German police guard the Reichstag building, the seat of the German lower house of parliament Bundestag, before the German presidential election in Berlin, February 12, 2017.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israel is part of a secret counter- terrorism coalition that gathers intelligence on Islamic State combatants returning from the Syrian war to Europe, according to a Sunday report in Der Spiegel magazine.
The intelligence collection and anti-terror campaign is named “Gallant Phoenix” and includes a total of 21 states. Germany, the US and Jordan are part of the coalition that is based in Jordan at the US Joint Special Operations Command.
The coalition collects DNA, fingerprints and documents captured from Islamic State areas to use as a comparative analysis against already obtained intelligence.
Since the formation of its “caliphate” in 2014, roughly 40,000 Islamists have joined Islamic State. “The world will face years of terrorism as a result,” according to the British security intelligence agency Soufan Group, The Telegraph wrote.
The Spiegel report comes on the heels of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announcing last month that Israeli intelligence stopped hijackers who planned to crash airplanes into European cities.
“ISIS is being destroyed in Iraq and Syria, but it is trying to establish an alternative territorial base in the Sinai. Israel is contributing to preventing that in myriad ways,” he said. “In general, I would say that Israel is the most powerful indigenous force in the Middle East that fights radical Islam,” said Netanyahu. “We have, through our intelligence services, provided information that has stopped several dozen major terrorist attacks, many of them in European countries.”
Both Sunni and Shi’ite jihadists have returned to Europe. According to a German intelligence report obtained by The Jerusalem Post in 2017, Hezbollah combatants disguised as refugees entered Germany in 2016. The European Union and Germany classify Hezbollah’s “military wing” as a terrorist entity.