Lithuanian intelligence bars relocation of 9 refugees amid security threat

  • 2017-04-05
  • Vaidotas Beniusis

VILNIUS – Lithuania's intelligence agencies have barred relocation of nine refugees under the European Union (EU) program after establishing that their presence in the country would jeopardize national security, the State Security Department said.

In its 2016 report, the department said it had interviewed 74 Syrian and Iraqi refugees in Greece and Turkey who were about to be resettled to Lithuania.

"Nine persons were identified whose purpose of travel, in the assessment of the State Security Department, was not safe asylum and whose presence in Lithuania would have threatened national security," reads the document.

The department advised the Migration Department not to relocate the persons to Lithuania. The migration authorities followed the recommendations, Aurelija Katkuviene, head of strategic communication at the State Security Department, told BNS on Wednesday.

Lithuania is committed to receiving 1,105 refugees from Syria, Iraq and Eritrea within two years from the refugee camps in Greece and Turkey. By now, the country has relocated over 250 refugees, however, more than half of them have already left Lithuania.

The State Security Department said it last conducted surveillance measures with regard to approximately 70 Lithuanian citizens and foreigners residing in the country who could have threatened national security due to radical Islamic beliefs.

According to the document, one of the suspected supporters of the Islamic State group has been detained and is under investigation for possession of drugs.

"(The detained individual) supports the terrorist organization ISIS and would like to join the Jihad," reads the report.

More information about the person is not available. BNS has so far failed to receive a comment from the Prosecutor General's Office on the matter.

The State Security Department also identified two individuals who were listed as risky and likely to self-radicalization due to their unpredictable conduct and statements. Information about them was passed on to the Lithuanian Criminal Police Bureau for further surveillance.