eritrea and Syria, according to the UN Refugee Agency.

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