Once in a while, the curtain is lifted by the directors of the different national intelligence services. This happened recently when the head of the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz (BfV), the domestic intelligence service of the Federal Republic of Germany, Dr. Hans-Georg Maaßen, invited experts to a symposium about ‘The Islamic State- A Global Threat’ in Berlin.
GLOBALO documents the main facts about the Islamic State and its plans in Europe:
- Do NOT under-estimate al Qaida and the al-Nusra front. There is a competition with the Islamic State (IS, ISIS, ISIL or Daesh) which pushed them to prove that they can hit in Europe and the US as well.
- ISIS is a new breed of organization, as it has the structure of a state including administration and taxation, and it controls several million people. It is the size of the United Kingdom.
- It has new branches in now nine countries, including Libya, Nigeria, North Caucasus, Sinai, Afghanistan.
- The next main territory is Libya where several of IS-top-leaders have moved. It is only 350 kilometers south of Sicily and Malta in the EU.
- Everybody entering IS is registered and everybody leaving is as well.
- Foreign fighters who want to return are seen as deserters and are killed.
- Many children are trained as fanatic indoctrinated suicide-bombers now. Rob Bertholee, head of the Dutch internal intelligence service AIVD, said his organization needed to put a 9 year-old on the IS-terror list. From The Netherlands, more than 230 people are now in IS, including around 70 children.
- IS is planning to continue its attacks in Europe– after Paris and Brussels in 2015 and 2016.
- They want to produce horrific pictures on TV to promote hate. One aim is to isolate the Muslim community and get them activated. Another is to stop the military involvement of the US and EU against IS in Syria and Iraq with asymmetric warfare.
- The propaganda is used to activate and motivate its supporters and sleepers in Europe and the US.
- The first terror wave was formed by amateurs without training and with home-made bombs. This is changing now. Hit teams are infiltrating Europe from the battle grounds with no mercy, well-trained and well equipped with AK47s and professional explosives.
- Several ISIS fighters have used the refugee routes, as well to push resentment against them in Europe. Two of the Paris attackers did this, with two more arrested in Salzburg in Austria. Three were picked-up in Ulm by the Brussels terrorists. Four more are on the radar of the intelligence services in Europe, but are still active.
- Since 2015 there is a change of strategy. The IS leadership is giving concrete tasks to several hit teams in Europe.
- The number of Salafists in Germany doubled in only four years to 8,650 today.
What is to be done by the intelligence and police services:
- The international connection of data-bases is the first priority. It is not optimized yet – there are too many national restrictions and ‘bureaucratic silos’ of the different services.
- Several national high courts – like recently the Bundesverfassungsgericht in Germany with the BKA Gesetz in April- restrict the storage and exchange of data too much.
- Watch al Qaida and al Nusra Front as well– not only ISIS
- Contain ISIS in the early stages in Libya, Sinai, Nigeria, North Caucasus, Afghanistan and India, where they have started to root and grow.
- For Europe, Libya is the next, close and first priority- where is the detailed master-plan?
- ISIS wants to separate the Muslims in the US and Europe from the majority and use this drift as a recruitment tool. Therefore do not support simple anti-Islam-hate propaganda, but promote true peaceful Islam.
- Stop the ISIS propaganda, misusing Islam and the internet. Prevention must get priority too. Fight for the hearts and minds now.