Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party says its opposition to prepaid bank cards for migrants has been vindicated by intelligence reports that a Syrian terrorist suspect recently arrested in Budapest received such a card after arriving in the European Union. János Halász, the deputy head of parliament’s national security committee for Fidesz, told the committee that his party had warned in the past that anonymous bank cards could be used to finance terrorism. The committee heard briefings by representatives of the Counter Terrorism Centre (TEK), the Constitutional Protection Office and the Information Office (IH), Hungary’s civilian intelligence agency. Halász said some 64,000 debit cards had been distributed to migrants in January alone. “Who knows how many among them could be suspected of terrorism?” he asked. The lawmaker called for a change of direction in Brussels’ migration policy, arguing that “the current pro-migration majority” was putting the safety of Europeans at risk.
Jobbik lawmaker Ádám Mirkóczki, the head of the committee, said Hungary was not the suspect’s destination. Hungary was but a transit stop for him, and the authorities were still investigating the man’s network of connections.
Meanwhile, it was revealed at the meeting that though the accused Christchurch mosque gunman visited Hungary, he only spent a few hours in Budapest and is not believed to have had any Hungarian connections.