Report: ISIS Has Trained Hundreds of Fighters to Attack Europe ‘In Deadly Waves’
Paris and Brussels won’t be the last ISIS attacks Europe faces, according to intelligence officials.
Here are the details of this alleged network of terror cells, according to the AP:
The network of interlocking, agile and semiautonomous cells shows the reach of the extremist group in Europe even as it loses ground in Syria. The officials, including European and Iraqi intelligence officials and a French lawmaker who follows the jihadi networks, describe camps designed specifically to train for attacks against the West.
According to the AP, a ringleader of the deadly November Paris attacks that rattled Europe claimed that he entered the region “in a multinational group of 90 fighters” scattered “more or less everywhere.”
“The difference is that in 2014, some of these IS fighters were only being given a couple weeks of training,” a security official told the AP. “Now the strategy has changed. Special units have been set up. The training is longer. And the objective appears to no longer be killing as many people as possible but rather to have as many terror operations as possible, so the enemy is forced to spend more money or more in manpower.”
This report comes the day after coordinated bombings in Brussels, Belgium, killed 31 people and wounded 27 more. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, and at least one suspected terrorist is at large.
Belgian authorities have officially identified a pair of brothers who were among the ISIS terrorists who carried out the Tuesday bombings at Zaventem airport and Maelbeek subway station in Brussels. At least one attacker captured on surveillance footage is one of “several people possibly linked to deadly attacks” who remains on the run from authorities, the AP reports.
At the beginning of March, Europol chief Rob Wainwright, told Sky News that the region is facing its highest terror threat in a decade. He added that nearly 5,000 Europeans had been radicalized by the Islamic State.
This is a developing news story. Check back for more updates.