By Mike Corder, AP
THE HAGUE — The Islamic State group is likely to carry out new attacks in the European Union in the near future, probably targeting countries that are members of the U.S.-led coalition fighting the extremist organization in Syria and Iraq, EU police agency Europol said in a report published Friday.
“Estimates from some intelligence services indicate several dozen people directed by IS may be currently present in Europe with a capability to commit terrorist attacks,” according to the report, which draws on counterterrorism intelligence from around Europe and also cites media reports and previously publicized calls by IS leaders for attacks.
But IS also is adept at inspiring marginalized youths, some of whom may have mental health problems, and inciting them to carry out attacks.
The report also warns that tactics the group uses in Iraq and Syria — such as the use of car bombs — could also be deployed in Europe. It also said that past attacks such as those in France and Belgium over the last two years show that extremists acting in the name of IS can effectively plan complex attacks.
Both France and Belgium are among European nations that have joined the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State group. Others include Britain, the Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark. Germany’s military also is involved, but not in combat operations.