Reports: Islamic State planned simultaneous attacks in UK, Germany

It’s believed the attacks weren’t carried out as they found it difficult to acquire the explosives.

An Islamic State group (IS) flag and banner in Iraq. Picture: AFP.

LONDON - British media is now reporting that the Islamic State group, that killed 132 people in Paris last year, was planning simultaneous plots in the United Kingdom and Germany on the same day.

Quoting a security source, it's claimed the plan wasn't carried out because they found it difficult to acquire the explosives.

It's already known that two ring leaders of the attacks in Paris had travelled to Birmingham and London in the months before the November atrocities. The pair are thought to have been to the UK at least five times between them, to groom recruits.

According to a newspaper security source, the plan to attack Britain at the same time as Paris was eventually scrapped because they found it difficult to amass explosives and place a trusted bomb maker in the UK.

Just last week a US intelligence chief warned Islamic State sleeper cells were already in place in the UK, Germany and Italy.

Meanwhile, Islamic State attacks have increased this year, particularly in Iraq and Syria, as the group responds to substantial territorial losses, a US-based analysis firm IHS said on Sunday.

There were 891 attacks during the first quarter of 2016 in neighbours Iraq and Syria, more than in any three-month period since the militants' sweeping advance in mid-2014, IHS said in a new report.

Those attacks killed 2,150 people, a 44 percent rise over the previous three months and the highest quarterly toll in nearly a year.

The US military estimates Islamic State's territory in Iraq has shrunk by about 40 percent from its 2014 peak and 20 percent in Syria.

Additional reporting by Reuters.