ISIS militants are gearing up for a campaign of bomb attacks on large crowds in France, host to next month’s Euro 2016 soccer championships, its spy chief has said.
Rare remarks by Patrick Calvar, the head of France’s DGSI internal intelligence agency, to the parliament’s defense committee spelled out “a new form of attack … characterized by placing explosive devices in places where there are large crowds and repeating this type of action to create a climate of maximum panic.
“Clearly, France is the most threatened and we know that ISIS is planning new attacks,” Calvar told the committee on May 10, according to a transcript of his testimony released to the media Thursday.
He said the militant group had the numbers to launch the new attacks, including some 645 French citizens or residents currently in Syria or Iraq, of which 400 were fighters. A further 201 were either in transit to or from the region, he said.
The comments came six months after militants killed 130 people in coordinated assaults on cafes, bars, a football stadium and a music hall across Paris.