Skip to Content

EU counter-terror chief: UK home to 35 000 radical Islamic extremists

On Thursday, Gilles de Kerchove, the EU’s counter-terror coordinator, revealed that Britain was home to up to 35 000 Islamic extremists.

Published: September 2, 2017, 2:07 pm

    Read more

    Brussels

    De Kerchoce told Spain’s El Mundo newspaper that Europe should brace itself for more terror attacks like seen in Barcelona and Cambrils.

    “We are going to suffer more attacks,” he said as he pointed out that the UK has more radicalised muslims than any other country in Europe.

    “The majority, except Brussels and Paris, were not directed from Raqqa but inspired, and then ISIS claimed responsibility,” he said, referring to the Syrian city once considered the de facto capital of the terrorist group.

    “The group’s propaganda no longer calls so much for people to travel to the ‘caliphate’, but to launch attacks in their places of origin or of residence, even on a small scale with homemade weapons,” he explained.

    “The United Kingdom has identified 20,000 to 35,000 radicals. Of these, 3 000 are worrying for MI5, and of those 500 are under constant and special attention,” he said.

    By comparison other European countries, including France, have far fewer radicals. “France has 17 000. Spain many less, but more than 5 000 I suppose. In Belgium almost 500 have been to Syria and there are around 2 000 radicals or more.”

    But De Kerchove said he could not exactly say how many were present in Europe as a whole. “I wouldn’t like to put a concrete figure on it, but (in Europe) tens of thousands, more than 50 000.

    “We must select those who are really worrying and the most dangerous, and they should be monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

    The counter-terrorism official warned that radicals were increasingly applying the islamic concept of “taqiyya” which means concealing their religious beliefs from those around them – in order to prevent early detection.

    Police in Catalonia had been warned about Abdelbaki Es Satty, the alleged leader of the Barcelona cell, by counterparts in Belgium, but failed to react because they believed he presented no danger.

    The official noted that no case of cyberterrorism has been recorded yet, “in the sense of penetrating or intending to penetrate the systems of nuclear power stations, prisons, electrical stations or aerospace”.

    But he warned: “I would not be surprised if in the next five years it happens. Not that it works but that they try. One should not underestimate the potential of Islamic State.

    “At the moment they don’t have the knowledge for this. But in the dark net you can find system vulnerabilities for sale.” He added that they had the money to pay for hackers to penetrate such systems.

    According to De Kerchove European security services had “dismantled cells, destroyed plans, arrested people. Spain has arrested 51 jihadis so far this year. In 2016, 69, in 2015, 75.”

    He said the problem would not be solved any time soon. “This is a generational problem. It will take time, decades, it won’t be resolved in months.”

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    • PacificaRose

      Expel them all. And everyone who advocates in their defense.

    Europe

    Turkish law will allow rapists to marry their victims

    The law “Marry your rapist” will allow the marriage of children with their executioners.

    Salvini’s party narrowly loses in leftwing fief Emilia-Romagna

    BolognaThe ruling leftist coalition partner, the Democratic Party (PD) held onto Emilia-Romagna in regional elections in Italy on Sunday against Matteo Salvini's League party.

    Racist and xenophobic incidents in France rise by 130 percent

    In France, some 1 142 racist and xenophobic incidents were counted in 2019, suggesting an increase of 130 percent.

    Migrant smugglers use Instagram in Turkey

    The social network now makes it possible to connect smugglers and candidates for illegal immigration to Europe.

    After court decision: No place for AfD party conference

    BerlinAfter massive threats from Antifa, the Berlin AfD party conference planned for the coming weekend cannot take place. On Thursday, the Berlin district court announced its decision that the landlord of the Pankow ball room could not be forced to house the AfD despite a valid lease.

    Protests erupt in Greece over migrant saturation

    AthensMass protests against the admission of asylum seekers began on the Greek islands on Wednesday. The motto: "We want our islands back, we want our lives back."

    Nigerians terrorize Italian city

    PaduaThe Nigerian mafia has been busy in the Italian city of Padua. In less than 24 hours there were two violent episodes in the city center, and as always on via Diego Valeri.

    France: 41 percent ‘ignore’ news

    A survey carried out for a newspaper shows a growing distrust of the French towards the media.

    Gang rapes: Number of foreign suspects in Germany increasing

    BerlinThe proportion of foreign suspects in gang rapes in Germany has increased significantly in the past five years. This is despite the fact that the total number of suspects decreased between 2015 and 2017.

    Candidate recruits people of  ‘Turkish origin’ for French municipal elections

    Given the extent of the controversy, Mohamed Dine has now deleted his ad, previously posted on his Facebook page.

    Go to archive