London: According to Europol, the European police agency, almost 5000 Europeans have joined Islamic State ranks.
When asked how many foreign fighters had left from Europe to join IS, Rob Wainwright, the head of Europol told the British lawmakers, “We're talking about 3,000, 5,000 EU nationals”.
He stressed that young people who have shaken hands with the terrorists pose maximum threat in case they return to their country of origin.
“We're dealing with a large body of mainly young men who have the potential to come back and have the potential or intent and capability to carry out attacks we have seen in Paris in the last week,” Wainwright said.
He also said that Europe was facing the most serious terrorist threat since 9/11 attacks of 2001. He demanded greater vigilance over social media that is now being used by the Jihadist for recruitment.
“We have to have a closer, much more productive relationship between law enforcement and technology firms,” he said.
Wainwright added that “One of the important evolutions we're seeing right now in the current terrorist threat is the way the Internet is used, clearly much more aggressively, much more imaginatively by the networks,”
The names of about 2,500 suspects have been collected by Europol from the security services of various EU countries, Wainwright said.