Evidence has mounted in recent weeks that indicates a potential plot by the Islamic State may be executed at next week’s Euro 2016 soccer championship.
The massively popular sporting event will be held in France, and evidence gathered from the laptop of Salah Abdeslam indicates a possible attack on June 11, when England is scheduled to play Russia in the tournament. Abdeslam, the mastermind behind November’s Paris attacks that killed 130, was captured in Belgium in March. Information on his laptop reportedly indicates instructions on carrying out further attacks in the event of his capture. “Most of the information was contained in Abdeslam’s personal testament setting out his wishes in the event of death,” said a Belgium security source to The Sun.
“This can only mean plans were being drawn up to attack England and Russia fans before the game. England and Russia fans are obvious targets, because both countries are bombing IS in Syria and Iraq,” the source continued.
The concerns for Euro 2016 include the possibility of chemical weapons mounted onto drones, as well as, “…suicide bombs and AK47s to carry out mass attacks,” according to RT. Some of soccer’s biggest names — including Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimović — are scheduled to play in the tournament, which is expected to draw 2.5 million spectators to 51 soccer matches involving two dozen teams.
The head of Germany’s Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution Hans-Georg Maassen furthered, “We know that IS has the European Championship in its sights.” While he stopped short of identifying concrete plans that have been uncovered, Maassen cites what he refers to as, “background noise,” and “an elevated number of indications,” to assess the danger level.
French authorities plan to deploy over 1,000 police officers throughout Euro 2016, with active snipers prepared to act throughout Marseille, the city where the England-Russia match will be played. The Old Port of Marseille was one of the most heavily featured locations in photographs and obtained information from Abdeslam’s laptop that was seized in March.
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