The threat faced by Europe from radical Islamic terrorist groups has reached its highest level in at least decade, the director of Europol, Rob Wainwright, told Handelsblatt in an interview.
Mr. Wainwright expressed concern that Islamic State could ramp up efforts to launch attacks in Europe as it faces military setbacks in Iraq and Syria.
The Europol chief said that security measures have been improved in the wake of a spate of terrorist attacks across Europe. Security agencies provided 10 times more data to Europol to fight terrorism in 2016, Mr. Wainwright said.
Europe has also tightened controls at its external borders, he said. Italian and Greek border agents are checking newly-arrived migrants and are referring potential security risks to Europol, Mr. Wainwright said. Europol has checked 6,000 newly-arrived migrants in the past five months, he added, but the overall proportion of migrants who are potential security risks is near zero.
Mr. Wainwright said Europe should bolster existing security systems to prevent terrorists from exploiting the borderless Schengen zone.
Read the full interview in Tuesday’s Handelsblatt Global.