Al-Qaida's apparent effort to get militants fighting in Iraq to return to Europe and plot attacks is among the leading threats to the continent, one of France's leading anti-terror judges said Thursday.
"It's a new generation and a new strategy," said Jean-Louis Bruguiere, who was in Spain to receive an award from a private group for his efforts to combat terrorism. "They have been in Iraq, they have received training and they can come back to Europe to commit attacks."
The threat of terrorism in Europe remains very high because of anger over the Iraq war and the growing influence of North African groups linked to al-Qaida, he said at a news conference.
He said that among the leading threats to Europe is an apparent effort by al-Qaida to unite terror trainees in Iraq with militants in North Africa, especially Algeria's Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, better known by its French initials GSPC.