Spanish Newspaper El Mundo, in collaboration with British Daily Mail, wanted to get a clear overview of the number of Islamic fanatics in Europe and arranged for a sit-down with the EU counter-terrorism coordinator Gilles de Kerchove to discuss the issue in depth.
His answers are frightening to say the least.
Our colleagues over at the Daily Mail UK had a look at the numbers and broke it down for us.
Quote: 'The United Kingdom has identified 20,000 to 35,000 radicals. Of these, 3,000 are worrying for MI5, and of those 500 are under constant and special attention. France has 17,000. Spain many less, but more than 5,000 I suppose. In Belgium almost 500 have been to Syria and there are around 2,000 radicals or more.
(The Goldwater: MI5 is the British counterpart of the FBI).
When asked what about the whole of Europe, the answer Mr de Kerckhove gave was truly staggering: 'I wouldn't like to put a concrete figure on it, but (in Europe) tens of thousands, more than 50,000. We must select those who are really worrying and the most dangerous, and they should be monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week.'
Furthermore, Mr de Kerchove warned Islamic State would, in his opinion, most likely attempt a cyber-attack on air traffic control systems or nuclear power stations within three to five years
He doesn’t think the Islamic State would develop their own computer experts, but rather this would be done by paying Russian hackers.
When asked specifically by our Spanish colleagues about the 12-man cell who were involved in the attacks both on August 16 and 17, killing 16 and injuring over a 100 others, the expert said: 'It's early to draw definitive conclusions, but we know that we need much greater efforts in prevention. How do we detect the first signals (of radicalisation), no matter how weak they are? They succeeded in preparing the attacks under the radar. We will suffer more attacks. Most, except for Brussels and Paris, were not directed from Raqqa, but they were inspired there. And later Islamic State claims responsibility.
Lastly, Mr De Kerckhove pointed out that there needs to be better cooperation between countries of the European union as a whole. In the case of the Barcelona cell, the Spanish police had been warned about Abdelbaki Es Satty, the alleged leader by their counterparts in Belgium, but did nothing with this information.