France, Belgium warned of new attacks planned by returning wave of ISIL terrorists

by WorldTribune Staff, June 16, 2016

A new wave of Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) terrorists returning from the battlefields of Syria are planning mass casualty attacks in France and Belgium, intelligence sources say.

“Fighters traveling without passports left Syria about a week and a half ago in order to reach Europe by boat via Turkey and Greece,” a memo sent to police and security services across Belgium said, according to La Derniere Heure newspaper.

Security measures are seen ahead of the UEFA Euro 2016 at the Eiffel Tower | Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Security personnel at the Eiffel Tower during Euro 2016.  /Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

The memo said the jihadists were armed and planned to carry out attacks in groups of two.

“Their action is imminent,” the memo added.

Belgium’s OCAM national crisis center did not deny the report, but said the information needed to be looked at further and “is non-contextualized and, as such, has not made a direct impact on the current level of threat” in Belgium.

France, which is hosting the Euro 2016 soccer tournament, is on maximum alert after terrorist Larossi Abballa on June 13 killed a police officer and his partner at their home.

Abballa, who told police negotiators before being gunned down that he had sworn loyalty to ISIL three weeks earlier, posted a video of his victims online as well as 13-minute long speech in which he claimed responsibility for the double murder.

During the video he promised “more surprises” during Euro 2016 and said the tournament being held in France would “become a cemetery.”

In response to the attack, France on June 15 eased its gun rules to allow off-duty police officers to carry their sidearms even if the nation is not in a state of emergency.

Meanwhile, Belgian police intercepted a message sent by Paris terror suspect Mohamed Abrini, who is currently in prison in Belgium. Abrini tried to send a message in Arabic to fellow inmate Marouan El Bali, who was part of a jihadist cell from the town of Verviers.

The message read: “Something is on the move in France.” Belgium’s terror alert is currently at the second-highest level of three, which means a threat is possible and likely.