Tuesday's terrorist attacks in Brussels that killed more than 30 people and wounded more than 200 may signal a coming wave of terror from the Islamic State (ISIS), NBC News reports.
ISIS has claimed credit for the attacks.
NBC's Richard Engel reported Tuesday on "The NBC Nightly News"
that a senior U.S. counterterrorism official says Brussels was "likely just the beginning" of an ISIS terror wave.
U.S. intelligence officials told NBC they are working on the assumption that the same ISIS network that carried out the coordinated attacks in Paris in November is responsible for the attacks on Brussels Airport and a subway station.
The same cell also is believed to be behind an attack on a French train that was thwarted by two off-duty U.S. servicemen in August.
House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul told Fox News Channel's "Special Report"
on Tuesday that intelligence officials believe the same bomb-maker took part both in Paris and Brussels.
NBC reported that Tuesday's attacks had been planned for some time, and may have been stepped up after the arrest last week of Salah Abdeslam, who is believed to have coordinated the Paris attacks before escaping to Belgium.
Abdeslam reportedly is cooperating with interrogators and that might have moved up the Brussels attacks before any of those involved could be found and arrested.
American intelligence overheard chatter within the past four weeks indicating an attack was imminent somewhere in Europe, but there were no specifics, NBC's Engel reported. But without any details, it is unknown whether Tuesday's attacks were what was being discussed or whether another attack is yet to come.
McCaul told Fox that his briefing Tuesday from the Department of Homeland Security raised concerns that communications are coming out of Syria into the United States.
"We are particularly concerned about those individuals in the United States," McCaul said.
Counterterrorism expert Malcolm Nance told NBC that European countries don't have the quantity of resources as the United States to combat terror cells.
Additionally, thousands of Europeans have traveled to Syria and Iraq to fight with ISIS, and hundreds of them have returned home to be part of such attacks, NBC reported.
Nance told MSNBC the attacks seen so far are just the beginning of "a strategic campaign by ISIS to destabilize Europe."
"We arrested over 80 ISIS followers. We've had 75 plots against the West — that would be in Europe and the United States," McCaul told Fox. "We've stopped most of them. But San Bernardino is real. Chattanooga is real. And a Paris-style event in the United States is a real threat."
Canadian journalist Matthew Fisher warned his readers at Canada.com
that leaders in the West are ignoring the threat.
"Intelligence sources believe jihadists could strike 10 cities in Europe, North America and Asia at once, paralyzing global travel and commerce, Fisher wrote, adding that French police believe as many as 90 suicide bombers are hiding in Europe "awaiting instructions about when and where to blow themselves up."
"Any notion that Paris was a one-off attack should be firmly put to rest. ISIS clearly has infiltrated Europe," writes Matt A. Mayer at the American Enterprise Institute.
"So long as a bomb maker remains free in Europe and able to assemble bombs in an undetected facility, the next attack is only missing another foot soldier willing to die for radical Islam," Mayer said.
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