Speaking in Parliament, British Prime Minister David Cameron has revealed there have been at least six serious attacks planned against member states of the European Union by the self-declared Islamic State, reports The Express.
Making a statement to the house on his visit to the NATO conference, Cameron said: “The point I would make even today to the British people is: be in no doubt about the threat that so-called Islamic State poses to us. We have already seen something like six planned attacks in the countries of the European Union from [ISIS], including of course that appalling attack in the Brussels Jewish museum, where innocent people were killed. That flows directly from this organisation.”
Although it is not known what form the planned attacks would have taken, which countries were targeted or at what stage they were foiled, it is likely the information will have come to light during conversations with other heads of state during the NATO meeting. Although European nations engage in information sharing on matters of security and counter-terrorism, the world’s closest intelligence sharing network is between the UK, America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
The admission by the Prime Minister that attacks have already been intercepted by security services comes some three months after the European Union counter-terrorism coordinator warned ISIS was training fighters specifically to wage war against Europe.
Speaking in June, EU coordinator Gilles de Kerchove said it was “very likely that the ISIS … maybe is preparing, training, directing some of the foreign fighters to mount attacks in Europe” in pursuance of a ‘global Caliphate’.
The attack on the Jewish museum in Belgium, of which de Kerchove is a native, is considered the first successful ISIS attack against Europe. Mehdi Nemmouche, who had served with the Islamic State in Syria where besides fighting, he also acted as jailer to European hostages, attacked the museum in May with an AK-47 assault rifle.
His former hostages later revealed that Nemmouche had also planned another, significantly larger attack on Paris, France during their national-day Bastille celebrations. They have made a number of other claims, that he is ‘egotistical’, and a ‘sadist’ who had ‘enjoyed raping a woman before slitting her throat and killing her baby’.
Nemmouche is awaiting trial for ‘murder in a terrorism context’ in Belgium, after being arrested in the possession of a weapon, ammunition and a tape confessing the attack in France.