EVERY silver lining seems to have a cloud around it, none more so than the news that with the Iraqi Forces about to reclaim Mosul, that country’s second largest city, there could be a significant backlash for Europe.
Put very simply, in the event that Daesh is defeated then there will be a hard core coterie of armed terrorist fighters many with European passports yet no one handy to shoot at who isn’t likely to shoot back with bigger guns.
The so-called expert view is that a few of those disenfranchised fighters will start to wander back to Europe and having been radicalised, they will be tempted or indeed are likely to actually take some form of deadly action in order to promote their ideals.
It is estimated that there could be as many as 2,500 Daesh troops who arrived in Iraq from Europe and if just 10 per cent can find their way back to Europe then the Paris massacres could be dwarfed by comparison to the potential mayhem that could be caused.
Increased vigilance is going to have to be the watchword around Europe but it is likely that the identities of the majority of those who have joined the terrorist group will be known to the authorities and a close watch will be kept on communications with former friends and families.
All of this so far is hypothesis but there is a great deal of sense in suggesting that if you get beaten in one theatre of operations, you regroup and open up another front in a different area, enrolling ‘sleepers’ and fifth columnists to shelter you and supply financial and strategic support.