Terror Threats in Europe

The U.S. House of Representatives, Homeland Security Committee, released a new European Terror Threat Snapshot. This supplements their existing Terror Threat Snapshot which is released monthly. This assessment by the Committee concerns the threats that are faced from Islamist terrorists, specifically concerning Europe. Chairman Michael McCaul states, “A global jihadist network operating from safe havens is exploiting Western security gaps to orchestrate a widespread terror campaign, particularly in Europe. Battle-hardened European fighters groomed by ISIS [Islamic State] are returning home from Syria to commit acts of terror with the support of local extremist networks, as we have tragically seen in Paris and Brussels.” The Snapshot reveals statistics on Foreign Fighters and their origins, along with a breakdown of ISIS-linked attack plots against the West.

Key Points from the Snapshot:

  • Europe is confronting an increasingly dangerous Islamist terror threat. Over the last year, ISIS-linked attack plots in Europe have unfolded at a rate of nearly two every month.
  • Thousands of Europeans who joined Islamist extremists in Syria and Iraq since 2011, some of whom are trained and intent on committing acts of terror, are filtering back into the continent.
  • European security services have identified thousands of potential terror suspects within their borders
  • The magnitude of the threat in Europe is unprecedented and it is overwhelming security services.
  • The European ISIS network has remained an active, widespread threat in the wake of last month’s Brussels attack.
  • ISIS terror operatives have exploited the largest flow of refugees and migrants since World War II to infiltrate Europe undetected.
  • European jihadists are also attempting to radicalize and recruit refugees settling in the continent.