ISIS Plotting Christmas Attacks in Europe in Revenge for Mohammed Cartoons, Claims Ex-MI6 Spy

BERLIN, GERMANY - DECEMBER 19: Police keep an eye out at the annual Christmas market at Breitscheidplatz on the third anniversary of the terror attack there on December 19, 2019 in Berlin, Germany. Three government commissions are still investigating the attack, with the focus now on shortcomings by law enforcement …
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

A former MI6 operative who spied on al-Qaeda has warned that an Islamic State leader is coordinating attacks on Europe, including the United Kingdom, over the Christmas period in revenge for the republishing of Mohammed cartoons.

Former terrorist bombmaker-turned informant Aimen Dean told members of the security and policing professions at an online International Security Week conference based in London that plans to commit terrorist acts are being hatched in Islamist-held areas of Libya and northern Syria, and are being coordinated by Abu Omar al-Shishani.

Al-Shishani, originating from Georgia, was thought to have been killed in a U.S. airstrike in 2016. However, it is believed he is still alive and operating out of Syria.

Mr Dean said, according to the i newspaper: “The worry is that, according to people who know him, [Shishani] is planning to avenge the Prophet Mohamed cartoons in places like Germany, UK, France and all around Christmas time.

“I’m afraid I’m not bearing good news but we need to be worried about the wave of terror that is coming from northern Syria and Libya for Christmas this year.”

The Islamists would be sent from Syria via Turkey or across the Mediterranean from North Africa to Europe, according to Mr Dean, with jihadists taking advantage of the lifting of lockdown restrictions over Christmas to launch their terror attacks.

On November 3rd, the Home Office raised the security threat level to “severe”, indicating that a terror attack is considered “highly likely”. The decision came after three major Islamist terror attacks in Europe, two in France and one in Austria.

The day before saw a terrorist gunman, identified as Macedonian-Austrian citizen of Albanian heritage Kujtim Fejzulai, fatally shoot two women and two men and injuring more than a dozen others on the streets of Vienna. Fejzulai, who was shot dead by police, was an ISIS sympathiser who had been released early from prison after serving time for terrorism offences, specifically attempting to travel to Syria to join the terror group.

On October 29th, Tunisian Brahim Aouissaoui, who had just arrived in France the month prior after landing in the Italian migrant hotspot of Lampedusa, launched a stabbing attack in a basilica in Nice, killed three Christians, almost beheading one near the font.

October 16th saw the terrorist attack that has had wide repercussions across French society. That day, 18-year-old Chechen refugee Abdoullakh Anzorov beheaded teacher Samuel Paty in a suburb outside of Paris in revenge for showing cartoons by satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo of the Islamic prophet Mohammed to his class during a lesson on freedom of expression. Showing depictions of their prophet is prohibited in Islam.

Rather than be cowed by the terror attack, Montpellier projected the cartoons onto government buildings, with President Emmanuel Macron vowing to defend the values of the Republic and crack down on political Islam in France.

Macron’s and France’s defiance was not without cost, however, with much of the Muslim world from Turkey to the far-east in protest, threatening revenge and violence against the leader and the country.

France’s renewed war against Islamic blasphemy laws started on August 30th, when Charlie Hebdo decided to reprint the Mohammed cartoons ahead of the opening of the trial of 13 people connected to the terror attack against the satirical magazine’s office by al-Qaeda gunmen in 2015.

While the magazine has since moved office — and is based at a secret location for the continuing safety of staff who are still receiving death threats — in September Zaher Hassan Mahmood launched a knife attack outside the former headquarters, injuring two. The Pakistani national admitted, according to sources close to the investigation, that it was in revenge for the republishing of the cartoons. Mahmood was charged with terrorism offences.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.