The Associated Press is reporting that the Islamic State group has trained at least 400 fighters to target Europe in deadly waves of attacks, citing officials.
The AP says the Islamic State plans to deploy "interlocking terror cells like the ones that struck Brussels and Paris with orders to choose the time, place and method for maximum carnage."
The officials, including European and Iraqi intelligence officials and a French lawmaker who follows the jihadi networks, described camps in Syria, Iraq and possibly the former Soviet bloc where attackers are trained to attack the West. Before being killed in a police raid, the ringleader of the Nov. 13 Paris attacks claimed to have entered Europe in a multinational group of 90 fighters, who scattered "more or less everywhere."
The AP reports that officials estimate between 400 and 600 Islamic State fighters trained specifically for external attacks, and that some 5,000 Europeans have gone to Syria.
The report continued:
French speakers with links to North Africa, France and Belgium appear to be leading the units and are responsible for developing attack strategies in Europe, said a European security official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about briefing material. He is also familiar with interrogations of former fighters who have returned to Europe. Some were jailed after leaving IS while others were kicked out of the terror group. The fighters include Muslims and Muslim converts from all across Europe.
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