Tuesday

12th Dec 2017

Women playing greater role in terror, says EU police agency

  • There were 13 jihadist terror attacks last year, down from 17 in 2015. (Photo: Reuters/Daniel Dikson)

The operational role of women and minors in carrying out jihadist terror attacks in Europe appears to be on the rise, according to the EU's police agency Europol.

The Hague-based agency on Thursday (15 June) released its annual EU terrorism situation and trend report ahead of an EU summit next week where leaders will discuss anti-radicalisation efforts.

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.

Europol chief Rob Wainwright on Thursday said the figures indicated that more women and children were being used to commit attacks than before.

"Women and young adults, and even children, are playing increasingly operational roles in committing terrorist activities independently in the EU," noted the report.

One in four people arrested in 2016 were women, compared to around 18 percent in 2015. Although fewer jihadist attacks were committed last year, when compared to 2015, Wainwright noted that their actions remained by the far the the most deadly.

Some 135 people out of a total 142 victims had died to terrorism linked to radical jihadism. Bombings in Brussels last year ended the lives of 32 people. Another 86 were when a 19-tonne truck ploughed through the crowds during the 14 July festivities in Nice.

While explosions were often linked to the killings, the report notes that some terrorists may explore using weaponised drones to also carry attacks in the future.

Salman Abedi, the 22-year old suicide bomber in Manchester in May, is said to have received expert instruction on how to make the explosive device.

The issues, among others, will also be discussed in Luxembourg next Monday during a meeting of foreign affairs ministers.

Ministers will aim to reinforce counter-terrorism measures throughout EU-led operations and missions in north Africa, Turkey, the Balkans, the Horn of Africa, and the Sahel.

"Our fight against terrorism is both at home and abroad. And our response can only be common and united," said EU home affairs commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos, in a statement on the Europol report.

Heads of state and government at a summit at the end of next week in Brussels will also be pushing to get social media giants to remove online content deemed to incite terrorism.

However, the Europol report also found that the quantity of Islamic State propaganda has declined in 2016.

Jihadist terrorist attacks in the EU are also on the decline, amid a sharp increase in arrested jihadist suspects, when compared to previous years.

There were 13 jihadists attacks in the EU last year, down from 17 in 2015. Six of the 13 attacks were linked to the so-called Islamic State.

The report also found that over 1,000 people were arrested for terrorist-related offences in 2016, most of which were linked to jihadism.

Some 142 terrorist plots had also been foiled in eight EU states last year. Over 70 were stopped in the UK alone, followed by 23 in France, 17 in Italy, and 10 in Spain, among others.

Security and defence to top EU summit

Pressure is mounting for social media platforms to remove any online content deemed to incite terrorism. Draft conclusions, seen by EUobserver, have made the issue a top priority in leaders' talks next week.

EU steps up global counter-terrorism drive

EU foreign ministers vowed to increase the number of projects and financial support in different parts of the world ahead of an EU summit in Brussels, where leaders will focus on security and defence.

Romania wants EU signal on Schengen membership

Bucharest expects other member states to decide on its accession to the passport-free area before it takes the rotating EU presidency on 1 January 2019 - amid criticism of a controversial new justice reform.

Germany says China using LinkedIn to recruit informants

Germany's spy agency says the Chinese state is trying to recruit high-ranking German officials via social media outlets like LinkedIn. It accused Chinese intelligence of setting up fake profiles to lure them into becoming informants.

Germany says China using LinkedIn to recruit informants

Germany's spy agency says the Chinese state is trying to recruit high-ranking German officials via social media outlets like LinkedIn. It accused Chinese intelligence of setting up fake profiles to lure them into becoming informants.

News in Brief

  1. National Front charged over EU Parliament 'fake jobs'
  2. Senior EU finance ministers come out against US tax reform
  3. Croats honour 'Hague suicide' war criminal
  4. EU opens new accession talks with Serbia, Montenegro
  5. EU to Israel: Don't expect us to move embassies
  6. EU Commission condemns anti-semitic 'Jerusalem' protests
  7. Ministers have 'lots of questions' on new CAP plans
  8. Commission: Brexit agreement is 'deal between gentlemen'

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ACCACFOs Risk Losing Relevance If They Do Not Embrace Technology
  2. UNICEFMake the Digital World Safer for Children & Increase Access for the Most Disadvantaged
  3. European Jewish CongressWelcomes Recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel and Calls on EU States to Follow Suit
  4. Mission of China to the EUChina and EU Boost Innovation Cooperation Under Horizon 2020
  5. European Gaming & Betting AssociationJuncker’s "Political" Commission Leaves Gambling Reforms to the Court
  6. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Applauds U.S. Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital City
  7. EU2017EEEU Telecom Ministers Reached an Agreement on the 5G Roadmap
  8. European Friends of ArmeniaEU-Armenia Relations in the CEPA Era: What's Next?
  9. Mission of China to the EU16+1 Cooperation Injects New Vigour Into China-EU Ties
  10. EPSUEU Blacklist of Tax Havens Is a Sham
  11. EU2017EERole of Culture in Building Cohesive Societies in Europe
  12. ILGA EuropeCongratulations to Austria - Court Overturns Barriers to Equal Marriage

Latest News

  1. Panama Papers - start of sensible revolution in EU tax affairs?
  2. Lebanon crisis overshadows EU aid for Syrian refugees
  3. New Polish PM brings same old government
  4. EU complicit in Libyan torture, says Amnesty
  5. Alignment with EU is 'last resort', May tells MPs
  6. Iceland: further from EU membership than ever
  7. Israel presses Jerusalem claim in EU capital
  8. From dark coal toward a brighter future