The terrorist group Islamic State (IS) plans new attacks on European soil in the near future. The European Police Office (Europol) are warning this in a report published today (Friday) in The Hague.
In particular, Belgium is one of their targets.
The defeats suffered by the organisation in Iraq and in Syria, and the increase in the number of fighters operating in their countries of origin, have exacerbated the risk of Western Europe attacks.
This is according to the Centre for the Fight Against Terrorism within the police organisation.
According to the estimates of intelligence services, several dozen potential Islamic State fighters may already possibly be in Europe.
The terrorist group is thought to be developing new tactics for attacks in Western Europe. This is a school of thought put forward by Europol experts, according to whom France is the most likely target.
Belgium, the Netherlands, Great Britain and Germany equally present a risk of attack.
This could be due to the rise in so-called “lone wolves” using explosives, automatic weapons, knives, axes, machetes, axes or indeed cars.
The terrorist experts also consider the probability of car bomb attacks is on the rise.
The report says that Syrian refugees now in Europe, run the risk of being recruited and it is likely that Islamic State fighters have now infiltrated amongst them.
The terrorist group may indeed have an interest in exploiting the current European refugee crisis by polarising citizens and bringing them into conflict with migrants. Such migrants might then become radicalised.
The European Police Office also stresses that anti-terrorist experts also anticipate the possibility of Libya becoming, after Syria, “a new IS base. From this base it could orchestrate attacks within the European Union and North Africa.”
In 2015, the European security forces arrested 667 individuals suspected of jihadist activities per the same report.
The Brussels Times