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Terror report

Islamic State (IS) has already adopted new tactics to attack the West, suggests a report published by Europol’s European Counter Terrorism Centre (ECTC). Further attacks in the EU, both by lone actors and groups, are likely, the report says.

The 14-page report, titled Changes in Modus Operandi of IS revisited, covers weapons, use of social media, who are the radicalised perpetrators (not necessarily profound believers, the report points out), and terrorist involvement with organised crime.

The document assesses the threat this group poses to the EU, on which basis EU member states can prepare for attacks. The policing agency of the EU says that Europe is facing a range of terrorist threats and attacks: from networked groups to lone actors; attacks directed by IS and those inspired by IS; the use of explosives and automatic rifles as well as bladed weapons and vehicles; and carefully prepared attacks alongside those that seem to be carried out spontaneously. The so-called Islamic State has proven to be very effective in inspiring people to commit terrorist acts and in setting attacks in motion themselves.

Europol’s Director Rob Wainwright says: “The last two years have seen a number of jihadist attacks, several of which have caused mass casualties. The scale of this threat has been widely acknowledged in Europe, triggering an intensified cooperation between police and security services across the continent leading to an increase of arrests and plots foiled before terror attacks could be carried out. This shows that the increased cooperation and exchange of data between all relevant services across Europe is a successful means to mitigate the threat posed by IS. Nevertheless today’s report shows that the threat is still high and includes diverse components which can be only tackled by even better collaboration.”

And Gilles de Kerchove, EU Counter-terrorism Coordinator says: “We have to be vigilant, since the threat posed by the so-called Islamic State (IS) and returning foreign fighters is likely to persist in the coming years. These people are trained to use explosives and firearms and they have been indoctrinated by the jihadist ideology. An effective response requires a comprehensive approach and long term commitment. Of course, the primary responsibility in the fight against terrorism lies with the Member States. However, the EU and its agencies such as Europol can and should play a supportive role that helps respond to the cross-border nature of the threat.”


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