Anti-immigration Czech president Milos Zeman has claimed that the entry of refugees and migrants to Europe has been engineered by Islamist organisation the Muslim Brotherhood in a plot to "control" Europe.
"I believe this invasion is being organised by the Muslim Brotherhood, using financial means from a number of states," the 71-year old told Czech Radio.
Veteran left-winger Zeman claimed to have been tipped off about the secret plan by from two sources , "both Muslims and leading Arab politicians".
The Muslim Brotherhood is a political organisation that was ousted from power in Egypt in a military coup in 2013. Hundreds of its supporters have been arrested, and the group outlawed. It is also banned in other countries, including Saudi Arabia and Russia.
Millions of refugees and migrants entered Europe in 2015, many fleeing conflict in Syria. Zeman said that the crisis was partly provoked by the European Union's openness to immigrants on one hand and the "the efforts of the Brotherhood to meet its goals" on the other.
"The Muslim Brotherhood cannot start a war against Europe, it doesn't have the power, but it can prepare a growing migrant wave and gradually control Europe,"said Zeman, who became the country's first directly elected head of state 2013.
Zeman has staunchly opposed the influx of immigrants into the EU, and last year attended a Prague rally by far-right anti-immigrant group Pegida, where he said that those opposed to immigration should not be branded racists and xenophobes.
Previously he warned that Muslim immigrants would "respect Sharia instead of Czech laws" under which "unfaithful women will be stoned and thieves will have their hands cut off, and we'll be deprived of women's beauty, because they'll be veiled from head to toe".
Most of the asylum seekers who have entered Europe travelled through eastern and central Europe to Sweden and Germany, which have offered asylum to Syrian refugees.