MOSCOW (Sputnik) — New attacks by the Daesh terrorist organization are possible across Europe as a retaliation for anti-Daesh actions or as a way to discredit Syrian refugees, EU law enforcement agency Europol said Friday.
"In addition to France and Belgium, all other EU Member States that are part of the US-led coalition against IS [Daesh] are prone to be attacked by terrorists led or inspired by IS. Attacks may also be carried out to compromise Syrian refugees as a group and to provoke Member States to change their policies towards them," the Europol report said.
France sits high on the list of countries that are likely to be targeted for gun and bomb attacks by Daesh jihadist militants, Europol said.
"France remains high on the target list for IS aggression in the EU," the agency said, adding other targets were Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
Europol said it was possible France had become the target of the deadliest Daesh attacks possibly due to it being a symbol of Western culture, its strong secular tradition and the ban on the Muslim face veil.
The law enforcement agency also said that the significant damage to Daesh in Iraq and Syria or its complete defeat would result in many foreign fighters returning to Europe and posing a serious threat to its security.
The Daesh terrorist group, banned in Russia and many other countries, claimed responsibility for a number of attacks that hit various cities across Europe in the past year.
In July, a truck drove into a large crowd celebrating Bastille Day in the French city of Nice, killing at least 86 people. In November 2015, Daesh carried out a series of terrorist attacks across Paris, claiming 130 lives and injuring over 350 people. In March 2016, three explosions rocked Brussels, resulting in 32 deaths and more than 300 people injured.