- Security Experts Fear ‘European 9/11’ in the Coming Year
by AFP, via http://www.todayonline.com/
PARIS — Just a week into the year, France has already been rattled by an attempted attack on a police station, but counter-terrorism officials have far graver fears for Europe in 2016.
November’s attacks in Paris, in which 130 people were killed by Islamic State group jihadists, showed the trauma that could be caused by a group of men with Kalashnikov rifles, but experts fear it could be just the start.
“Unfortunately, I think 2015 was nothing,” a counter-terrorism official told AFP on condition of anonymity. “We are moving towards a European 9/11: simultaneous attacks on the same day in several countries, several places. A very coordinated thing. We know the terrorists are working on this,” he added.
He said the Islamic State group was recruiting and training Europeans “with the goal of sending them back to hit their countries of origin”. “They have the necessary false documents, the mastery of the language, the sites, the weapons. We stop a lot of them, but it must be recognised that we are overwhelmed. Some will get through — some already have.”
Recent arrests of jihadists returning from Syria and Iraq have added to concerns, he said. “The profiles are changing. We are seeing ultra-radical guys return, very battle-hardened, who should have stayed over there. “Before we mostly had guys returning who had made a mistake, who didn’t realise that war can be painful. But now, we are seeing guys return who are sticking to their chosen path.”