“ISIS continues to be the dominant force. Further attacks in Europe are likely – inspired first and foremost by this terrorist group,” warned Switzerland’s Federal Intelligence Service.
By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel
The Islamist terror attack by a gunman in Vienna Monday and two recent attacks in France in which radical Islamists beheaded their victims appear to support a new Swiss intelligence report that warned about Middle East terrorism reaching Europe.
“In the context of jihadi terrorism, ISIS continues to be the dominant force. Further attacks in Europe are likely – inspired first and foremost by this terrorist group,” Switzerland’s Federal Intelligence Service said in a report released last week.
The Swiss security officials warned that other European countries are not taking the threat seriously enough and that more attention must be paid to their nationals who went to the Middle East to fight for ISIS and tried returning home to Europe.
The report said “deradicalization and reintegration into … society could be a lengthy process and may, in some cases, even be futile.”
“Returnees might remain faithful to their [extremist] ideology, radicalize their environment and plan, organize or carry out terrorist attacks. In addition, some may have gained combat experience and specific skills they could use to carry out terrorist activities,” the report said, adding “the long-term risk of individuals who have returned crossing state borders and networking with others is not to be ignored.”
A similar report released in England in September revealed that Islamic jihadists have carried out or attempted a terror attack every two weeks in Europe since the fall of the Islamic State in Syria in 2019.
In December 25 former ISIS fighters, women and children returned to Bosnia where the men were arrested and investigated “for the criminal offenses of organizing a terrorist group, unlawful formation and joining of foreign paramilitary or paramilitary formations and terrorism.”
Last week, Turkey arrested seven ISIS members suspected of planning attacks in that country.
“The threat to France, Britain and the rest of Europe from Islamic State and IS-inspired individuals continues unabated and vigilance will remain essential in the weeks and months to come,” said a statement from the London-based Henry Jackson Society, a think-tank that studies European democracy.