Islamic State is in its death throes but the worst is yet to come, the former head of Israel’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau, Brigadier General Nitzan Nuriel, said Friday, warning that the terror group could carry out a chemical attack.
“Western society must get used to the fact that terrorism is part of our life,” Nuriel said, speaking to Israel’s Army Radio. “We must get used to this, not in the sense of sitting around waiting for the next attack, and not in the sense of stopping to go abroad or to stop living, but in the sense of seeing who can improve the actions or processes that may help push back the next attack and make it an attack that will not claim large numbers of casualties.”
Nuriel, a 30-year IDF veteran, was speaking in the wake of the Barcelona and Cambrils terror attacks. At least 14 people were killed and some 130 were wounded in the two attacks. Islamic State claimed responsibility.
Nuriel said that even though the group was in steep decline, it still had the ability to inflict great harm
“I, sadly, was among those who said, ‘I told you so,’ those who said that 2017 will be a bloody year in Europe,” he said.
“I think the worst is yet to come. What we are witnessing is the death throes of death of the physical infrastructure of Islamic State in the region, and these will regrettably be accompanied by many incidents of this kind and worse. I, for one, believe that a chemical terror attack is ahead of us,” he said, adding that “Islamic State has the knowledge, the capabilities and the means. I think they have already made the decision. All that remains is the operation in which this will happen.”
Nuriel said every aspect of such an attack, including obtaining the weapons and raw materials, could easily be organized by terror cells already located in European countries and trained for such missions.
He said that greater awareness was needed everywhere in order to intercept and prevent further attacks. And prevention was the responsibility of everyone, he said. “Prevention is something local and municipal authorities can do, to minimize the possibility that this will happen again.”
“What we need is to get at a situation where such incidents, when they happen, end after 10-15 seconds; so that a driver cannot plough on for 530 meters, either because we have prepared – in advance – roadblocks that can be raised immediately, or because there is intervention with assault rifles by security forces posted at the site.”