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Hamas' Oct 7 massacre is 'generational event' used for recruiting by terror groups across the world

Protesters, mainly Houthi supporters, rally to show solidarity with Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, in Sanaa, Yemen July 5, 2024. (Photo: REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah)

Terrorist groups are using the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks to recruit potential terrorists, according to the incoming acting director of the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center Brett Holmgren.

Holmgren, who is currently serving as the Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research, told the Washington Post in an interview published on Friday that Oct. 7 “was, is and will be a generational event that terrorist organizations in the Middle East and around the world use as a recruiting opportunity.”

“We’ve already seen that play out to some degree in Europe,” he added, referring to the arrests of terrorists suspected of planning attacks against Jewish institutions in Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark.

According to the Dutch General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD), European intelligence agencies successfully foiled at least 10 terror attacks in Europe in 2023, noting that terror threats had markedly increased after Oct. 7.

“There were two mobilizing issues: The destruction of Qurans in the Netherlands and other European countries and the conflict between Israel and Hamas,” AIVD stated in April.

Holmgren has been overseeing the U.S. State Department’s intelligence bureau, which is one of the least-known of the 18 organizations that make up the U.S. intelligence community. According to the Washington Post, it is one of the “most deeply respected agencies in the U.S. government, given its long track record of prescience related to the wars in Vietnam and Iraq and other geopolitical crises.”

Holmgren was asked about global perceptions of the United States, especially in the Muslim world, for its support of Israel's military campaign against Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).

“The sentiments that you’re hearing on the ground are real,” Holmgren responded. “They are reflected in the analysis that we’ve conducted, the global ramifications that 7 October has had, and is likely to have, on the perception of the United States in the region and among most Muslim countries."

“A lot of these governments still very much want US engagement and believe that it’s important to the future of the region and also the future of the international order,” he added.

Jewish institutions and individuals have become targets of antisemitic attacks and terrorism following Oct. 7 in both Europe and North America.

In Europe, there was a huge spike in antisemitic incidents in the month following the Hamas attack.

In November, Germany saw a 320% increase in antisemitic attacks. Explosives were thrown at a synagogue in Germany in April. A 12-year-old girl was gang-raped in France for being Jewish and the United Kingdom recorded a 589% increase in November compared to the previous year.

In the three months following the Oct. 7 massacre, antisemitic incidents in the United States rose by 361% compared to the same period the year before. In Canada, terrorists attacked a Jewish girl's school in May.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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