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IS plotting 'more attacks in Europe'.

Byline: Hayden Smith

ISLAMIC State is believed to have set up a specialist command as it plots fresh Paris-style attacks in Europe, an official report has warned.

The terrorist group is feared to be preparing more marauding, mass casualty strikes that echo the Mumbai atrocities in 2008 after adopting the tactics in the French capital.

A new report published by the EU's law enforcement agency Europol said intelligence suggests IS has developed an "external actions command" trained for "special forces style" operations abroad.

It said: "This could mean that more attacks such as those that took place in Paris in November are currently being planned and prepared." The report also suggested extremist recruiters may target refugees who reach Europe.

There is no "concrete evidence" that terrorist travellers are using the flow of refugees to enter Europe unnoticed, it said, adding: "It is possible that elements of the (Sunni Muslim) Syrian refugee diaspora in Europe may be vulnerable to radicalisation.

"Indeed there are reports that refugee centres are being specifically targeted by Islamic extremist recruiters."

Titled "Changes in modus operandi of Islamic State terrorist attacks", the study found: | The Paris attacks appear to indicate a shift towards a broader strategy of IS "going global"; | new attacks are likely to be primarily targeted against "soft targets", with strikes against critical infrastructure such as power grids and nuclear facilities not currently seen as a priority for IS; | as well as Syria, there are also thought to be smaller-scale terror training camps in the EU and Balkan countries; | a significant proportion of foreign fighters have been diagnosed with mental problems before joining the group; | the use of encryption and anonymising tools by terrorists to acquire weapons and communicate prevents "conventional observation" by authorities.

The report said: "There is every reason to expect that IS, IS-inspired terrorists or another religiously inspired terrorist group will undertake a terrorist attack somewhere in Europe again, but particularly in France, intended to cause mass casualties amongst the civilian population. This is in addition to the threat of lone actor attacks, which has not diminished."

It added: "In selecting what to attack, where, when and how, IS shows its capacity to strike at will, at any time and at almost any chosen target."

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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jan 26, 2016
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