The Islamic State group leaves behind death, chaos and terror and is deemed to be the biggest terrorist threat of the moment. And it is driving closer to Europe and SRI says it has followers in Romania too.
The strategy for the development of the Islamic State network is terrible: 450 Syrian children have been recruited by the Islamic State recently. No one still doubts that the danger is major. But how close is it to Romania?
For the first time, the Romanian Intelligence Service has disclosed for digi24 that ISIS also has followers in Romania. And that propaganda actions have been discouraged lately.
The persons from Romania who have reportedly joined the Islamic State are foreign residents in Romania.
The head of the head of the Directorate General for the Prevention and Combating of Terrorism of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) speaks for the first time about Romania’s vulnerabilities to the terrorist threat:
‘My answer is superposed to calm down people, but is also supposed to be fair and objective. We are not completely safe from the possibility of a terrorist attack in Romania, obviously. We are making assumptions. There are punctual cases of radicalized, fundamentalist persons who join beyond ideology and try to support terrorist organizations’, he said.
An opinion poll conducted after the Charlie Hebdo attack indicates that 79% of Romanians expect further terrorist attacks in Europe
39% believe Romania can be a target
After the capturing and killing of Osama bin Laden, terrorism received a new name: ISIS or the Islamic State.
‘Our country is in the rhetoric of the organization, nominated as territory that needs to be conquered, included in the so-called Caliphate. Romania is one of the transit routes, used in transferring those Jihadist volunteers to theaters of operation, but it may also be a return route for them’, the SRI official told digi24.
European fighters in Syria and Iraq, mostly coming from France, Germany, Great Britain and Belgium, return to the countries they left. The return of fundamentalists to Europe seems to be the main security challenge of secret services.
‘I have seen many Western young people who come to enroll on their own initiative to these military formations of the Islamic State. The training takes roughly six months, followed by an education in the Sunnite Islamic spirit, a life preparation. Against such background, if there is unemployment among the younger generation, it is not excluded that Romanians might have also joined the Islamic State, says the former Dean of the Intelligence Faculty, Prof. Ph.D Cristian Troncota.
‘For now, this has not been confirmed, but I have the information that there are a few hundred young people from here who have taken the way to the Islamic State’, he adds.
Officially, things are as follows: ‘I can certainly tell you that, based on my own information, but also from the analysis of intelligence received from our foreign partners, there is no conformed Romanian citizens who have joined the organization in territories such as Syria or Iraq. I can tell you that there are such intentions which SRI, together with local partners, has managed to punctually discourage these fighting followers in their action of joining the fight. If we speak about foreigners or residents in Romania, a few cases have been identified, no more than five, where, after leaving the national territory, they decided to join he organization’, said the head of the Directorate General for the Prevention and Combating of Terrorism of SRI, for digi24.