World / Europe

Europe faces threat of more Paris style terrorist attacks: Europol

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-01-26 09:05

AMSTERDAM - The terrorist group Islamic State is planning large scale Paris-style terror attacks, focusing primarily on Europe, the head of European Union's police agency Europol warned on Monday.

"The so-called Islamic State has developed a new combat style capability to carry out a campaign of large scale attacks on a global stage with a particular focus on targets in Europe," Europol's director Rob Wainwright told reporters in Amsterdam on Monday when launching a new Europe-wide counter-terror initiative, the European Counter Terrorism Centre (ECTC).

Wainwright's warning was based on the key findings of an expert report released Monday by Europol on the November 13 Paris shootings.

The report stated that European states, and France in particular, may face another terrorist attack intended to cause mass casualties amongst the civilian population. The report warned that the threat from IS was the worst the continent has faced in more than 10 years.

Contrary to growing attempts to link terrorist threats to the influx of refugees into Europe, the report stated that "there is no concrete evidence that terrorist travellers systematically use the flow of refugees to enter Europe unnoticed". Wainwright ensured that Europol will use all expertise "in encountering illegal immigration".

The expert report warned that "IS terrorist cells currently operating in the EU are largely domestic and locally based" and implicitly suggested that European member states should do more to integrate immigrants as it assessed that "a real and imminent danger is the possibility of elements of the (Sunni Muslim) Syrian refugee diaspora becoming vulnerable to radicalisation once in Europe and being specifically targeted by Islamic extremist recruiters".

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