Lithuania migrants
© AFP/Petras Malukas
Migrants in a camp near the border town of Kapciamiestis, Lithuania
More than ten people thought to be affiliated with terrorist groups have entered Lithuania through Belarus by taking advantage of the huge influx of migrants attempting to enter the EU, a senior defense official has revealed.

Speaking to Vilnius-based outlet Delfi, Chairman of the Lithuanian Committee on National Security and Defense Laurynas Kasciunas reported that some asylum seekers were found to have connections to extremist groups. According to Tass, he said:
"As many as four such persons have already been expelled from Lithuania. Over ten migrants suspected of having ties with terrorists have been identified."
According to Delfi sources, one of the people expelled was thought to have ties to Boko Haram, an African jihadist group, while another had connections to the Kurdistan Workers' Party, a left-wing movement supporting autonomy and rights for Kurdish people in Turkey.

The alleged terrorists came to Lithuania as part of a migrant crisis that is affecting numerous countries bordering Belarus. The situation began after Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko warned that his country would no longer make any effort to stop illegal immigration. Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland have claimed that the government in Minsk has flown in migrants from abroad and is shuttling them to the border as a form of warfare.

Since the start of 2021, over 4,000 illegal migrants have been apprehended at the Belarusian frontier, which is 50 times more than during the whole of 2020.

Earlier this month, the Lithuanian government received €29.6 million ($34.3 million) in aid from the European Commission to help tackle Vilnius' influx of migrants seeping in from neighboring Belarus. The funds will be used to finance the expenses of accommodation services, security at the migrant camps, food and education, as well as reception and detention facilities, asylum procedures, and other essential programs.