Photograph: Europol

Terrorists affiliated with Islamic State militants or other extremist groups are expected to attempt another large-scale terrorist attack in Europe and are likely to again target France, the European Union's law enforcement agency said in a report on Monday.

"There is every reason to expect that IS, IS-inspired terrorists or another religiously inspired terrorist group will undertake a terrorist attack somewhere in Europe again, but particularly in France, intended to cause mass casualties among the civilian population," the Europol report said, using the acronym for Islamic State.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris, which left 130 people dead and hundreds injured. At least 10 attackers are believed to have simultaneously targeted a concert hall, football stadium, cafes and bars in the French capital.

New attacks could be carried out "in the near future," the Europol report said, while also noting that it is "nearly impossible to exactly predict when and where the next terrorist attack will take place and what form it will take."

"Intelligence suggests that IS has developed an external actions command trained for 'special forces style' operations abroad," the report noted. "Central command in Syria is believed to map out a general strategy, but leaves tactical freedom to local leaders."

The Netherlands-based Europol released the report as it launched a new European Counter Terrorism Centre that is meant to assist with major terrorism investigations, encourage information-sharing between national intelligence authorities, and help track terrorist groups' online propaganda and financing flows.

The centre, which currently has a staff of 40 counter-terrorism experts, is already working with French and Belgian authorities on the investigation into the Paris attacks, Europol Director Rob Wainwright said.

Islamic State is not the only threat facing Europe. The Europol report noted that the al-Qaeda terrorist group may be "triggered to put words into action by competing with IS."

There have been concerns that terrorists may be infiltrating the migration flows currently coursing through Europe, but Europol said it has "no concrete evidence" of such a phenomenon.

It underlined, however, that Syrian refugees may be vulnerable to radicalization once they are in Europe, noting that "refugee centres are being specifically targeted by Islamic extremist recruiters."

The report also found that a "large proportion" of Islamic State recruits have criminal records, while a "significant proportion" had been diagnosed with mental problems.

Foreign fighters - Europeans who have fought alongside extremists in Syria and Iraq and return home radicalized - have long been of particular concern to the European Union. They are believed to number around 5,000.

Latest news

Plane crashes at airport in Melbourne

A five-passenger charter plane has crashed into a building next to Essendon Airport in Melbourne, with witnesses reporting explosions, fire and black smoke, police said Tuesday.

Air France pilots give green light to lower cost subsidiary

Members of Air France's main pilots union on Monday voted to accept the creation of a new lower cost subsidiary that the flag carrier hopes will help it compete on long-haul routes.

US Army General McMaster tapped as Trump's national security advisor

Army Lieutenant General HR McMaster will be the new White House national security advisor, US President Donald Trump told reporters Monday.

Greece's creditors want sweeping reforms before next bailout payment

Greece must make sweeping reforms to its labour market, pension system and collective bargaining agreements in order to receive its next vital bailout payment, the country's European creditors said Monday.

President wants to recall "politically appointed ambassadors", can't do it without gov't

President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said that many politically appointed Croatian ambassadors were not carrying out state policies but that she could not replace them without the government to appoint career diplomats who would fight for Croatia's interests.

Izetbegovic hopes ICJ will confirm Serbia's responsibility for genocide

The Bosniak member of the tripartite presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bakir Izetbegovic, on Monday rejected criticism stirred up by the announcement that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) would be requested to review its judgement made after Bosnia sued Serbia for genocide.

British lawmakers locked in heated debate over Trump's state visit

Allowing US President Donald Trump to visit Britain would be akin to "pimping out the Queen," one British lawmaker said Monday during a heated debate in British parliament over two petitions concerning the US leader's future state visit.

Vitaly Churkin, Russia's sharp-tongued ambassador to the UN, dies

Russia's long-time ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, died in New York on Monday, following a career that spanned four decades and saw Russia emerge from the Soviet Union and experience many turbulent events in its relations with the West.

French police raid National Front over European Parliament payments

France's far-right National Front Monday said that investigators had searched its offices in relation to allegations that it misused European Parliament funds.

Unhappy Presidents' Day: Trump still manoeuvring after Sweden comment

Donald Trump used his first Presidents' Day in office to continue trying to talk his way out of comments implying a terrorist attack in Sweden that never happened.

Croatia supports Kosovo's territorial integrity - Grabar-Kitarovic

Croatia's President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic on Monday expressed the support to Kosovo's territorial integrity and Euro-Atlantic aspirations during her talks with the visiting Kosovo Foreign Minister Enver Hoxhaj.

Petrov rules out early parliamentary election

Parliament Speaker and Bridge party leader Bozo Petrov on Monday dismissed speculation about a reshuffle of the parliamentary majority, saying an early election was likelier, but that right now he did not see "such a scenario."