Europol: ISIS Planning Major Terrorist Attacks in Europe

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A day after the Islamic State purportedly released a new video allegedly showing the Paris attackers training for the November 13 attacks in Syria or Iraq, Europol says they are planning more attacks in Europe.

On January 18, 2016, The Hague published “Changes in modus operandi of
Islamic State terrorist attacks,” which can be read here. The Hague refers to ISIS as “IS” for “Islamic State.” Key findings from the report include:

  • The Paris attacks, and subsequent investigation, appear to indicate a shift towards a broader strategy of IS going global, of them specifically attacking France, but also the possibly of attacks against other Member States of the EU in the near future.
  • In selecting what to attack, where, when and how, IS shows its capacity to strike at will, at any time and at almost any chosen target;
  • Also to be noted from the report was that “a significant portion of foreign fighters have been diagnosed with mental problems prior to joining IS.”

    The report concludes:

    The discussions led to the conclusion that IS is preparing more terrorist attacks, including more ‘Mumbai style’ attacks, to be executed in Member States of the EU, and in France in particular. The attacks will be primarily directed at soft targets, because of the impact it generates. Both the November Paris attacks and the October 2015 bombing of a Russian airliner suggest a shift in IS strategy towards going global. In selecting their targets, local IS commanders are believed to enjoy tactical freedom to adapt their plans to specific local circumstances, adding to the difficulty for law enforcement to detect such plans and identifying the people involved at an early stage.