Terror Sleeper Cells, Suicide Bombers Snuck Into Europe - Report

© AFP 2022A member of the Iraqi security forces removes a banner bearing the logo of the Islamic State (IS) group in eastern Mosul on January 19, 2017
A member of the Iraqi security forces removes a banner bearing the logo of the Islamic State (IS) group in eastern Mosul on January 19, 2017 - Sputnik International
Interpol chief Jürgen Stock warned last December that Europe could soon brace for "a second wave" of radicalised individuals affiliated with Daesh, in what might be called "ISIS 2.0".

The International Centre for the Study of Violent Extremism (ICSVE) has interviewed 18 Daesh* members held by the US-backed Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), and two of those cadres turned out to be part of the terrorist group's intelligence operation, known as "emni", The Daily Beast reported.

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One of them, a 35-year-old Tunisian named Abdel Kadr, illegally entered Europe back in 2008 and then married a German in order to get legal residency, to live and work there. In 2014, he left Germany for Syria to join Daesh alongside his friend Dominic, a white German convert to Islam.

Kadr claimed that Dominic wanted to find a way to back to Germany to work as an undercover intelligence operative for the self-proclaimed caliphate: due to his fair skin with no known criminal record he could potentially manage to keep a low profile.

Dwelling on emni, Kadr claimed that there were both internal and external intelligence networks in the group: while the former boosted security within the terrorist organisation's territory, the latter sent "agents" outside of it to create sleeper cells orchestrating attacks in Europe and beyond.

"They live 24 hours per day with a mask. They are chosen specially for this. They have their own houses, special families. They have been chosen specially, and many were sent back to Europe", Kadr said.

Prior to joining Daesh, Kadr used to be a human and goods smuggler in Germany, operating between Turkey and Europe.

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"There are a lot of those who were trained by ISIS [Daesh] to go into Europe", Kadr said, adding that the emni member who trained many of them was also an Austrian known by the pseudonym of Abu Musa al-Almani.

"He was in charge of Germany. He spoke around seven languages: German, Dutch, French, Arabic, and German with the accent of Austria. He was an Austrian native with long hair and a red beard. He was from a wealthy family in Austria and a convert from Christianity. I met him in Syria, but he was moving everywhere. I heard about this wave that they prepared for Europe. They asked me if I’d like to go back to Germany. They were saying to me if you want to go back don’t worry about money, but they don’t know how I think".

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Kadr claimed that the Daesh emni wanted him to resume human smuggling, "to make logistics and coordination".

Daesh intelligence "knew I was a people smuggler. All my German friends knew I was a smuggler. Abu Musa al-Almani, who was in charge of Germany, came to me in Raqqa with Dominic and asked me about the smuggling. He said, 'Dawlah [the State, ie. Daesh] needs you. The whole nation of Islam needs you'".

The emni reportedly asked Kadr to help them infiltrate trained operatives back into Europe following the routes he had previously exploited, he, however, claimed he had refused. 

"I used my injuries as an excuse to escape from this, I have a screw in my leg, shrapnel [from a bomb attack]. It took seven kilometres walking to get across to Greece. My role was five kilometres up to the tree [bridge]. Someone else took them inside, an Algerian guy".

Kadr said that when the emni was going to send a European back to carry out an attack, they would first mislead fellow terrorists (and the media) that he had been killed during fighting or in a bomb attack, when in fact, "they took them to a camp to train them. Then after you get a communiqué about their action in Europe. The communiqué on this date stated he died in France or Belgium, but for ourselves, seven or eight months before [we had heard] they were announcing his death".

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Kadr, who was captured by the YPG last year, claimed he was totally disillusioned with Daesh and ostensibly attempted to thwart any potential attack by Dominic, who is alleged to have been taken to a training camp, by alerting German and European intelligence about his friend’s mysterious "disappearance" and false death announcement inside the self-proclaimed caliphate.

"There are 1,000 partisans in Europe. They have a big plan to introduce hundreds of refugees from all nationalities of the world. They are processed by surgery, training and language and they send them as sleeping cells. In Turkey they give them hair transplants, surgically change their eyes, even the eye colour".

For instance, in 2015, Harry Sarfo, a German of immigrant descent from Ghana, told journalists that after he arrived in Daesh territory, he was met by masked emni members who told him that the terrorist group wanted Europeans like him to stay in his home country, or train and rapidly return for attacks at home. At the time Sarfo claimed that the emni wanted to plan attacks in the West "that happened everywhere at the same time".

"They are able to bring a youth into ISIS [Daesh] and then back into his family without the knowledge of his parents. They send him home to Europe after one year in training with ISIS [Daesh]. There are some people who came with European faces for a short time and went back through Turkey. Like my friend, Dominic. I think he’s living in Europe", Kadr elaborated.

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Many European nations have voiced concerns over US President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw all American troops from Syria after declaring that Daesh had been defeated.

Washington's transatlantic allies, in fact, announced that they would maintain a military presence in the Arab Republic as part of the international coalition to eradicate the terrorist group.

In the meantime, US State Department deputy spokesman Robert Palladino called on 5 February for the repatriation of foreign citizens who arrived in Syria to serve Daesh and had been captured by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

"The United States calls upon other nations to repatriate and prosecute their citizens detained by the SDF and commends the continued efforts of the SDF to return these foreign terrorist fighters to their countries of origin", Palladino said in a statement.

For instance, the UK has repeatedly showed its reluctance to take back its citizens affiliated with Daesh, while other European countries have mainly remained silent on the fate of those, who are seen as a major security threat.

READ MORE: US Urges Allies to Take Back Daesh Terrorists Captured by Kurds in Syria

The SDF previously announced that they had captured more than 900 foreign militants during a campaign against Daesh in northeastern Syria. On top of that, they are also reportedly holding more than 4,000 family members of terrorists.

*Daesh, also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS/Islamic State, is a terrorist group banned in Russia and many other countries.

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