Further attacks by the Islamic State throughout Europe are far more possible now than in the past — and security officials said Thursday that they were targeting as many as 5,000 suspects who had become radicalized on the continent and had traveled to Syria to fight.
"We are faced by a more dangerous, a more urgent security threat from so-called Islamic State," Europol chief Rob Wainwright told the BBC, The Washington Post reports.
"It threatens not just France and Belgium but a number of European countries at the same time.
"It is certainly the most serious threat we have faced in at least a decade," he said.
Wainwright said that ISIS had adopted a "more aggressive" stance toward Europe and that many of those fighters had returned.
His comments came as the investigation continued into the Tuesday's deadly bombings in Brussels that claimed 31 lives and injured 300 others.
European officials have come under fire for not coordinating their security strategy sooner amid the growing ISIS threat, the Post reports.
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