National Information Center: Illegal migration is on the rise

In a recent classified report, Hungary’s National Information Center examines the growing challenge of illegal migration along the Serbian-Hungarian border. This comprehensive report delves into the evolving situation and the security implications it carries.

The report begins by outlining the pressures facing Hungary's defenses against illegal immigration. This multifaceted defense strategy comprises legislative acts, border personnel, and the Temporary Security Border Fence (TSBF). Recent trends and information from law enforcement and national security agencies indicate that all three elements are under mounting pressure. One noteworthy concern is the European Union's migration pact, which is perceived as a potential risk to Hungary's defense strategy.

The report underscores the need for Hungary to adapt and strengthen its defense mechanisms and also highlights an alarming trend: the increasing number of individuals turned back from within Hungary's territory, indicative of the mounting pressure of migration. This surge is not isolated to Hungary alone. Across the European Union, migration is increasingly becoming a central element of electoral discourse in various member states, adding a foreign policy dimension to the issue.

A significant aspect raised in the report is the heightened risk of terrorism associated with the growing migration pressure. The report expresses concerns about the potential use of migration routes, including the Western Balkans route passing through Hungary, by members of terrorist networks. The situation is further exacerbated by declarations from groups such as Hamas, ISIS, and Al-Qaeda, which have called for acts of terrorism. According to the National Information Center, we must beware of the possibility of terrorist attacks on European targets, particularly in areas with significant Arabic/Palestinian communities.

The report additionally sheds light on rivalries among people smuggling gangs originating from Afghanistan in Serbia. Some of these groups have family ties to the Taliban government in Afghanistan and the Haqqani network, which is a declared terrorist organization. The report reveals that the Taliban secret services are now directly controlling the activities of these Afghan-origin smuggling groups in the Vojvodina region of Serbia.

Illegal migration has been on the rise in Serbia, with an estimated 30 to 50 migrants arriving in Serbian reception centers daily, primarily from Bulgaria and North Macedonia. However, the report suggests that a more substantial number of migrants may be crossing the Serbian border directly into Hungary or Bosnia, avoiding registration. People smugglers offer comprehensive service packages to migrants, including accommodation in private homes or motels. In urban areas such as Subotica, illegal accommodation options have expanded.

One of the most concerning aspects is the escalation of violence among people smuggling groups, which the report attributes to increased competition in the lucrative people smuggling business. Notably, certain Afghan gangs have taken to social media platforms to share videos that glorify their combat abilities, mirroring the styles of extremist groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda.

The report highlights the mounting challenges faced by border patrol officers. Verbal threats and incidents involving firearms have become increasingly common on both sides of the Serbian-Hungarian border. An incident in Röszke, where shots were fired toward Hungarian border patrol officers, underscores the gravity of the situation.

The report concludes by detailing the immense pressure of migration on the Serbian-Hungarian border section. Nearly 1,000 to 1,200 illegal border crossing attempts are detected on the temporary security border fence every night. The data from the Csongrád-Csanád County Police Headquarters reveals record numbers of illegal migrants apprehended and escorted back to the border in recent weeks. Challenges also extend beyond Hungary, as the report notes the impacts of illegal migration on neighboring countries.

In light of these challenges, Hungary remains vigilant in safeguarding its national security interests. The report calls for continued cooperation with neighboring countries and international partners to address the complex and evolving issue of illegal migration. As the migration situation continues to unfold, Hungary's efforts to ensure safety and security remain paramount.