In September 2015, a Canadian broadcaster, Ezra Levant, suggested that what Europe was experiencing, was not primarily an influx of "refugees" fleeing conflict, but rather a new Gold Rush, in which young men from the Muslim world were seeking to improve their fortune at Europe's expense.
Rome-based journalist Barbie Latza Nadeu seriously asked whether Italy was "enabling the ISIS invasion of Europe."
Profits in the people-smuggling business often flow to terrorist-backed gangs operating in Italy. The numbers drowning in the Mediterranean continue to mount.
African migrants camp out on the beach in the northern Italian town of Ventimiglia, along the French border, as they wait for the opportunity to cross into France, in 2015. (Image source: AFP video screenshot)
Chaotic scenes have erupted on the coastal Mediterranean frontier between Italy and France. On August 4, for instance, hundreds of migrants, chiefly from Eritrea, Ethiopia and the Sudan sought to storm the crossing in their attempts to make it to Northern Europe.
"Both the Italian and French forces at the border were taken by surprise," remarked Giorgio Marenco, a police commander in Ventimiglia, where tear gas was used to disperse the migrants. Others merely braved the choppy waters of the sea to breach the crossing by swimming towards their goal.
The Italian town contains the last train station in Italy near the border. The besieged terminus lies three miles from the French Riviera. It has been a gathering point for the predominantly Muslim migrants since June 2015. A fractious tent city for migrants has sprung up, mirroring others spread across Italy. The capital of the French holiday district is Nice, which experienced a jihadist massacre on July 14.