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IS may be planning new terror attacks in Europe — German interior minister

November 18, 2015, 19:22 UTC+3 BERLIN

The Paris terror strikes had, in all probability, been part of the first coordinated series of the Islamic State terror attacks in the European continent, Thomas de Maiziere said

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BERLIN, November 18 /TASS/. German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told a meeting of the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) in Mainz on Wednesday that new Islamic State terror attacks were possible in Europe.

"The security threat to Europe, including Germany, is really serious," Thomas de Maiziere said adding that the Paris terror strikes had, in all probability, been part of the first coordinated series of the Islamic State terror attacks in the European continent.

"They may not be the last," the minister warned.

According to him, the terror attacks are targeted against the European way of life and European values. "Those who see a threat in freedom will always be against us," de Maiziere stressed.

A series of terror attacks rocked Paris in the evening on November 13 with shootings, bomb blasts and hostage taking. Terrorists seized the Bataclan concert hall where 1,500 people had gathered for a rock concert. Almost simultaneously, three suicide bombers blew themselves up next to the Stade de France stadium where a football match between French and German national teams was in full swing. Besides, terrorists opened fire at people in popular nightlife spots - cafes, bars and restaurants crowded at that time. The total death toll from all the terror attacks reached 129; another 352 people were injured.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told the Norwegian News Agency the day after the attacks that further struggle against the Islamic State terrorist group would be the best response to the recent terrorist attacks in France.

Stoltenberg said that military resistance to ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant - the former name for the Islamic State) should become a vital part of that response.

All NATO countries are taking part in an operation against the Islamic State. However, this is not our only task. It is necessary to support the local forces that are fighting against the IS; increase interaction among the intelligence services and develop technologies, which will help us to protect ourselves against terrorist attacks and defend our ideals in the ongoing struggle of values, the NATO secretary-general said.

Stoltenberg explained that he did not mean confrontation between the Western and Islamic values.

The Muslim world is not fighting against the West. It is necessary to fight against barbarity, crime and extremism, the NATO chief stressed.

He added that the recent terror attacks in Paris had shown that Western societies were vulnerable.

Not a single society can feel one hundred percent safe. The only response to this is to continue the struggle. The answer is to exert more efforts to create an open and free society by using both military and political means to defend our values. This is how we are going to act. We will not surrender and we will intensify struggle against terrorism, Stoltenberg stressed.

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