Saturday

22nd Jul 2017

Terrorist attacks decrease in Europe

  • Fewer attacks should not translate in less police vigilance, Europol warns (Photo: digitaledinges)

Fewer than 300 acts of terrorism were registered in Europe last year and only one was an attack from an Islamist group, with most of them committed by separatist organisations in Spain and France, EU's police agency Europol reports.

A total of 294 terrorist acts were reported in EU member states in 2009, representing a 33 percent drop compared to the previous year and half the number of attacks registered in 2007, Europol said Wednesday (28 April).

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  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.

"While the number of terrorist incidents is declining in Europe, terrorism remains a significant security threat to our society and citizens. Despite the overall trend, we should not drop our guard in the fight against terrorism," Europol director Rob Wainwright said in a statement.

Europol defines a terrorist offence as any act, planned or executed, that may seriously damage a country or an international organisation if committed to intimidate a population, put pressure on a government or destabilise political, constitutional, economic or social structures.

The statistics do not include the United Kingdom, however, because its record-keeping differs with that of the other member states. An additional 124 attacks carried out by dissident republican groups were reported in Northern Ireland.

Most of the attacks in mainland Europe were committed by separatist groups such as Basque separatists ETA in Spain and the Corsican National Liberation Front (FLNC) in France.

"Islamist terrorism is still perceived as the biggest threat to most member states, despite the fact that only one Islamist terrorist attack - a bomb attack in Italy - took place in the EU in 2009," Europol said.

One Libyan national tried to detonate a home-made explosive device when entering a military compound in Milan. He slightly wounded one of the guards and suffered severe burns himself.

The agency also mentions the Nigerian bomber who boarded a US flight in Amsterdam and failed his explosive device on 25 December 2009.

"The attack on the US airliner showed how the EU can be used as a platform for launching attacks on the US, and demonstrated the ability of terrorist groups to employ explosives that are not detected by conventional scanning equipment," the report notes.

In a separate case, two men were arrested in the US in October 2009 and charged with preparing attacks against the Danish newspaper that published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, as well as other targets in Denmark. "They are an illustration of terrorists from abroad focusing on Member States of the EU," Europol says.

Tracking international bank data is relevant in the fight against terrorism, as "substantial amounts of money are transferred, using a variety of means, from Europe to conflict areas in which terrorist groups are active," the police agency argues.

Besides Islamist and separatist attacks, left-wing extremism is on the rise in EU, with 40 attacks carried out, representing a 43 pecent increase compared to 2008.

In Greece, Epanastatikos Agonas continued its violent actions and claimed responsibility for an attack on police officers, which caused serious injuries to one officer. Sekta Epanastaton, a newly–active organisation in Greece, claimed another attack which killed a police officer.

The far right meanwhile has intensified its terrorist attacks, especially in Hungary, where four such incidents were reported.

So-called single-issue terrorism, on behalf of animal rights, are also mentioned in the report. "Some violent Animal Rights Extremism attacks in 2009 used modi operandi similar to those used by terrorists, such as improvised explosive devices and improvised incendiary devices."

Polish parliament steps up showdown with EU

Lawmakers in Poland adopted a controversial reform of the Supreme Court, despite warnings from the EU that the move could trigger a sanction procedure over the rule of law.

Investigation

Mafia money pollutes the EU economy

Huge amounts of money from criminal activities are funnelled into the legitimate European economy. But little is being done about it at EU or national level.

Investigation

Free movement of organised crime in Europe

The mafia is often seen as being a traditionally Italian concern, but evidence shows that it might be much closer to home than many Europeans think.

Investigation

Mafia money pollutes the EU economy

Huge amounts of money from criminal activities are funnelled into the legitimate European economy. But little is being done about it at EU or national level.

News in Brief

  1. Polish parliament adopts controversial justice reform
  2. GMO opt-out plan unlikely to go anywhere in 2017
  3. Slovak PM threatens to boycott inferior food
  4. France takes Google's 'right to be forgotten' to EU court
  5. Turkey accuses German companies of supporting terror
  6. Israel's Netanyahu caught calling EU 'crazy'
  7. UK does not collect enough data to expel EU nationals
  8. Polish president threatens to veto justice reform

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  2. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference
  3. ECPAFood waste in the field can double without crop protection. #WithOrWithout #pesticides
  4. EU2017EEEstonia Allocates €1 Million to Alleviate Migratory Pressure From Libya in Italy
  5. Dialogue PlatformFethullah Gulen's Message on the Anniversary of the Coup Attempt in Turkey
  6. Martens CentreWeeding out Fake News: An Approach to Social Media Regulation
  7. European Jewish CongressEJC Concerned by Normalisation of Antisemitic Tropes in Hungary
  8. Counter BalanceOut for Summer Episode 1: How the EIB Sweeps a Development Fiasco Under the Rug
  9. CESICESI to Participate in Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee on Postal Services
  10. ILGA-EuropeMalta Keeps on Rocking: Marriage Equality on Its Way
  11. European Friends of ArmeniaEuFoA Director and MEPs Comment on the Recent Conflict Escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh
  12. EU2017EEEstonian Presidency Kicks off Youth Programme With Coding Summer School

Latest News

  1. Dutch coalition talks lengthiest in 40 years
  2. Polish parliament steps up showdown with EU
  3. EU urges UK to clarify its Brexit positions
  4. Law expert: direct EU powers have become too complicated
  5. Winter is here for Spitzenkandidat, but he'll survive
  6. Mafia money pollutes the EU economy
  7. Central Europe should be wary of Brexit stopping
  8. Poland's 'July coup' and what it means for the judiciary