ISIS Leader, 400 Militants Enter Europe Disguised as Refugees

(Photo: Reuters/Srdjan Zivulovic)A group of migrants continue their journey near Dobova, Slovenia October 20, 2015. Migrants continue to stream north through the Balkans from Greece but Hungary sealed its border with Croatia on Friday and Slovenia imposed daily limits on migrants entering from Croatia, leaving thousands stuck on cold, rain-sodden frontiers.
(Photo: Reuters)ISIS militants in Iraq are seen in this undated photo.
(Photo: Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch)Migrants who arrived earlier by train from Austria, enter a new temporary refugee camp set-up at at Berlin's fairground 'Messe Berlin' in Berlin, Germany, October 5, 2015. German authorities expect up to 1.5 million asylum seekers to arrive in Germany this year, the Bild daily said in a report to be published on Monday, up from a previous estimate of 800,000 to 1 million. Germany's top-selling newspaper cited an internal forecast from authorities that it said had been classed as confidential.
(Photo: Reuters/Srdjan Zivulovic)A woman uses a mobile device to take photos of migrants as they walk in Dobova, Slovenia, October 20, 2015. Migrants continue to stream north through the Balkans from Greece but Hungary sealed its border with Croatia on Friday and Slovenia imposed daily limits on migrants entering from Croatia, leaving thousands stuck on cold, rain-sodden frontiers.
(Photo: Reuters/Michaela Rehle)Syrian migrants Zake Khalil (3rdR), his wife Nagwa (R) and their four children Joan, Torin, Ellen and newborn Hevin arrive at the Austrian-German border in Achleiten near Passau, Germany, October 27, 2015. The premier of the state of Bavaria Premier Horst Seehofer criticised Austria on Tuesday for failing to coordinate the flow of migrants into southern Germany even as he renewed a challenge to Chancellor Angela Merkel over her management of the refugee crisis. Germany is taking in more migrants than any other EU state. It expects 800,000 to 1 million people, many from war zones in the Middle East, Africa and Afghanistan, to arrive this year.
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An Islamic State general, who has been designated by the United States as a global terrorist, is reportedly back in Europe from Syria along with about 400 of his soldiers, many of whom crossed the borders disguised as refugees.

The general, identified as Lavdrim Muhaxheri, also known as Abu Abdullah al Kosova, and his soldiers are among thousands who have fled Syria after the Islamic State, also known as IS, ISIS, ISIL or Daesh, suffered major losses in recent months, the U.K.'s Daily Mail reported, quoting sources in the Italian intelligence services, which have agents in Kosovo.

Muhaxheri, a Kosovo Albanian IS leader, who has been seen in a picture that showed him decapitating a prisoner, left for Syria in late 2012 and then appeared in IS propaganda videos, according to reports.

The sources say many of the IS fighters likely disguised themselves as refugees. "Numerous jihadists are returning to Europe and the Balkans, aiming to hit the old continent at its heart. Some of them are being identified by security services, but many others manage to cross the borders without being identified," the U.K.'s Mirror newspaper quoted Italian newspaper L'Espresso as saying.

Muhaxheri and his IS associate Ridvan Haqifi planned attacks on international and state institutions as well as on the Israeli football team during a match in Albania. Kosovo government institutions and Serbian Orthodox Church sites were also their potential targets.

IS has been threatening to launch more attacks in Europe and also the U.S.

It was recently learned that IS has developed a mobile application to indoctrinate young children in Iraq and Syria by allowing them to blow up Western landmarks, including Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower and Statue of Liberty in 9/11 style attacks.

Called Huroof, or alphabet, the app also teaches youngsters to spell out words such as grenade and rocket, according to Col. John Dorrian, the spokesman for the U.S.-led international coalition fighting IS.

The app "is supposed to teach them Arabic. But the words they learn are related to violence and extremism such as tanks and grenades," Dorrian said in a statement, according to Iraqi News. "The children are rewarded if they say they are prepared to carry out attacks on the West, the targets are places like the Statue of Liberty, Big Ben and the Eiffel Tower."

Dorrian added: "The reward for learning something in this app is to get points that they can use to select the terrorism target of their choice. Western landmarks that the child can choose and attack using a variety of weapons, including commercial airliners."

The coalition recently intensified its fight to help Iraqi and Kurdish forces retake IS strongholds in Mosul, Iraq, and Raqqa, Syria. It released 3,038 weapons in October and 2,709 in November, according to the Air Force Times, which also said that those 5,747 weapons released represent the coalition's busiest two-month stretch against IS in 2016.