Muslim extremists and jihadists pretend to be asylum seekers and apply for asylum in Europe, according to reports from intelligence and security services since the mid-1990s. The then Dutch Domestic Security Service BVD (now the AIVD) reported in May 1998 that radical Muslims from Tunisian, Egyptian and Algerian terrorist organizations had applied for asylum in the Netherlands. "These asylum seekers can count on the support of local sympathizers." And in April 2001 the BVD/AIVD warned of "Islamic war veterans" posing as people who "are looking for asylum or illegal migrants who seek refuge in Western countries who will continue the fight or support it."
In March 1996 a conference about fighting terrorism took place in the Egyptian Sea resort of Sharm al-Sheikh. The Egyptian government was worried about radical Muslims who had been granted asylum in England. Some of them were involved in the preparation of terror attacks. The then British Prime Minister John Major declared shortly after the conference that he would make the rules for granting asylum stricter, but nothing was done.