Saturday

1st Apr 2023

Missing guns amid rising far-right hate in EU

  • Around 630,000 weapons were listed as "wanted items" in the EU's police database, Schengen Information System (Photo: Pat WilsonCZ75)
Listen to article

Some 630,000 weapons are listed as "wanted items" in the EU's police database known as the Schengen Information System.

The figures were cited in an EU internal paper dated 12 May from the French EU presidency.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

"More and more individuals are acquiring and using firearms legally, particularly within violent right-wing extremist movements," it notes.

Right-wing extremists are also preparing for a race conflict, says the paper, with some equipping themselves in anticipation of a future "racial civil war".

This follows the shootings carried out by Norway's mass murderer Anders Breivik in 2011 or Australian terrorist Brenton Tarrant in 2019, the French memo notes.

Violent right-wing extremists also get their weapons from shooting clubs, while others through hunting licences, it says.

Both Tarrant and Breivik, for instance, had joined shooting clubs to legally acquire weapons before they went on their murderous rampages.

The extremist weapon of choice remains the automatic AR-15 rifle.

But others, especially in the EU, also opt for the less expensive semi-automatic rifles of the Kalashnikov-type.

Meanwhile, the paper says the threat from left-wing anarchist violence remains low.

On the other hand, the threat from Islamist militant lone actors remains high, it says.

"Islamist extremist lone actors with no clear affiliation to a specific terrorist group seem to pose the biggest threat, with a sizeable proportion suffering from mental health problems," it states.

A second internal EU paper dated 4 May makes similar assertions.

It says violent right-wing extremists are on the rise in several member states.

Such extremists movements are often "fragmented and leaderless."

The paper further notes that many are composed of smaller groups, which can differ in terms of membership, structures and ideologies.

"An important threat is stemming from followers of accelerationism who aim to create political tension and chaos," says the internal paper.

Feature

'Flobert' guns - Europe's latest terror loophole

Project Safte, an international research project funded by the European Commission, has revealed a loophole in the EU firearms directive that is being exploited by criminals and possibly terrorists.

Exclusive

Ukraine arms-trafficking into Poland on rise

Efforts to smuggle firearms into Poland from the Ukraine are on the rise, says an internal EU document. Dated 30 November, the document notes firearms are also being trafficked from the EU towards Ukraine and Libya.

Opinion

Biden's 'democracy summit' poses questions for EU identity

From the perspective of international relations, the EU is a rare bird indeed. Theoretically speaking it cannot even exist. The charter of the United Nations, which underlies the current system of global governance, distinguishes between states and organisations of states.

Opinion

Turkey's election — the Erdoğan vs Kılıçdaroğlu showdown

Turkey goes to the polls in May for both a new parliament and new president, after incumbent Recep Tayyip Erdoğan decided against a post-earthquake postponement. The parliamentary outcome is easy to predict — the presidential one less so.

Latest News

  1. EU to press South Korea on arming Ukraine
  2. Aid agencies clam up in Congo sex-for-work scandal
  3. Ukraine — what's been destroyed so far, and who pays?
  4. EU sending anti-coup mission to Moldova in May
  5. Firms will have to reveal and close gender pay-gap
  6. Why do 83% of Albanians want to leave Albania?
  7. Police violence in rural French water demos sparks protests
  8. Work insecurity: the high cost of ultra-fast grocery deliveries

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EFBWWEFBWW calls for the EC to stop exploitation in subcontracting chains
  2. InformaConnecting Expert Industry-Leaders, Top Suppliers, and Inquiring Buyers all in one space - visit Battery Show Europe.
  3. EFBWWEFBWW and FIEC do not agree to any exemptions to mandatory prior notifications in construction
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ways to prevent gender-based violence
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersCSW67: Economic gender equality now! Nordic ways to close the pension gap
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersCSW67: Pushing back the push-back - Nordic solutions to online gender-based violence

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us