A military analyst has criticised EU leaders for failing to accept that “the Western world is at war” and warned that Europe will see worse terror attacks committed by Islamic extremists.
“Most politicians do not want to admit that the Western world is at war and should act accordingly… Policy responses are, in most cases, inadequate,” Lukáš Visingr told Czech news channel ČT24.
Mr. Visginr added that the recent period of calm – following the spate of Islamic extremist-inspired terror attacks that included the London Bridge, Manchester, Champs Elysees, Paris, and Barcelona attacks during the summer of 2017 – should not be taken as permanent.
“Informants warn that there are hundreds and thousands of well-trained jihadists in Europe who are ready to carry out attacks,” he said, noting that these Islamic State militants are returning from war zones in the Middle East after facing military defeat.
The security specialist also observed that terror attacks hitherto have mostly been carried out by “keen amateurs; they were not people who had special training from ‘professional’ terrorists like the Islamic State”.
“When this new generation [of returning, trained Islamic State militants] begins attacking, I think that we are in for much worse things.”
“I am convinced that there will be large-scale Islamic extremist attacks in Europe,” Visginr warned.
The defence analyst then hit back at the news presenter’s criticism that to profile Europe’s growing Muslim population is unfair and “nonsense”.
“I do not think it’s nonsense,” Visginr said. “The fact is that the Muslim community, although many of its members do not have a radical inclination, is a community from which the threat is coming.”
A similar assessment was made this month by defence analysts Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Centre (JTIC) in a report that said the terror threat will increase in 2018 as foreign jihadists return to Europe with advanced knowledge learnt whilst fighting with Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.
“Foreign fighters returning to Europe will provide critical skills that will help an increasing number of operational Islamist networks conduct more complex attacks,” writes the report’s author, Otso Iho.“These skills include the construction of viable IEDs – learned in Iraq and Syria where the Islamic State (Isil) has produced IEDs on an industrial scale – expertise in assault weapons, and the use of new weapons types or technologies such as drones.”
In October 2017, the Soufan Center’s report, titled “Beyond the Caliphate, Foreign Fighters and the Threat of Returnees”, found that at least 5,600 individuals from 33 countries who travelled to support the Islamic State have now returned to their countries of origin, many of which are in the West.