JAFFA, Israel – Based on interrogations of hundreds of militants who were arrested in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey and Europe, the Islamic State’s next step after the Brussels bombings is probably to carry out attacks in Russia and ultimately the United States, an Arab intelligence official told Breitbart Jerusalem.
IS’ “Chechen division” is making intensive efforts to strike in Russia, he said.
“The information that we have collected tells us that the organization is bent on carrying out a massive attack in Russia. Many of the detainees said they are aware of Chechen jihadis who trained in Syria and Iraq in preparation for striking Russia. We have also intercepted coded messages on social media that could be orders from HQ to the operatives on the ground.”
“IS tries equally hard to carry out an attack in the United States,” he added, “but it would require greater efforts than in Europe. But it has proved to be a cynical and murderous organization that can very well operate under the radar.”
Whereas IS loyalists in Europe took part in broadening the organization’s infrastructure in Europe and Russia, “the plans to strike America are being made in Syria, at IS’ headquarters in Raqqa.”
“Not that it came as a big surprise, but the Brussels bombings have proved that IS can cope with several fronts, including Syria and Iraq, despite a few setbacks there, and consolidate its presence in Libya and north Africa,” he said. “At the same time, it seeks to partner up with other jihadi organizations in the world and plan more attacks in the West.”
The official said the Brussels bombings were just a matter of time and were not a surprise to the intelligence community
“As painful as they may be, anyone who’s been studying the Islamic State’s behavior knew it was coming,” he said.