TEL AVIV, Israel — Dozens of Islamic State members have successfully “returned” to Europe and are poised to carry out attacks in the future, a Gaza-based jihadist who formerly fought in the Islamic State terrorist group claimed during a phone interview.
“I personally know for sure that dozens of our brothers successfully returned to Europe and we will see very soon the results of their blessed actions,” claimed Palestinian jihadist Abu Baqer Almaqdesi, who returned to the Gaza Strip after he was wounded while fighting among IS’s ranks in Iraq.
IS has been stressing lone wolf operations, meaning attacks carried out by supporters who live among the population and are allegedly not part of any larger cells. However, according to Almaqdesi, the terrorist organization is “acting to organize its cells in the infidel Western countries in order to carry out revenge attack in all the countries participating in the Crusader and infidel coalition against the Islamic State.”
“The Crusader Europeans bombing the Muslims and destroying their lands and countries have opened the gates of hell upon themselves,” he claimed, speaking in his native Arabic.
The U.S.-led international coalition is not “bombing the Muslims,” as Almaqdesi claimed, seemingly implying the blanket bombing of members of the Muslim religion. The coalition has been carrying out targeted strikes against IS terrorist positions.
“Our brothers who returns to infidel and Crusader countries will soon strike in all the infidel capitals,” he added. “We will soon see the experience they’ve gained, their faith in Allah and his promise of victory in all the Crusader capitals.”
Almaqdesi further stated:
Our brothers are arriving on fertile ground. Thousands of young people in France, Belgium, Holland, England and Germany are eager to join the ranks of the mujahedeen in Syrian, Iraq, Libya and other places, but this won’t help. They have an opportunity to lead the jihad inside the Crusader and infidel countries. This is a tremendous opportunity for Muslims and the faithful to bring the fight to the enemy’s land. The fighting won’t only be in the land of Muslim countries, but also sometimes in countries participating in the murderous coalition.
Wrongly claiming that the U.S.-led coalition has killed “hundreds of thousands of Muslims, children, women and old people,” Almaqdesi continued:
When there are dozens of brothers and soon the number will reach hundreds, capable of organizing cells and are backed by the supportive environment of thousands of young Muslims eager to serve Allah and his sharia and avenge the murders of hundreds of thousands of Muslims, children, women and old people at the hands of the Crusaders, there’s no doubt the we are standing before a new age. Those who think they defeated us in Mosul and Aleppo will now meet us in the capitals of the West and will taste the strength and arms of our brothers.
Almaqdesi’s claim of IS members returning to Europe implies that those jihadists are European citizens who fought abroad for the terrorist group.
In March, the Guardian newspaper quoted security sources warning that British security forces were urgently preparing for the possible return of “hundreds of UK nationals” who fought for Iraq and Syria, according to the newspaper’s characterization.
The Guardian further reported:
Security officials say they are particularly concerned by the prospect of very young children, including some who were born under isis rule in either Syria or Iraq, going to the UK with their parents.
One government source said: “It is possible they are going to return indoctrinated, deeply dangerous and damaged. The only analogous experience we have is handling children caught up in extreme religious sects. It is a huge challenge for family courts and social care.”