December 14, 2023 | Flash Brief

Hamas Terror Plot Foiled in Europe

December 14, 2023 | Flash Brief

Hamas Terror Plot Foiled in Europe

Latest Developments

Danish, Dutch, and German authorities made several arrests on December 14 in what Israel described as a Hamas-linked terrorist plot on European soil. Danish police announced during a press conference in Copenhagen that they had arrested three suspects, while Dutch police arrested a fourth suspect in Rotterdam. Dutch police — who this week raised their own terrorism threat level to “substantial” and had been on heightened security alert for months — said the arrest also involved German authorities.

On the same day, German police arrested two Lebanese nationals and one Egyptian national in Berlin on suspicion of planning to carry out attacks on Jewish institutions in Europe and having links to Hamas. The European statements did not immediately provide details on the targets or timing of the foiled plot.

Expert Analysis

“For decades, Hamas has sought to distance itself from international terrorist groups by claiming it was active only in so-called ‘historic Palestine’ — Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza Strip. Things have changed. Facing defeat at the hands of the Israel Defense Forces in its Gaza fiefdom, Hamas is apparently looking for easier targets in Europe. This should have been no surprise after the group’s brutal tactics on October 7. It mass murdered like ISIS and is spreading in Europe like ISIS.” Mark Dubowitz, FDD CEO

“Earlier in December, a senior Hamas official appeared on Arabic language media calling for worldwide acts of violence. These attempted Hamas terror attacks on European soil likely have two goals: to pressure the international community — Europe specifically — to constrain Israel in its war on Hamas and to counter the images of mass surrenders in Gaza that make Hamas look weak and vulnerable. This time, however, the Mossad was one step ahead, and the attempted attacks will hopefully strengthen, not weaken, Europe’s resolve to hold Hamas accountable for its crimes.” Enia Krivine, Senior Director of FDD’s Israel Program and National Security Network

Israel Says Hamas Built Infrastructure in Europe

In Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office issued a joint statement from the Mossad and Shin Bet that said the arrests exposed “the expansion of Hamas infrastructures to Europe.” The Iran-backed Palestinian terrorist group has been building up a global effort meant to enable attacks on “Israeli, Jewish, and Western targets at any price,” the agencies added.

The statement added that the Israeli intelligence agencies would continue to cooperate with foreign counterparts. But it did not explicitly claim an Israeli role in the foiling of the European plot.

Iran Using Northern Cyprus as Terrorist Staging Ground,” FDD Flash Brief

Mossad Operation in Iran Nets Terror Plot Leader,” FDD Flash Brief

Iranian Terrorist Attack on Israelis Thwarted in Cyprus,” FDD Flash Brief

Iran-Backed Athens Attack Foiled With Mossad Help,” FDD Flash Brief

Issues:

Israel Israel at War