Supergrass says ISIL is struggling to recruit jihadis for UK attacks

Jailed fighter says terror group wants to mount synchronised atrocities in UK, France and Germany.

Published: 04th August 2016 08:35 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th August 2016 08:38 AM   |  A+A-


Islamic State militants pass by a convoy in Syria (File|AP)

A British educated Isil supergrass has revealed how the terror group has planned simultaneous attacks in England, France and Germany, but is struggling to recruit UK-based jihadis. Harry Sarfo, who was born in Germany but grew up in the UK, told how he travelled to Syria to fight alongside Isil jihadists but was told to return to Europe to take part in terrorist


In an interview with The New York Times, Sarfo, who is serving a prison sentence in Germany, said that Isil commanders wanted to organise "loads of attacks at the same time" in different European countries.

His disclosures about the operation of the terror group comes after a wave of attacks in France and Germany that have alarmed intelligence authorities across the continent.

Sarfo said that after his arrival in Syria, Isil chiefs instructed him to  return to Europe.

"They said, 'Would you mind to go back to Germany, because that's what we need at the moment,'" he said.

"And they always said they wanted to have something that is occurring in the same time. They want to have loads of attacks at the same time in England and Germany and France."

He said Isil has had recruits in England and Germany, but that many of them had "chickened out" before taking part in attacks.

He said: "They told me that there aren't many people in Germany who are willing to do the job. They said they had some in the beginning. But one

after another, you could say, they chickened out, because they got scared - cold feet. Same in England."

Sarfo, who said he had studied construction at Newham College in London, revealed that Isil like to recruit men who have previously been convicted of crimes in western Europe. The group particularly values people if "they know you have ties to organised crime and they know you can get fake IDs, or they know you have contact men in Europe who can smuggle you into the European Union," he said.

Isil has claimed responsibility for attacks in France, Belgium and Germany in recent months.

UK authorities are increasingly concerned that Isil jihadists could be posing as migrants and attempting to gain access to Britain.

Ferries operating in the English Channel are also said to be a "weak link" that could be attacked by extremists. It emerged this week that "sea marshals" with orders to shoot to kill are to be deployed on passenger ferries operating between France and England.

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, has warned that a terror attack in the UK is a case of "when, not if".

Speaking of the terrorist atrocities Europe has seen recently, Sir Bernard said: "I feel and understand that fear, and, as the police officer in charge of preventing such an attack, I know you want me to reassure you.

"I am afraid I cannot do that entirely. Our threat level has been at 'Severe' for two years. It remains there. It means an attack is highly likely - you could say it is a case of when, not if."


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