The counter-terrorism chief at the United Nations is certain that ISIS will perpetrate terror attacks on flights using laptop bombs, and warns Europe that they will soon experience an influx of ISIS fighters recently defeated in Syria and Iraq.
Following the decision of European officials not to ban laptops on U.S.-bound flights from the EU, Jean-Paul Laborde said it was a matter of ‘when, not if’ terrorists conceal explosives in electronic devices.
In March, the US began prohibiting devices ‘larger than a smartphone’ on inbound flights from Turkey, Jordan, Morocco, UAE, Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
Laborde contended that ISIS fighters returning to Europe would be ‘more dangerous’ than those who have come before them. He noted that he did not know whether ISIS is currently capable of perpetrating a laptop bomb attack, but stated that organized crime groups are prepared to do so.
Laborde has previously predicted attacks years prior to their occurrence, and claimed it could be “one, two or three years” before terrorists begin using laptop bombs.
Western Europe is experiencing high threat levels due to the two-year string of deadly attacks that have killed numerous people, with many nations questioning their ability to guard their borders.
According to Laborde, the foreign fighters seeking to return to Europe now are much “more dangerous” than others who have come before them due to their growing resentment from the battlefield and in recent confrontations.
ISIS continues to lose territory at the hands of the Russian-backed Syrian army and U.S.-backed militias.
“On average, these people are much more committed, more experienced and more skilled,” Laborde said.
“In spite of the travel restrictions … still you will have a number of foreign terrorist fighters which will probably slip through the borders and go back, come back to these countries, especially with smuggling networks,” he added.
Laborde stated that restrictions have been successful in quelling the flow of foreign terrorist fighters leaving to join ISIS.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson noted recently that the number of foreign fighters going to ISIS-controlled regions fell by 90 percent in the past year.
The UN estimates that 40 to 50 percent of approximately 30,000 foreign fighters have already left territories controlled by the ISIS.
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