Isis planning simultaneous attacks in UK, France and Germany, ex-militant warns

Harry Sarfo says he was told to go home to Germany so they could attack multiple targets at once

Caroline Mortimer
Thursday 04 August 2016 10:11 BST
Harry Sarfo's appearance in an Isis propaganda video issued in August 2015
Harry Sarfo's appearance in an Isis propaganda video issued in August 2015

A former Isis militant turned whistleblower has warned that the terror group is planning a simultaneous attack on the UK, France and Germany.

Harry Sarfo, who was born in Germany but raised in the UK, said Isis commanders want to carry out multiple attacks in Europe.

He told the New York Times that when he arrived in Syria in 2015 he was told to return to his home in Bremen, Germany to plot a terror attack.

The 27-year-old described an encounter with masked members of Isis’s secret service, who told him and a German friend they needed to go home.

He said: “He was speaking openly about the situation, saying that they have loads of people living in European countries and waiting for commands to attack the European people.

“And that was before the Brussels attacks, before the Paris attacks.”

“They said, ‘Would you mind to go back to Germany, because that’s what we need at the moment’.

“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.”

Sarfo, who is currently serving a prison sentence in Germany for terror offences, said there had been many recruits in the UK and Germany, but they had “chickened out” before carrying out attacks.

But in contrast, they had more than enough volunteers for terrorist attacks in France.

He said when his friend asked about French recruits, the Isis commanders had started laughing and said “don’t worry about France”.

The former postman said hundreds of militants had “definitely” returned to Europe.

The victims of the Nice attack

He said they looked to target people with criminal histories, in particular because they often had ties to organised crime and “know you get fake IDs or they know you have contact men... who can smuggle you into the European Union”.

When The Independent interviewed Sarfo in May he said he had been persuaded to join Isis because he thought their videos demonstrated “unity under one flag... white, black, Asians and Arabs from all walks of life protecting the Sunni Muslims”.

He said he had felt victimised in Europe after being repeatedly detained and put under surveillance by intelligence agencies after converting to Islam from Catholicism.

He said he became radicalised after coming into contact with René Marc Sepac in a Bremen jail after he was sentenced to two years in prison for taking part in an armed robbery of a supermarket.

Sarfo claimed he decided to leave the caliphate after three months having witnessing the brutality of life there.

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