Brig. Gen. (res.) Yehiam Sasson, former head of the Israeli National Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau, told Arutz Sheva that the Bureau’s issuance of a travel warning to western Europe signals an innovation that hasn’t occurred before.
"The travel warning of course also includes the traditional countries like Jordan, Morocco, Egypt and to a grave degree Sinai which has turned into a terror kingdom. But it also includes nations like southern Thailand and others. The innovation is that ahead of the (Jewish month of) Tishrei holidays, western Europe enters the picture," said Sasson.
The warning particularly notes the danger posed by the roughly 2,000 Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists who hail from western states, who it is feared may return home to carry out attacks on Jewish targets. That fear was illustrated in the case of Mehdi Nemmouche, the French-Algerian former ISIS fighter and torturer suspected in the deadly Brussels Jewish Museum shooting.
"These are activists of whom a portion of them came from western countries, and a portion of them converted to Islam in western countries," noted Sasson to Arutz Sheva. "The threat…is because there are infrastructures and the potential for the flourishing of this phenomenon in Europe."
"Islamic State activists are in Europe - that frightens many countries, and also should frighten us," assessed the former counter-terror chief.
Sasson reasoned that there was no need to cancel flights abroad, but caution should be exercised “on the background of the rising wave of anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish hatred, particularly on the background of radical Islamic religious awakening.”
"We must raise the awareness and act on the guidelines published by the Counter-Terrorism Bureau," warned Sasson.
"Today there is motivation to attack Israelis throughout the globe and also in western Europe," added the general. "You can travel, but you need to act with awareness by not standing out as an Israeli for example, by avoiding political confrontations, and by not visiting or traveling to unknown places with unknown people."