Europol director: About 30 000 people in Europe potentially part of terrorist networks
About 30 000 people in Europe are potentially part of terrorist networks, EU police agency Europol director Rob Wainwright said in an interview with a Bulgarian television station on March 19.
Wainwright is in Sofia for a meeting of members of committees of European parliaments that monitor the work of Europol.
He said that Bulgaria and all countries in Europe were threatened by terrorism.
The main threats against Europe today are very complex – there has been an explosion of terrorist activity in recent years, there are cyber threats and many groups that resemble mafias in many countries, the director of Europol said.
Bulgarian media said that according to a report at the summit of members of parliament, 800 people had travelled from the countries of the Western Balkans to Syria and Iraq to fight for the so-called “Islamic state”.
The Western Balkans were becoming an important focus in the work of Europol, according to Tsvetan Tsvetanov, chairperson of the Bulgarian Parliament’s committee on public order and security.
Wainwright told the conference that there were significant improvements in the co-operation between the Western Balkans countries and Europol, but the picture was still mixed.
Europol had a very good exchange of information with some of these countries, but not with others, he said.