Dutch: IS has 60-80 op­er­a­tives in Europe

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - NATION+WORLD -

In­tel­li­gence ex­perts es­ti­mate that the Is­lamic State ex­trem­ist group has be­tween 60 and 80 op­er­a­tives planted in Europe to carry out at­tacks, the Dutch coun­tert­er­ror­ism co­or­di­na­tor said Fri­day.

Dick Schoof said wouldbe fight­ers are also heed­ing mes­sages from the mil­i­tant group “ask­ing them not to come to Syria and Iraq, but to pre­pare at­tacks in Europe.”

One re­sult is that over the last six months the num­ber of “for­eign ter­ror­ist fight­ers” hasn’t grown, he said, but the fact that they’re not trav­el­ing “does not mean that the po­ten­tial threat of those who would have trav­eled is di­min­ished.”

Schoof said mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions to oust the Is­lamic State from its self-de­clared caliphate in Syria and Iraq are scat­ter­ing the ex­trem­ist group’s fight­ers and sup­port­ers. This will prob­a­bly lead to a grad­ual in­crease of refugees that will pose a dan­ger to the national se­cu­rity of the Nether­lands and other Euro­pean coun­tries, he said.

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