Europe needs to brace itself for the return of its Islamic State militants who very shortly will be returning home and leading terrorist cells in their own countries made up of hard core fighters and home-grown Islamic State-inspired terrorists.

As reported earlier, Islamic State leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, issued a statement this week acknowledging the terrorist group’s pending defeat in Iraq and Syria and calling on his supporters to carry-out suicide attacks. He also directed his foreign fighters to return home and execute suicide attacks in their home countries. Needless to say, al-Baghdadi’s threat is real and chilling, as a quick survey of Islamic State activity in Europe demonstrates over the last month weeks.

Recently, Spain’s Interior Ministry arrested a 33-year-old Moroccan man in the Canary Islands who had stated his intention to carry-out terrorist attacks for the Islamic State. Police reportedly found photos of the suspect holding knives and posing with his wife and underage son in combat attire and with emblems of the Islamic State. He reportedly had been under surveillance for more than five years and was considered a national security threat. In a separate incident, an Algerian man was detained in Bilbao for allegedly praising extremism and the Islamic State through social media.

On Tuesday, French security forces arrested three Islamic State-inspired terrorists, with two detained in Paris and one secured in Marseille. One, a female, had made a video proclaiming her loyalty to the Islamic State. Police reportedly found bomb-making materials of the type used in the November 2015 attacks and plans to strike a tourist site. On last Friday, French police arrested four terrorists in Montpellier with homemade explosives and they are believed to have been planning a terrorist attack. France has seen some 250 people killed in Islamic terror incidents in the country since January 2015.

Yesterday, Belgian police had to seal-off an area in central Brussels after a well-known Islamic State activist raced through red lights toward a metro station, close to main station, Gare du Midi, with a vehicle laden with gas canisters. The Belgium has been on high alert for nearly a year after Islamic State suicide attacks at the airport and a metro station killed 32 people on March 22nd, 2016. The same terrorist cell was also linked to the November 2015 Paris attacks that saw 130 people killed.

Italian authorities expelled a 33-year-old Moroccan supporter of the Islamic State after he was arrested in Catania in January for throwing rocks at cars. He was earlier, last September for damaging a police car and shouting support for the Islamic State and threatening Italian authorities during his arrest. He is the 16th Islamist terrorism suspect expelled from Italy this year, and the 148th since January 2015. In peaceful Switzerland, police swooped in and arrested a dual Swiss-Turkish man and a Turkish citizen for links to the Islamic State.

This week, Germany was forced to ban a mosque-based association known as "Fussilet 33" on Tuesday. The group is linked to the Islamic State and, to Anis Amri, a Tunisian who launched an attack on Berlin’s Christmas market in December that left 12 people dead and dozens more injured. Last week, German security forces in Berlin arrested three men suspected of links to the Islamic State who had visited the mosque operated by the association. Police carried out raids on 24 locations across Berlin Tuesday morning. Some 500 individuals living in Germany have been classified as a threat in German security, with half of them being German nationals.

In Norway, a Norwegian Jihadi Leader, Mullah Fateh Krekar, has warned that the Islamic State and its ideals can never be defeated. As well in the last week it was revealed that Denmark, among other Western European states had paid-out welfare to its own citizens fighting Islamic State fighters in Syria and Iraq. Not to be out done by their Scandinavian cousins, a Swedish citizen was sentenced to six months in jail on Thursday for inciting people to finance the Islamic State through Facebook.

In the United Kingdom this week, it was reported that, Max Hill, a senior official overseeing Britain’s anti-terrorism measures, warned that Islamic State militants were targeting British cities and posed a huge security threat that could not be ignored. It was also reported this week that a former Guantanamo Bay detainee, Jamal al-Harith, released in 2004 and given $1.2 million in compensation by the Blair government had carried out a suicide attack for the Islamic State in Iraq. As well, five teenagers appeared in court on terror charges and accused of planning to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State. One of the five had terrorist materials, an Islamic State publication and a bomb-making video. Lastly, two British medics, Ahmed Sami Khider, and, Hisham Fadlallah, who left Sudan after graduating, reportedly died fighting for the Islamic State in Iraq over the weekend.

The good news is that these incidents involve largely, home-grown Islamic State-inspired terrorists. The bad news, the hard-core foot soldiers of the Islamic State are coming home to Europe and elsewhere to roost.

#Europe #IslamicState #AbuBakralBaghdadi #Spain #Morrocan #CanaryIslands #Paris #Brussells #Belgium #Switzerland #Germany #Norwegian #Swedish #Britain #UnitedKingdom

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