UN food agency boss warns of new European migrant crisis
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UN food agency boss warns of new European migrant crisis

Islamic State seen launching recruitment drive in Sahel region of sub-Saharan Africa leading to ‘extraordinary difficulties’ in area

African migrants wait to board the MV Aquarius, as 193 people and two corpses are recovered Friday, January 13, 2017, from international waters in the Mediterranean Sea about 22 miles (35 Km) north of Sabrata, Libya. (AP Photo/Sima Diab)
African migrants wait to board the MV Aquarius, as 193 people and two corpses are recovered Friday, January 13, 2017, from international waters in the Mediterranean Sea about 22 miles (35 Km) north of Sabrata, Libya. (AP Photo/Sima Diab)

CANBERRA, Australia — The head of the United Nations food agency says the collapse of the Islamic State group’s self-described caliphate across Syria and Iraq has led to extremists mounting a recruitment drive in sub-Saharan Africa that threatens to trigger a new European migrant crisis.

World Food Program executive director David Beasley told The Associated Press on Monday that many of the fighters who fled Syria had ended up in the greater Sahel region, a belt of semi-arid land spanning east-west across the continent and home to 500 million people.

Beasley says Islamic State fighters are collaborating with other extremist groups to create “extraordinary difficulties” across Sahel.

Beasley has warned European leaders that they could face a far larger migrant crisis from Sahel than the Syrian conflict.

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