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Is Europe sheltering Assad’s Shabiha?

Published: Updated:

Indications pile up that thugs who tortured on behalf of Assad have slipped into the flow of refugees arriving in Europe, UOSSM disaster relief grouping -- recently told French lawmakers.

Predominantly Alawites -- the confession of the Assad clan --, "Shabiha" are the hugely feared tools of a regime that is responsible for nearly 80 percent of the 250,000 deaths in the conflict that kicked off in 2011, rights groups say.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a Syrian employee of an international NGO said they had spotted several of these former pro-regime militiamen while on assignment on the Greek island of Kos at the end of September.