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Friday, March 25, 2016

ISIS has at least 400 fighters trained to carry out deadly attacks in Europe

ISIS fighters in Syria
(Image: Australia Network)
Terrorist group ISIS has trained more than 400 fighters to carry out deadly terrorist attacks in European countries in the waves, deploying interlocking terror cells like the cells that planned and carried out recent attacks in Paris and Brussels, according to the European intelligence services' reports. These terrorist cells will be able to plan the attacks on their own, without coordination with Raqqa or any other ISIS stronghold in Syria and Iraq, and these group will be also able to chose the location, time and method of the attacks, the reports state.

Despite losing ground and influence in Syria and Iraq ISIS remains a powerful organization with the strong and agile network or interlocking and underground terrorist cells scattered all over Europe. European and Iraqi intelligence officials working on the jihadist networks also said that there are numerous training camps of ISIS in Iraq, Syria and probably also in several countries of the former Soviet bloc, where the fighters are trained to the future attacks.

As for the number of the fighters being trained by ISIS for attacking Western countries, the estimates range between 400 and 600, as more than 5000 Europeans have reportedly traveled to Syria to join ISIS during the recent times, according to the intelligence sources.

As for the latest attack in Belgian capital Brussels, the double bombing at the airport and in the metro during the rush hour have been carried out by the "secret cell of soldiers", according to the statement posted later by ISIS, as the group claimed responsibility for the attack. This cell was dispatched in Brussels on the purpose of this attack, the statement says.

Numerous shadowy terrorist cells scattered all over Europe including France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Sweden and other countries, have been confirmed by European intelligence services and Europol as well.

European intelligence and security officials who were speaking to the AP journalists on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak publicly about these issues confirmed that there are numerous training camps organized by ISIS in Syria, Iraq, Libya and probably elsewhere else in Northern Africa that train the ISIS fighters to send them later to European countries in order to join one of the shadowy terrorist cells and to commit terrorist attacks in the European countries.

Fighters and units are reportedly being trained in battleground strategies, explosives, surveillance and counter-surveillance techniques and planning the terrorist operations, the officials said.

Comparing to 2014, when the fighters were given only a couple of weeks for their training before being send in the field, the fighters being trained by ISIS now receive much longer time of training. The strategy has also changed, stated the intelligence officials. Special camps are set up, the units are formed. In addition to that the objective of the attacks seems to change as well. If the purpose of the terrorist attacks before was to kill as many people as possible, now the main purpose seems to be to rather have as many terrorist operations organized and carried out as possible. Thus, the terrorists struck many countries in a relatively short period of time, such as the recent attacks in Paris and Brussels and continuous attacks in Ankara, Istanbul and other Turkish cities. This strategy forces the governments of those countries to spend much more finances and manpower on fighting the terrorism, if the attacks are so frequent and unexpected.

One of the main questions for the European and Middles Eastern intelligence officers and security officials now is how many more fighters have been trained by ISIS, how many terrorist cells are operating on the territory of Europe now and how many of them are ready for the next attack.