04.12.16

Chairman McCaul Releases New European Terror Threat Snapshot

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Building on the demand for the House Homeland Security Committee’s Terror Threat Snapshot, a new European Terror Threat Snapshot was released today by Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX). This product is a periodic Committee assessment of the Islamist terror threat environment across Europe. It supplements the Committee’s monthly Terror Threat Snapshot, examining the broader terror threat the United States, the West, and the world face from Islamist extremists.

Chairman McCaul: “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. 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.”

Key takeaways in the European Terror Threat Snapshot:

  • Over the last year, ISIS-linked attack plots in Europe have unfolded at a rate of nearly two every month. There have been at least 35 ISIS-linked plots to launch attacks across Europe since 2014, including the November 2015 Paris and March 2016 Brussels attacks.
  • According to Europol, as many as 5,000 European Union (EU) citizens have traveled to Syria and Iraq.
  • More than 1,000 have already returned to just four countries – the U.K., 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. European jihadists are also attempting to radicalize and recruit refugees settling in the European continent.

Europe TTS Graphic

The complete European Terror Threat Snapshot is available, here.

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