Tuesday

17th Jul 2018

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).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... our join as a group

"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."

Schengen at stake in Austria-Germany talks

German interior minister Horst Seehofer is in Vienna on Thursday - as his plan to reject some asylum seekers was met by an Austrian threat to close its borders too.

Polish PM defends judicial witch-hunt

Poland's judicial purge was meant to punish former communists, its PM has said, in an angry EU debate that saw him ultimately promise to respect EU court rulings.

Investigation

UK unlawfully copying data from EU police system

The British government is abusing EU travel security systems, making and using illegal copies of outdated information, and putting innocent people at risk of being red-flagged.

EU leaders still in search of migration plan

Select EU leaders met amid rising tension over migration, with Italy's PM, who had threatened to boycott the summit, putting forward a new plans to stop boats from leaving Libya.

Feature

EU and Turkey fight for 'lost generation'

Some 300,000 school-age Syrian children in Turkey are not enrolled in classes. Fears they may end up in sweatshops or forced to beg have triggered efforts by the EU, Unicef, and the Turkish government to keep them in school.

News in Brief

  1. VW owners to get diesel software update free until 2020
  2. Airbnb breaches EU consumer rules, Commission says
  3. EU sees no China free-trade talks
  4. Italy accepts migrant boat after help promises
  5. EU opens case on Siemens' Alstom buyout
  6. Trump: May found my Brexit advice 'too brutal'
  7. Italy will reject EU-Canada trade deal, says deputy PM
  8. Commission: Juncker suffered from sciatica attack at Nato

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  2. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  4. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  6. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  8. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma
  9. PKEE - Polish Energy AssociationCommon-Sense Approach Needed for EU Energy Reform
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to Lead in Developing and Rolling Out 5G Network
  11. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Economic and Trade Relations Enjoy a Bright Future
  12. ACCAEmpowering Businesses to Engage with Sustainable Finance and the SDGs

Latest News

  1. EU and China agree on words, not yet on action
  2. EU is 'foe', as Trump seeks to make friends with Putin
  3. Let's not be 'naive' with Chinese partner, says senior MEP
  4. Trump, trade, and Brexit in EU headlines This WEEK
  5. EU and China edge closer in Trump's 'America First' world
  6. How the World Cup exposed Russian chauvinism
  7. Stage set for Trump-Putin finale
  8. Trump scuppers trade deal with UK under May's Brexit

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersCooperation in Nordic Electricity Market Considered World Class Model
  2. FIFAGreen Stadiums at the 2018 Fifa World Cup
  3. Mission of China to the EUChina and EU Work Together to Promote Sustainable Development
  4. Counter BalanceEuropean Ombudsman Requests More Lending Transparency from European Investment Bank
  5. FIFARecycling at the FIFA World Cup in Russia
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersOECD Report: Gender Equality Boosts GDP Growth in Nordic Region
  7. Centre Maurits Coppieters“Peace and Reconciliation Is a Process That Takes Decades” Dr. Anthony Soares on #Brexit and Northern Ireland
  8. Mission of China to the EUMEPs Positive on China’s New Measures of Opening Up
  9. Macedonian Human Rights MovementOld White Men are Destroying Macedonia by Romanticizing Greece
  10. Counter BalanceControversial EIB-Backed Project Under Fire at European Parliament
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersIncome Inequality Increasing in Nordic Countries
  12. European Jewish CongressEU Leaders to Cease Contact with Mahmoud Abbas Until He Apologizes for Antisemitic Comments

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us