The House Homeland Security Committee released a “European Terror Threat Snapshot” report on Tuesday with disquieting news: Over the last year, attack plots aimed at Europe and linked to the Islamic State have unfolded at a rate of two every month; at least 35 have emerged since 2014.
In addition, some 5,000 European Union citizens have traveled to Syria and Iraq; over a 1,000 have returned to just four countries — Britain, France, Germany and Belgium.
“ISIS terror operatives have exploited the largest flow of refugees and migrants since World War II to infiltrate Europe undetected. EU member states reported nearly 2 million instances of illegal border crossings involving around 1 million people last year,” the new report noted. “European jihadists are also attempting to radicalize and recruit refugees settling in the European continent.”
The committee also releases a monthly terrorism assessment for the U.S.
“The United States and our allies face an increasingly lethal Islamist terror threat. A global jihadist network operating from safe havens is exploiting Western security gaps to orchestrate a widespread terror campaign, particularly in Europe,” warned Rep. Michael McCaul, Texas Republican and committee chairman.
“Battle-hardened European fighters groomed by ISIS 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. These operatives are also potentially a plane-flight away from our shores. Given the magnitude of the threat across the continent, we are likely seeing only the tip of the jihadist iceberg in Europe.”
The complete terror assessment is available here.