Report: ISIS Fighters Recently Left Syria en Route to Europe, Celebrate and Warn of Attacks

Justin Holcomb
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Posted: Jun 15, 2016 2:00 PM
Report: ISIS Fighters Recently Left Syria en Route to Europe, Celebrate and Warn of Attacks

Authorities in Belgium and France have received intelligence that a group of Islamic State fighters recently left Syria en route for Europe to conduct attacks, a Belgian security source said on Wednesday.

Belgian newspaper La Derniere Heure first reported that Belgian police had warned their counterparts in France that fighters with access to weapons could have left Syria about 10 days ago, traveling through Turkey and Greece.

A source at France's Interior Ministry said the country is currently reviewing the information in the alert. "We know the threat is very high," the source said. "We're reviewing all the elements (in the alert)."

"We know there are fighters who are coming back (to Europe)," French government spokesman Stephane Le Foll told a news conference on Wednesday, adding he could not confirm the specific alert from Belgium.

In a separate report, ISIS leaders used the Telegraph encrypted message service to congratulate the recent attacks in Orlando and France.

“Congratulations to our brother Omar Mateen, to our brother Abdulla Alarussi, to everybody who will follow in their jihadi footsteps for Allah’s sake,” Almuhajer wrote. “In Allah’s name, these attacks will have many followers. Allah’s enemies have a lot of bad news to wait for. Victory is near.”

The Al-Battar Media Foundation, a pro-ISIS media group in Lybia, released several statements on Orlando just hours after Barack Obama spoke on Tuesday.

The first statement featured a selfie of Mateen, who was credited with killing "gay crusader infidels in the city of Orlando, America" and putting "horror, fear and heartbreak" in "the hearts of the infidels" during the "great blessed battle successfully carried out by one Muslim man."

The statement goes on to slam "hypocrites in whose heart is a disease" and "fear of infidel Trump winning the presidency."

"While the tyrants shut the immigration door in your faces, open in their faces the door of jihad," the statement adds.

Al-Battar specifically suggests targeting movie theaters, hospitals, airports, trains, amusement parks and restaurants.