Mainz: The jihadist attacks in Paris may be part of a wider series of strikes the Islamic State group plans in Europe, Germany’s interior minister warned Wednesday.
“If this were confirmed, this would be first IS attack in Western Europe, but probably not the last”, he said, adding that last Friday’s attacks revealed “well-trained perpetrators and lengthy, highly conspiratorial planning”.
At least 129 people were killed in the attacks carried out nearly simultaneously at a football stadium, a concert hall and restaurants as throngs of Parisians were enjoying a night out.
CIA director John Brennan warned Monday that the attacks were likely not a “one-off event” and that he expected IS has more operations in the pipeline.
A series of recent bloody attacks have been attributed to, and claimed by IS, which controls large areas of territory in Iraq and Syria.
They include twin suicide bombings that killed 44 people in Beirut last Thursday, the downing of a Russian airliner over Egypt with 224 people aboard on October 31, and the suicide attack that left 102 dead and over 500 injured in Ankara on October 10.
De Maiziere warned that the threat for Germany and Europe “is serious, really serious”, with Western nations “in the sights of Islamist terrorism”.
On Tuesday night German authorities cancelled an international football match in Hanover citing a security threat, calling off an event that had been meant to show solidarity with France.
Speaking at the same conference, Germany’s Federal Crime Office chief Holger Muench also warned of a heightened threat, saying that of the more than 750 German citizens who had joined Islamists fighting in Syria and Iraq, over one third had returned.
He also warned of the possibility Islamic extremists could hide among the one million asylum seekers Germany expects this year — adding however that about 120 warnings, many from foreign security services, had netted no confirmed cases so far.
Muench also warned that fundamentalist Islamist groups in Germany had in about 60 known cases sought to contact people in refugee shelters for propaganda and recruitment purposes.