Europe

EU police agency warns of extremist threats to Europe

  • Soldiers patrols on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, southern France, Tuesday, July 19, 2016. Joggers, cyclists and sun-seekers are back on Nice's famed Riviera coast, a further sign of normal life returning on the Promenade des Anglais where dozens were killed in last week's Bastille Day truck attack. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

    Soldiers patrols on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, southern France, Tuesday, July 19, 2016. Joggers, cyclists and sun-seekers are back on Nice's famed Riviera coast, a further sign of normal life returning on the Promenade des Anglais where dozens were killed in last week's Bastille Day truck attack. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)  (The Associated Press)

  • Imams and worshipers held prayers for three of those killed in Thursday's attack, including 4-year-old Kylan Mejri and his mother Olfa Kalfallah, 31, at the ar-Rahma mosque in the eastern suburb of Ariane in Nice, southern France, Tuesday, July 19, 2016. Mourners rallied around Kylan's father, Tahar, who spoke of his grief at losing his son and wife in the attack. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

    Imams and worshipers held prayers for three of those killed in Thursday's attack, including 4-year-old Kylan Mejri and his mother Olfa Kalfallah, 31, at the ar-Rahma mosque in the eastern suburb of Ariane in Nice, southern France, Tuesday, July 19, 2016. Mourners rallied around Kylan's father, Tahar, who spoke of his grief at losing his son and wife in the attack. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)  (The Associated Press)

  • People look at flowers and messages placed along the beach of the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, southern France, Tuesday, July 19, 2016. Joggers, cyclists and sun-seekers are back on Nice's famed Riviera coast, a further sign of normal life returning on the Promenade des Anglais where dozens were killed in last week's Bastille Day truck attack. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

    People look at flowers and messages placed along the beach of the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, southern France, Tuesday, July 19, 2016. Joggers, cyclists and sun-seekers are back on Nice's famed Riviera coast, a further sign of normal life returning on the Promenade des Anglais where dozens were killed in last week's Bastille Day truck attack. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)  (The Associated Press)

The number of people killed in attacks by extremists throughout Europe soared in 2015 from the year earlier and the European Union police agency is warning the Islamic State group may "put more emphasis on operations abroad" as a Western military alliance puts it under pressure in Syria and Iraq.

The Europol report published Wednesday paints a worrying picture of an EU assailed by Islamic extremist threats that are unlikely to recede any time soon. It warns that Syrian asylum-seekers could be targeted and swiftly radicalized by IS recruiters while a new generation of fighters is being raised in IS territory in Syria and Iraq.

The report also warns that IS appears to favor attacks against soft targets because they "instill more fear in the general public."