The EU’s police agency, Europol, published a report on Dec. 2 warning that even as ISIS loses territory in the Middle East, it plans to step up its terror attacks against Europe.
One main issue brought up in the report is that the Islamic State, also referred to as Daesh, already has numerous agents and followers across Europe who are waiting for orders.
Western Europe, particularly France, has already been hit by several deadly attacks that killed hundreds of people.
“It would be a big mistake to just believe that the threat is coming from outside. We have a lot of people prone to radicalization inside Europe,” said Gilles de Kerchove, an EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator.
Counter-terror officials are aware of the threat from terrorists posing as refugees. At the same time, ISIS operates sophisticated networks and propaganda channels to recruit followers.
“The physical Caliphate of Daesh is collapsing but we still have the virtual Caliphate,” de Kerchove said.
It’s possible that ISIS will export tactics commonly seen on the Syrian battlefield to Europe, including car bombs and kidnapping.
Featured image credit: Mahmoud Taha/AFP/Getty Images