Up to 5,000 Europeans pose terror threat after going abroad to fight jihad

Up to 5,000 Europeans pose a potential terror threat after travelling overseas to Syria, one of Europe’s most senior law enforcement officers has warned.

Rob Wainwright, the director of Europol, warned that Europe is facing the “most serious terrorist threat since 09/11” in the wake of the Paris atrocities.

Mr Wainwright said between 3,000 and 5,000 European Union nationals currently pose a potential terror risk after going abroad to fight jihad in Syria and elsewhere.

He told the Commons’ home affairs select committee that Europol has so far drawn up a list of 2,500 names of potential suspects from a number of security agencies across the EU.

Keith Vaz MP, the committee chairman, said the Yemen government had indicated that last year 3,200 British nationals travelled to the country last year, raising fears that many could be travelling on to Syria.