ISIS militants trained to mount revenge attacks in Europe; Interpol circulates list of 173
London [UK], July 22: The International Police Organization (Interpol) has circulated a list of 173 Islamic State militants who it believes could have been trained to carry out revenge suicide attacks in Europe in retaliation for the group’s military defeats in the Middle East.
The global crime fighting agency’s list was drawn up by U.S. intelligence from information captured during the assault on ISIS territories in Syria and Iraq.
According to a report by The Guardian, European counter-terror networks are concerned that as the ISIS “Caliphate” collapses, there is an increased risk of determined suicide bombers seeking to come to Europe, probably operating alone.
The list shows the suspects’ names, the date ISIS recruited them, their last likely address including the mosque at which they have been praying while away fighting, their mother’s name and any photographs.
For each of the fighters, an ID has reportedly been created to ensure that each member country in the Interpol network could integrate the data with local databases.
Interpol has asked its national partners for any information they might have about each name on the list, and any other background personal data they have on their files, such as border crossings, previous criminal offences, biometric data, passport numbers, activity on social media and travel history.
Interpol stressed the list’s transmission came as part of its role circulating information between national crime-fighting agencies.
“The purpose of sending these alerts and updates is to ensure that vital policing information is made available when and where it is needed, in line with a member country’s request,” said a spokesperson.
A European counter-terrorism officer said one of the purposes of circulating the list around Europe was to identify those on it who might have been born and raised in European countries.
In 2015 the UN considered there were 20,000 foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria, of whom 4,000 were from Europe.
The ISIS group is currently struggling to come to terms with the loss of Mosul in northern Iraq. The parallel advance on Raqqa, the group’s stronghold in Syria, has been stalled partly due to the severity of the resistance being mounted against the Syrian Democratic Forces made up of an alliance of Kurds, Arabs and US Special Forces.
(With ANI Inputs)