Sounds a bit like a spoof but apparently it isn’t! Because airports are monitored more closely now, there’s an increase in the use of cruise ships to travel into conflict zones like Syria and Iraq. There is evidence that the individuals, especially in Europe, are traveling mostly to Izmit, Turkey as a point of entry.
Apparently cruise ship operators share “watch-list” information with Interpol, U.S. intelligence agencies and other authorities on suspected criminals, including would-be jihadi fighters trying to travel to the battle zones of Syria and Iraq. This started after Interpol officials noted that prospective jihadis have been increasingly booking trips on cruises to join militant groups such as Islamic State because Turkey has intensified border checks at its airports. Turkey has been a key route for fighters into neighboring Syria.
Previously, Turkey had been a popular entry point by air for extremists looking to join the fighting due to its long and largely insecure border with Syria. However a new AP report claims that recent security crackdowns in that country have led to would-be jihadis seeking an alternate form of entry to places like Syria and Iraq: cruise ships. Great food too! 😉