Terrorism experts are warning that ISIS may be planning attacks in Western countries as the group seeks to return to prominence.
Last week Jean-Charles Brisard, president of the French Centre for the Analysis of Terrorism, told RTL radio listeners that ISIS is still an active threat despite the loss of territory in the Middle East.
“We know for a fact that ISIS will launch one or several terrorist attacks in the West to prove it still exists and to mobilize its troops,” he said.
“They [ISIS] still poses a real threat”.
The United Nations and the American government are both warning that ISIS cells around the world, including Western countries, are planning attacks for the near future.
“This threat must be taken seriously. ISIS suffered major territorial losses and needs the world to know it is still very much active,” Brisard added.
A UN report from July noted that the 30,000 foreigners who joined ISIS and their dependents who survived the collapse of ISIS in the Middle East could try to continue the fight around the world. The UN called these individuals an “international concern for the foreseeable future.”
Surprisingly, while UN security experts warn of the massive threat former ISIS members pose, UN bureaucrats have consistently called for Canada to repatriate terrorists who hold Canadian passports.
The Canadian government estimates “about 60” ISIS fighters have returned to Canada, with many more potentially returning in the future.
Reports indicate that the government is actively looking for ways to bring ISIS fighters back to Canada.
Canadian law enforcement recognizes the threat returning ISIS fighters pose, but have admitted they may not be able to monitor or prosecute them.
“We may not be in a position, as each and every one of them comes back to Canada, that we’re at that stage where we can arrest them,” said RCMP Deputy Commissioner Denis Michaud.
Despite territorial loss, ISIS continues to attack innocent civilians abroad. In April ISIS claimed responsibility for the massacre of 359 Christians during Easter Sunday services in Sri Lanka.