Europe: Terror in EU overwhelmingly non-Islamic

I had always thought that creating fear among the public is the essence of terrorism. According to this article most of the terrorism in the EU is perpetrated by separatist groups in Spain and France, who do not really aim to create panic.


Although there were no major foiled, failed or executed terrorist attacks in Europe in 2007, Europol still witnessed a sharp increase in both terrorist attacks and arrests on terrorism charges. But only four of the 583 terrorist attacks committed were linked to militant Islam.

Europol's second annual EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report, released last week, found that EU member states had to deal with a 24 percent increase in terrorist attacks, although many were foiled or failed, and arrested 48 percent more terrorist suspects. Eighty-eight percent of these terrorist attacks were linked to separatist groups unrelated to Islamist groups.

"Several member states report that the threat from Islamist terrorism has increased or remains high," said Europol Director Max-Peter Ratzel during the presentation of his report to European Parliament here.

"The threat partly originates from an increasing level of command, control and inspiration on attacks in the EU from Pakistani based al-Qaida linked groups and networks. In 2007, investigations showed EU-nationals who had attended training in Pakistan and later been involved in terrorist offenses in the EU".

Despite the lack of really high-profile attacks on European soil such as the London and Madrid bombings, Ratzel said in the report that "the impact of terrorist attacks became obvious again in 2007 with the murder of two Spanish police officers in France by the Basque separatist terrorist group ETA."

"The overall threat to the member states from terrorism remains serious, as demonstrated by the failed attacks in London and Glasgow and the disrupted plots in Germany and Denmark," Ratzel continued.

Of the 583 successful and otherwise attacks attempted in 2007, 517 were claimed by separatist terrorist groups in Spain and France who tended toward small arson attacks not designed to harm anybody but instead cause material damage. This strategy is exactly opposite to the strategy employed by Islamist terrorists who aim for as much carnage as possible in order to create fear among the public, according to the report.

Yet Islamist terrorist attacks only numbered four during the past year, two of which failed and two of which were foiled. Two occurred in the U.K., one in Denmark and one in Germany.

France made the most Islamist-related arrests with 91, followed by Spain and Italy with 48 and 21 respectively. Throughout 15 member states 201 people were arrested on Islamist terrorism charges. This however does not include those arrested in the U.K., which doesn't distinguish between terrorist causes, although a majority of the 203 terrorism suspects nabbed there last year were thought to have Islamist motives.

Yet Islamist terrorism played second fiddle to separatist terrorism in this regard too, which saw 548 arrests made against its cause. The total number of terrorism arrests across the 15 countries was 1,044, almost double last year's total which Europol ascribes to better police work and more preemptive arrests. Spain contributed heavily by arresting 196 suspects in 2007, up from 28 in 2006. France arrested 315 suspects, up from 188. Yet the number of arrests on Islamist terrorism charges fell from 257 to 201, fueled by a 35 percent drop in France.

One marked role for which arrests increased was the creation of propaganda. Almost all of those arrested on that charge were linked to Islamist terrorism.

Furthermore, 2007 saw 143 terrorism trials, 38 percent of which were Islamist related, in which 418 people, 34 of which were women, were tried and 449 verdicts were read with 331 convictions. Thirty-one percent of Islamist suspects were acquitted.

Belgium, Germany and the U.K. only had verdicts in Islamist terrorism cases. In Italy 44 of 47 verdicts were on Islamist grounds.

The EU's anti-terrorism head Gilles de Kerchove said that "al-Qaida is still and will continue to dominate international terrorism for years to come."

The report was released ahead of new legislation proposed by the European Commission which will set out new guidelines in the fight against terrorism. The Commission will revise the rules established in 2002 and will seek to include public incitement of terrorism, recruiting and training in the EU list of acts of terrorism.

But Dick Marty, Chairman of the Human Rights Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe warned members of European Parliament that this expansion of the laws will make it easy for governments to demonize certain minorities or oppositions, according to the EU Observer.

Source: Middle East Times (English)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm sure that Islamist sympathizers and dhimmis of every stripe will leap on this as proof that jihadist terrorism is only an Islamophobic figment of the imagination.

But the report doesn't address the jihadist attempts to undermine Western cultural institutions and weaken our cultural confidence; the efforts to establish sharia as a parallel legal system in the West; the Islamist recruitment in mosques in the West and in our prisons, as well as their infiltration of our military and intelligence and law enforcement organizations; the immigration invasion; the insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan; the kidnapping and ransom (or barbaric murder) of Americans and Europeans in Africa and the Middle East; the spread of jihadist ideology and recruitment on the internet; the patient plotting, including their stated goal to procure and unleash WMDs -- all strategies - IN ADDITION to continued terrorist attacks - in their clearly stated goal to destroy the hated West and establish a worldwide caliphate.

My interpretation of the report is that it indicates only our success in limiting the terrorists to fewer attacks, not that we have nothing to fear from Islamic terrorism. On the contrary, jihad remains the greatest terrorist threat facing the West (not to mention the rest of the world) today.