Europol warned on Friday that the ISIS is planning new terror attacks on Europe in the coming weeks. As well, Europol Director Robe Wainwright said police forces across Europe are currently investigating over 50 cases of terrorism.
According to the report, those countries fighting ISIS in Syria and Iraq, including the newest recruits, Belgium and France, are at the greatest risk of experiencing terror attacks. The new tacks may include car bombs, as well as chemical and/or biological weapons, and may include more complex attacks as well.
According to the report, France, especially, is at risk, since, “ISIS has an obsession with history and honor, and blames France in particular for the break-up of the Ottoman Empire and the abolition of the Caliphate following the First World War.”
“That says something about the level of the threat, but also about the interconnectedness amongst the counterterrorist community here,” Wainwright told The Associated Press. However, he also said counterterrorism efforts would eventually succeed in halting terror.
Europol also noted that the targets were no longer military or police personnel, and terrorists were instead choosing to target civilians, much like they do in Israel.
“Indiscriminate attacks have a very powerful effect on the public in general, which is one of the main goals of terrorism: to seriously intimidate a population,” stated the report, which also noted that knives, vehicles, and automatic firearms are readily available to all who wish to use them in terror attacks.
However, the report did say ISIS’ current cyber capabilities are “still relatively low.”
The report also said the terror attacks may planned or spontaneous, and may be carried out by “lone-wolf” attackers or by larger groups.
EU Counterterrorism Coordinator Gilles de Kerchove said, “We have to be vigilant, since the threat posed by the so-called Islamic State and returning foreign fighters is likely to persist in the coming years. These people are trained to use explosives and firearms, and they have been indoctrinated by the jihadist ideology.”
The report also mentioned that ISIS is not the only terrorist group “with intent and capability to carry out attacks against the West, or to inspire individuals and groups residing in EU Member States to do so,” and noted that Al-Nusra and Al-Qaeda members also constitute a threat.