Cyprus Mail

ISIS fighters using Cyprus to reach Syria – Daily Mirror

British ISIS sympathisers are flying fly to Larnaca and crossing over into the Turkish-occupied northern part, from where they are smuggled into Syria to join the organisation, the Daily Mirror reported on Monday.
Citing unnamed sources, the paper claimed aspiring ISIS fighters in possession of British passports travel to Cyprus aboard low-cost flights, before crossing into the Turkish-controlled north, where they pay an obscure figure known as “the ISIS travel agent” – said to operate out of Famagusta – £1,000 for the night-time boat-trip to Syria’s coast.
The Mirror said the sympathisers, posing as tourists, cross to the north, where they contact the “travel agent” via text message to evade the authorities.
He then arranges for hotel accommodation, taxi services, and their onward travel by sea to Syria.
The paper cited an unnamed source, which said this has been going on for “at least a year”.
“It’s difficult to put firm numbers on it but I would estimate that many dozens of people from the UK have used this route to reach the caliphate and join ISIS,” the source said.
“It’s quite simple really. It’s a simple business contract but the deals are carried out in cash – always cash. Every one knows what is going on. But it’s just not spoken about.”
Another source cited by the paper, a man in Famagusta, said the smugglers usually carry “three or four British Jihadists at a time”.
“Although they often fly separately from different UK airports,” he said.
“The charge for the crossing is usually 1200 euros for each person – in cash obviously.”
The alleged smuggling, according to the Mirror, originates from the “quaint fishing port of Bogaz”.
“When they arrive at night the jihadists are quickly taken onboard whichever boat is taking them so they are out of sight as soon as possible,” the unnamed source was quoted as saying.
“There’s an omerta (code of silence) in place. No-one will say a word about this for fear of upsetting what is going on. You just do not mess with these people.”

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