MS Risk Blog

EUROPOL: EU Jihadist Arrests on the Rise for Third Year

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This month Europol reported that the number of people arrested on suspicion of Islamist terrorism in the European Union (EU) increased in 2016 for the third year in a row.

In its annual EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report, Europol reported that 718 jihadist terror suspects were arrested, up from 687 in 2015 and 395 in 2014. The report notes however that the number of jihadist attacks fell from 17 in 2015 to 13 in 2016, of which six were linked to the so-called Islamic State (IS) group. The report also noted a rise in violent assaults carried out by right-wing groups.

The European police force has disclosed that in 2016, there were a total of 142 “failed, foiled and completed” attacks reported by member states that included attacks by jihadists, nationalists and other groups. It added that 142 people died in terrorist attacks and 379 people were injured, noting that nearly all fatalities and most of the injuries were caused by jihadists.

The 62-page report also disclosed hat women were playing an increasing role in jihadist attacks. The report states, “female militant jihadists in the West perceive fewer obstacles to playing an operative role in a terrorist attack than men, and successful or prevented attacks carried out by women in Western countries may act as an inspiration to others.”

The report noted that the largest attacks last year were carried out by “ethno-nationalist and separatist extremists.” According to the report, attacks by left-wing extremists have been rising since 2014, reaching a total of 27 in 2016 of which sixteen were reported by Italy.

The EU’s security commissioner, Julian King, has stated that the figures reinforced the need for closer co-operation in intelligence sharing.

Jihadist Attacks in the EU (2016) – Key Numbers