The Islamic State (IS) terror group is planning ‘Mumbai-style’ attacks in Europe after the Paris massacre last November, a report by the Europol police force has warned.
Rob Wainwright, chief of the European Union (EU) police agency, told a press conference that “the so-called Islamic State had developed a new combat style capability to carry out a campaign of large-scale terrorist attacks on a global stage – with a particular focus in Europe”.
He was unveiling the findings of a new Europol report on changes in how the terrorist group operates, coinciding with the launch of the agency’s new counter-terrorism summit at The Hague on the Netherlands.
The unit will seek to improve information exchange and identify the links between terrorism and other areas of crime.
The Europol report said: “IS is preparing more terrorist attacks, including more ‘Mumbai-style’ attacks, to be executed in member states of the EU, and in France in particular”.
“The attacks will be primarily directed at soft targets, because of the impact it generates. Both the November Paris attacks and the October 2015 bombing of a Russian airliner suggest a shift in IS strategy towards going global,” it said.
IS had claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks on November 13 which killed 130 people.
The new report has concluded that the group has training camps in the EU and the Balkans, as well as in Syria. It, however, said there was no “concrete evidence” that terrorists were using the influx of refugees into Europe in order to sneak themselves in and carry out attacks though it warned refugees might be “vulnerable to radicalisation”.
The new counter-terrorism centre’s priority would be to improve information exchange between EU members and will also focus on links to other criminal sectors. Europol has about 800 staff at its headquarters in The Hague. They work with law enforcement agencies in the 28 member states and in other non-EU partner nations to combat serious crime.