The director of Europol, the EU-wide police agency, has admitted that Europe faces its “most serious” terrorist threat over the last decade, and that new attacks in the European Union were “likely”. Speaking at a meeting with the Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee in Brussels on Thursday, Rob Wainwright said: “Further attacks are likely, and I regard this as the most serious terrorist threat facing Europe for ten years.”
Rob Wainwright was invited by the MEPs to express himself after the deadly Paris attacks on November 13 that left 129 dead. Wainwright said Europol will “upgrade its capabilities” to tackle the problem by opening a new EU-wide counterterrorism center on Jan. 1, 2016, that will be tasked with countering the financing of terrorist organizations, like the Islamic State group, and monitoring the activities of foreign fighters.
This is to “support operational work” from Member States authorities in charge, he said. “We are not a European FBI,” he continued.
“We have tried to convince the Member States to share their anti-terrorism data through the Europol information hub”, explained Wainwright. “There have been big improvements these past two years (…) but we haven’t reached the level we would like.”