ISIS may target Israelis, Jews abroad, Counter-Terrorism Bureau warns

Bureau warns that the terrorism threat against Israelis has risen in Western Europe and Africa, particularly from veterans of Syria and Iraq who return to their countries.

Bulgaria bus bombing which targeted Israelis in July 2012 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Bulgaria bus bombing which targeted Israelis in July 2012
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The National Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau released a biannual travel advisory on Monday ahead of the High Holy Days, warning that Western Europe and other locations could become the scenes of Islamic State terrorist attacks on Jewish and Israeli targets.
“During this period, the potential threat has grown,” the bureau warned, referring to the months since the deadly May 4 shooting attack at the Jewish Museum in Brussels in which a French Islamist gunman killed four people, two of them Israelis.
The gunman had returned from Syria, where he fought alongside radical rebel groups.
“There are concerns about additional attacks on Israeli and Jewish targets around the world, with an emphasis on Western Europe, by global jihadi elements (including Islamic State), particularly by veterans of Syria and Iraq who return to their countries,” the bureau stated. The recent fighting in Gaza had also led to a rise in anti-Israel sentiment, it said.
At the same time, Iran and Hezbollah continue to wage a global campaign of terrorism by seeking out Israeli and Jewish targets, with an emphasis on “soft targets” such as tourists, rabbis, Chabad facilities, and heads of Jewish communities, the communique said. Iranian and Hezbollah terrorists are also seeking to target Israeli business people and former senior officials for kidnapping or murder, it warned.
The Counter-Terrorism Bureau renewed a severe travel warning for the Sinai Peninsula due to the activities there of terrorist organizations, particularly Ansar Bait al-Maqdis. It warned that security threats to Israeli business targets in Africa had also grown.
In total, the bureau placed 41 travel advisories of varying severity on countries and regions around the world.
In 2013, it released a communique before Passover warning that a global Shi’ite terrorism network made up of Iranian Quds Force operatives and Hezbollah continued to target Israelis overseas.