Sunday, 5/4/2020 | 9:42 UTC+0
Libyan Newswire

Written question – Vessels in the Mediterranean associated with international terrorism – E-004049/2017

A new threat has reportedly been observed in the Mediterranean: large vessels are closing down their tracking devices in order to disappear from surveillance systems, after having made suspicious stops before approaching European shores. This practice has been linked to criminal activities, such as trafficking in human beings, arms and drugs, and specialists warn that terrorist groups are probably exploiting the vulnerabilities of maritime security to transport arms and human beings to Europe.

Indeed, it has been recorded that a total of 2 850 vessels became ‘ghost ships’ shortly before entering European waters during the first two months of this year; many of them entered Europe from Libya, departing from near the point where ‘Islamic State’ is based, after disabling their tracking devices.

As this phenomenon is most likely to be linked to international terrorism and ‘IS’, especially at this critical juncture when terrorist attacks on European soil have increased and EU internal security is a matter of concern to the majority of European citizens, will the Commission say:

1. What official information does it have on this crucial issue?
2. Have the competent European authorities (Europol) undertaken a genuine risk assessment of this phenomenon?
3. Have specific safety measures been taken to prevent and suppress it?