European police fear that Islamic State is directing its European fighters to break into civilian homes and kill them in the name of jihad.
Ever since the murder of a police officer in Paris who was stabbed to death by an Islamic State fighter in his home along with his wife, European authorities worry that the attack is the latest tactic of terror from the group.
The stabbing to death of the French officer marks a distinct turn in the tactics of Islamic State, from targeting uniformed police in public to targeting them in their own homes. The Federation of German Detectives (BDK) is now preparing their officers for the chance a similar attack will happen to them, Die Welt reports.
Chairman of the BDK Andre Schulz told German press: “We have indications that terrorists want to target and attack police including our own.” He explained that attacks of this nature were meant to destabilise the trust and faith the population has in the police to be able to act and even protect themselves from acts of terror.
“That will stoke up more uncertainty in the population, but also possibly provoke an overreaction from the police,” he said.
Military forces across Europe have, for years, mandated policies in which their soldiers are not allowed to wear their uniforms off base. The fear is that Islamic State fighters or other jihadists could follow the soldiers home or to somewhere where they are vulnerable.
The most notable case in which an off-duty soldier was murdered by radical Islamists was the case of British Army Fusilier Lee Rigby who was hacked down on the streets of London in May 2013. The act led the iconic Royal Guards to put themselves behind closed gates to prevent similar attacks.
In addition to police anxiety about home invasion attacks, lists of names have been posted on the internet by people claiming to have ties with Islamic State. The so-called “death lists” detail the names, addresses and emails of people the terrorist militia believe are enemies of Islam. One list included employees at the U.S. Pentagon, and the names and addresses of U.S. soldiers.
While soldiers in Germany have not yet been attacked by Islamic State, police officers have. In Hanover a young girl, said to have been radicalised online, stabbed a policeman outside a train station. The officer was stabbed in the neck but managed to survive his injuries after being rushed to a nearby hospital.