„The current terrorist threat is the highest faced by Europe of at least a decade”, told, in an exclusive interview for Q Magazine, ROB WAINWRIGHT, the head of EUROPOL. Countries such as France, Belgium or Turkey have been victims of brtual attacks comitted by IS, which resulted in hundred of deaths and injured. The most recent one, from Ataturk airport, in Istanbul, in which 41 died , proves that the terrorist offensive is becoming more and more elaborate. „Europe needs to increase the trust between national CT services so that they see an added value in sharing more intelligence and information at EU level”, explained the director of EUROPOL.
„Recent terrorist attacks in Europe are a further reminder of the volatile terrorist threat faced in Europe today. We have consistently reported our judgment that there are at least 5,000 EU nationals who have been radicalised by so-called Islamic State and engaged in conflict experience in Syria or Iraq.
Some of these so called ‘foreign fighters,’ the precise number of which is unknown, have since returned to Europe with the intent and/or capability to carry out terrorist attacks.
We also believe that the Islamic State retains a capability, through these and other radicalised members, to carry out further attacks of the nature seen in Paris last November or in Brussels this March”, said Wainwright to Q Magazine.
At least 5,000 EU nationals who have been radicalised by so-called Islamic State
Despite the declarations of many European officials regarding the enhancement of cooperation in terms of counter-terrorism, this did not change until recently.
„Since 2001, many EU high level declarations called for enhanced information sharing and operational cooperation among MS in the field of counter terrorism. However, until recently, political declarations have not resulted in more intelligence sharing.
Europe needs to increase the trust between national CT services so that they see an added value in sharing more intelligence and information at EU level”, explained the director of EUROPOL.
„We observe a clear international dimension in the planning and coordinating of attacks, involving a network of perpetrators rather than groups of lone actors. ISIS has also issued a statement expressing its intention of using a different, new strategy according to which spectacular, international terrorist attacks are to be carried out.
This strategy poses concrete and tangible dangers to Europe. ISIS has demonstrated that is has adequate capabilities to plan and sustain such an international strategy in the long term”, concluded Rob Wainwright.
Rob Wainwright is the current director of Europol. From 2000 to 2003, Wainwright was the UK Management Board member at Europol and a UK Liaison Officer. At the same time, he was Head of the British Europol National Unit in London.
In 2003 he was appointed Director of International Affairs of the UK’s National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS), where he was responsible for international operations and for the development and implementation of a British strategy against illegal immigration.
From 2006 Wainwright held the post of head of the international department of the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency.
In April 2009, Wainwright was appointed Director of Europol, the European Police Office, being the first Director without a police background or belonging to a national police force.
He worked for ten years as an intelligence analyst in the UK in the fields of counter-terrorism and organised crime.