Islamic State group and other militants are likely to carry out large scale attacks in Europe following last year’s attacks in Paris, the European Union police agency said in a new report Monday.
“Europe is currently facing the most significant terrorist threat in over 10 years,” Europol said.
Europol director Rob Wainwright told a news conference “the so-called Islamic State had developed a new combat style capability to carry out a campaign of large-scale terrorist attacks on a global stage — with a particular focus in Europe.”
The report says “the attacks will be primarily directed at soft targets, because of the impact it generates. ”
Europol’s assessment comes as the agency launches its new European Counter Terrorism Center, based in The Hague, Netherlands.
Wainwright said the unit will be staffed by up to 50 counterterrorism experts tasked with intelligence-sharing, tracking foreign fighters and sources of illegal financing and firearms, and assisting EU countries in counterterrorism investigations.