Tuesday

24th Oct 2017

EU police warn of new-model jihad threat

The EU's joint police body, Europol has noted there were no succesful Islamist attacks in Europe last year, while warning about future Toulouse-type 'lone wolves.'

Its report, out on Wednesday (25April), highlighted that "member states have not reported a single al-Qaeda affiliated or inspired terrorist attack actually carried out in 2011."

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • Online Islamist publications, such as the now-defunct Inspire magazine are seen as an important factor (Photo: wikipedia)

The development comes not for want of trying. "The al-Qaeda-affiliated or inspired threat towards Scandinavia and Germany rose steadily during 2011, whilst other member states, such as France, Spain and the UK, remained constant targets and centres for radical activities," it added.

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands and Romania also registered jihadist activity.

Police forces arrested 17 people for planning Islamist attacks, down from 89 in 2010. One man tried to bomb Danish newspaper Morgenavisen Jyllandsposten, which published cartoons making fun of Mohammed in 2005. Another man tried to poison water supplies in Spain to avenge Osama bin Laden.

More than 60 arrests concerned suspected membership of groups such as al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb or the Somalia-based al-Shabab. Another 40-or-so related to "terrorist propaganda," illicit financing or possession of arms and explosives.

The Europol survey came out one month after a man in Toulouse, France shot dead two French soldiers, three Jewish children and a Jewish schoolteacher. It also coincided with the trial of Anders Breivik, who murdered 77 people in Norway last year in the name of "counter-jihad."

It made no mention of Toulouse, but it warned that an important new threat is "lone actors" inspired by jihadist websites, even though most loners are "largely amateur" and "impulsive" in their methods.

Other trends include kidnapping of EU citizens in Afghanistan-Pakistan, Bosnia, Lebanon, Nigeria and Morocco, as well as link-ups between jihadist groups and organised crime in eastern Europe.

It noted that US targetted assassination of prominent jihadists last year - such as Anwar al-Awlaki, Osama bin Laden and Samir Khan - "was a substantial blow" against al-Qaeda but "has not removed the threat."

Eurupol made little attempt to analyse the motives behind the crimes and no statement on the legality of the CIA assassination programme.

It noted that most of the perpetrators were non-EU-national young men who were "religiously-inspired" or "driven and sustained by geopolitical developments and changes in the Middle East, the Sahel region and the Horn of Africa." But some operations - such as the kidnapping for ransom of seven Estonians in Lebanon last year - "blurred the distinction between pure criminality and terrorism."

Europol director Robert Wainwright in his foreword defined terrorism as "the attempt to achieve political goals with the use or the threat of violence."

MEPs call for review of EU counter-terrorism policies

The European Parliament has called on member states to submit reports on the cost-efficiency of their counter-terrorism measures and their impact on civil liberties, with the European Commission set to produce an EU-wide evaluation.

EU gives thumbs up to US data pact

Commission gives 'thumbs-up' to controversial Privacy Shield deal with US on data sharing after a year's operation - but notes room for improvement.

News in Brief

  1. Don't let City of London 'drift away', Luxembourg warns
  2. Far-right enters German parliament officially
  3. Orban declares migrant-free zone in Eastern Europe
  4. Madrid set to use force to stop Catalonia independence
  5. May: EU member states will not lose out with Brexit
  6. Slovakia pledges to be 'pro-European' oasis in region
  7. Report: Catalan leader to address Spanish senate
  8. Fiat-Chrysler 'obstructed justice' reports Le Monde

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Martens CentreI Say Europe, You Say...? Interview With EU Commission VP Jyrki Katainen
  2. Mission of China to the EUPresident Xi Jinping Proposes Stronger Global Security Governance at Interpol Assembly
  3. European Friends of ArmeniaEU Engagement Could Contribute to Lasting Peace in Nagorno-Karabakh
  4. UNICEFViolence in Myanmar Driving 12,000 Rohingya Refugee Children Into Bangladesh Every Week
  5. European Jewish CongressBulgaria Applauded for Adopting the Working Definition of Antisemitism
  6. EU2017EENorth Korea Leaves Europe No Choice, Says Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser
  7. Mission of China to the EUZhang Ming Appointed New Ambassador of the Mission of China to the EU
  8. International Partnership for Human RightsEU Should Seek Concrete Commitments From Azerbaijan at Human Rights Dialogue
  9. European Jewish CongressEJC Calls for New Austrian Government to Exclude Extremist Freedom Party
  10. CES - Silicones EuropeIn Healthcare, Silicones Are the Frontrunner. And That's a Good Thing!
  11. EU2017EEEuropean Space Week 2017 in Tallinn from November 3-9. Register Now!
  12. European Entrepreneurs CEA-PMEMobiliseSME Exchange Programme Open Doors for 400 Companies Across Europe

Latest News

  1. Barnier plays down hope of 'special' Brexit deal
  2. MEPs demand external probe into parliament sex abuse
  3. EU overcomes divisions on posted workers
  4. How Romania became EU workers' rights 'guinea pig'
  5. Left unchecked, Poland's attack on rights will harm EU
  6. EU commission denies May 'begged for help' comments
  7. Interpol needs EU help to stop abuse
  8. Glyphosate protesters hold meeting with Commission