Europol Warns of Further IS Attacks in Europe
The European Union (EU) police agency Europol warned early this month that the so-called Islamic State (IS) group is likely to launch more IS attacks in Europe, noting that several dozen militants are already in place and more are possibly arriving as IS continues to face setbacks in Iraq and neighbouring Syria.
In a report on the threat that IS poses to the EU, Europol disclosed that the most probable forms of attack would be those used in recent years – ranging rom the mass shootings and suicide bombings that were seen in Paris and Brussels to stabbings and other assaults carried out by ‘lone wolfs,’ effectively radicals who are acting alone. In the report, Europol officials warn that car bombs and kidnappings, which are common in Syria, could emerge as tactics in Europe. It notes however that protected sites, such as power grids and nuclear power stations, were not seen as being top targets. The agency went on to say that essentially the entire EU is under threat as almost all of its governments back the US-led coalition in Syria, warning that IS attacks were likely and IS could infiltrate Syrian refugee communities in Europe in an attempt to inflame hostility to immigrants that has shaken many EU governments.
In a statement, Europol disclosed “if IS is defeated or severely weakened in Syria/Iraq by the coalition forces, there may be an increased rate in the return of foreign fighters and their families from the region to the EU or to other conflict areas and this means potential IS attacks.” It went on to say that IS was also likely to start planning attacks and sending militants to Europe from Libya and that other groups, including al-Qaeda and its affiliates, also continue to pose a threat to the European continent.
While Europol Director Rob Wainwright has disclosed hat EU states have increased their security cooperation in the wake of IS attacks in the last couple of years, which in turn has allowed for more plots to be thwarted, he noted that “nevertheless…Today’s report shows that the threat is still high and includes diverse components which can b only tackled by even better collaboration.”