The recent acts of terror in France, the blowing up of a Russian passenger aircraft and the increase in terror threat levels on Europe are no basis for increasing threat levels in Estonia, police and ISS (Internal Security Service) representatives said, adding that there is no direct danger of an terror attack against Estonia and it would not be sensible to close down borders.
“This [closing borders - ed.] would not be practical, EU's focus should be on the outer borders of the Schengen area, because even after border checks were reinstated on the Belgium-French border after the Paris attacks, a wanted person still crossed it. So shutting borders does not automatically mean that terror attacks are averted,” ISS chief Arnold Sinisalu said.
Police chief Elmar Vaher said the great majority of illegals seek to come to Estonia with a forged visa, adding that many lie that they want to study in Estonia, but really travel here for other purposes.
Vaher said Estonian police officers helping other EU nations in the south say that borders are practically unguarded.
Sinisalu said comparisons with Sweden, which raised its terror threat level, are unjust as the nation has a large Muslim community not integrated to the society. He said there is room for extremists to hide in Sweden, while the Estonian Muslim community is fairly peaceful.
Shortly after the Paris attacks, police in Estonia carried more equipment, paid more attention in public places, ports and airports, Vaher said.
Vaher said there is a clear difference between the migrants pouring into Europe and terrorists, who, he said, have many ways of entering Europe. A few of the attackers in Paris are thought to have entered Europe with the civilians fleeing Syria.
“Currently there is no great mass of people moving toward Estonia and there is no need to restore Schengen borders,” Vaher said, adding that police in Estonia have apprehended a few groups from Iraq and Afghanistan and some of these cases will head to the courts soon.
A court case against two people accused of helping a man from Estonia to go and fight for the Islamic State in Syria, will open this week.
Editor: J.M. Laats