The Islamic State group has taken advantage of the chaos left behind by the U.S. in Libya. | Photo: AFP
The NATO official said the Islamic State group wants a powerful navy to carry out “terror” attacks in the Mediterranean Sea.
The Islamic State group’s annihilation is further away than the U.S. and their allies have attempted to make global public opinion believe, which is confirmed by a NATO statement that the militants are planning to create a naval force to carry out attacks on commercial and cruise ships in the Mediterranean.
“We know they (Islamic State group leaders) have had ambitions to go offshore, we know they would like to have a maritime arm, just as al-Qaida had a maritime arm,” warned chief of NATO’s Allied Maritime Command, Vice Admiral Clive Johnstone, according to The Telegraph.
The NATO commander said the extremist group would be using highly sophisticated sea-based weapons to “carry out terror attacks in the Mediterranean.”
Johnstone said the increased presence and influence of Islamic State group in the Mediterranean reveals their objective of creating their naval force, which would endanger civilians traveling at sea.
“NATO must not think the Mediterranean is just about immigration,” he added. “It is the spread along the North African seaboard, it is the Daesh [Arabic acronym for IS] entry into Libya, it is the Daesh control of Sirte and other places, which has an uncomfortable shadow over maritime trade and maritime access.”
Although the NATO official did not provide conclusive evidence to back his claims, he mentioned that “really quite capable Korean, Chinese and Russian hardware” is being acquired through various means by various extremist groups in the region, including the Islamic State group.
Libya’s collapse into chaos and the Islamic State group’s takeover of the port city of Sirte has caused great alarm in Europe, with countries including Britain and Italy considering sending thousands of troops to train local forces, The Telegraph said.
Johnstone concluded predicting that an attack by the Islamic State group in the Mediterranean “won’t be a planned, horrible mischievous act, I think it will be an act which is almost a mistake, or it will be an act of random terrorism that will suddenly have extraordinary implications for the Western world.”