The history of migration is long, but the concept of terrorism has been in use only from the 18th century. First of all we have to lay down the fact that terrorism is an invention of Europe. The beginning of the years of 1800 is regarded as the starting point of modern terrorism, when anarchists and nihilists commit offences, mainly against the elite of the power in Russia, France, Italy, Spain. The first known terrorist organizations appeared at the end of the sixties, like the German Red Army Faction (RAF), the Italian Red Brigades, the Irish Republican Army (IRA), or ETA, who are fighting for Basque independence.
In the Northern Irish conflict between 1969 and 1998 about 1800 Englishmen and Irish lost their lives (source: Project CAIN, University of Ulster), and the victim count of the terrorist attack of ETA is about 800. The terrorist acts with Islamist background between 2001 and 2017 in Europe claimed the lives of less than 600 people. This doesn’t mean that the Islamist terrorism isn’t dangerous. In 2014 there were more victims of terrorism worldwide then ever before, altogether 32 685 people. 75% of the victims was from the following 5 countries: Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria (source: Institutes for Economy & Peace: Global Terrorism Index 2015). So it is obvious that the Islamist terror mainly plagues mostly the Muslim countries, and this is one of the triggers of the refugee wave coming from these countries. The cause and effect relation thus is exactly the opposite of what the Hungarian political elite communicates: migration does not add to the danger of terrorism, but terrorism makes the probability of migration higher.
NCTC (National Counterterrorism Center) has put together a timeline of events linked to terrorism, which you can find here.
One of the favourite slogans of the political elite in Hungary is that they “have to defend the borders of Hungary and Europe” from the irregular migration, because that makes terrorism more likely. This propaganda serves only political reasons and just makes the citizens more confused and frightened, and is not taken seriously even by the Hungarian government. You can see this from the fact that between 15 September and 15 October in 2015 the Hungarian government made 180 thousand refugees travel across the country without any kind of checking. In this one month they let through the country 180 thousand people without knowing who they were and why they came to Europe.
Let us give you another example of the opinion of the Ministry of Interior about their dangers: a train, which took at an average 500 people was accompanied by 3-4 policemen. On the cca 3 km long footpath between the train station of Hegyeshalom to the border area they were accompanied by typically 1 police car and 2-3 policemen on foot (they had to attend 1000 people, when there were two trains arriving at the same time).
A mass this size made up by Hungarian citizens (for example a demonstration or sports events) is attended by significantly more policemen. This makes us conclude that – whatever the political elite’s propaganda machinery may say in their official communications -, the authorities responsible for the safety of the citizens based on their own experiences judge a refugee passing through the country less dangerous than a football fan for example.
There’s an other fact that proves that the refugees themselves do not threaten the safety: it has been more than a year since the closure of the West Balkans route in 2016. As the states on the route chose to close it down suddenly, there were tens of thousands of people stuck in one or other of these countries. In March 2017 there were more then 70 thousand refugees in Greece and more then 10 thousand of them in Serbia, some of them have been stuck there for more than a year.
In Serbia, since the start of the refugee crisis in 2015, more than 90% of the refugees have crossed the country, a scale much higher than in Hungary. But Serbia hasn’t bouilt a fence and doesn’t start a propaganda campaign against them. The authorities responsible for the safety of the country are doing their job. Did we hear about terror threats or the rise of criminality linked to refugees? We didn’t…