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ISIS in Europe ـ“the threat remains complex”

Jul 17, 2021 | Studies & Reports

ISIS risk in Europe ‘significantly’ reduced, says EU counter-terrorism coordinator

Politico ـ Islamic State “no longer has the capacity to send terrorists onto European soil” thanks to “action taken by the international coalition,” the EU’s counter-terrorism coordinator Gilles de Kerchove, told Le Monde in an interview published Saturday.However, he warned “the threat remains complex” including through “isolated actors, with no direct link to the organization.” De Kerchove cautioned, in particular, against growing extremist strength in parts of Africa, saying it was “essential to prevent the emergence on this continent of a new ‘caliphate’, which could directly threaten Europe.” ISIS risk in Europe ‘significantly’ reduced, says EU counter-terrorism coordinator

“Europe has significantly reduced its vulnerabilities, but there are still uncertainties,” de Kerchove told the French newspaper. He noted that cooperation among national intelligence services has “considerably” increased since the 2015 terrorist attack against the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which left 12 dead.De Kerchove, who is set to retire at the end of August, said there is no plan for creating a European version of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency because “we have not determined what would be the added value of Europe in this field, or the purpose of such a body.” ISIS risk in Europe ‘significantly’ reduced, says EU counter-terrorism coordinator

But he sees Europol — the EU’s law enforcement agency — playing a more important role in the future. “Europol is going to improve in the collection of digital information and now plays a crucial role in judicial investigations of terrorism.”De Kerchove added that far-right movements are also a threat and in some EU countries, including Germany, they are considered “as worrying as jihadism.”“Even though I still see jihadism as the main threat, we have to be careful,” he said, pointing to internet links between diverse far-right groups. ISIS risk in Europe ‘significantly’ reduced, says EU counter-terrorism coordinator

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