German intelligence services believe that the ISIS-K terrorist group could carry out a major terrorist attack during the European Football Championships that are currently taking place in the country, according to an article in the Financial Times.

Germany’s interior minister Nancy Faeser said “Europe and, with it, Germany, are in the crosshairs of jihadist organizations, in particular ISIS and ISIS-K.” ISIS-Khorasan is the name given to the Afghan wing of the Islamic State, which claimed responsibility for the March massacre at Moscow’s Crocus City Hall.

An image was posted on the “Voice of Khorasan,” an internet site linked to the terrorist organization in May that depicted a militant armed with an assault rifle in a football stadium, along with the words: “Then score the last goal!” It was published just prior to the Champions League semi-final between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. Included in the poster were the words: “Where do you want? Along with Berlin, Munich, Dortmund.

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Thomas Haldenwang head of the department responsible for intelligence and counterintelligence in Germany said that ISIS had been able to infiltrate Western Europe using the flow of refugees, including those from Ukraine, as cover. Last July German police arrested seven Central Asian members of Isis-K that were believed to have entered Germany from Ukraine at the start of Russia’s February 2022 full-scale invasion.

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A German officer said they assumed some flew with “unfriendly intentions” but decided to simply incorporate them into the training to caution Ukrainian troops of the real dangers on the battlefield.

This coincided with numerous calls for its followers to carry out attacks on “soft targets” such as the 2015 attack on Paris’ Bataclan theater.

“A possible scenario is a large-scale, coordinated attack like the one we recently saw in Moscow,” Haldenwang said.

FT quoted a survey by Hohenheim university that suggested as many as a fifth of those polled said they would avoid attending Euro 2024 matches out of fear of terror attacks.

Haldenwang said the danger of Islamist terrorism had increased since Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack on Israel, with Islamist groups threatening violence inciting violence against Israel and Jews with an “explosion” in the number of antisemitic crimes reported in Germany over the last year.

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In January Isis-K carried out bombings in Iran that killed nearly 100 people and an attack on a church in Turkey. In March they were suspected of plotting to attack Sweden’s parliament in an operation that may have been directed from Afghanistan.

Haldenwang said, however, that by far the most likely threat came from attacks by “lone wolf” sympathizers such as a knife attack carried out in Mannheim earlier this month by a 25-year-old Afghan in which a policeman was killed and five others were injured. In early June police arrested a suspected ISIS supporter who had applied for a job as a steward at a Euro 2024 event.

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