TerrorismTerrorism in Europe is Geographically Widespread and Multifaceted

Published 23 June 2020

Europol’s just-published report shows that in 2019, there were 119 foiled, failed, and completed terrorist attacks in 13 EU member states, and that 1,004 individuals were arrested on suspicion of terrorism-related offenses in 19 EU member states. Nearly all of deaths and 26 injuries were the result of jihadist attacks.

On Tuesday, Europol publishes the new EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report 2020, featuring facts, figures and trends regarding terrorist attacks and arrests in the EU in 2019.

Terrorists’ ultimate goal is to undermine our societies and our democratic political systems. Terrorism generates fear, empowers political extremes and polarizes societies.  Europol’s EU Terrorism Situation and Trend report(TE-SAT), published today, pulls together facts and figures on terrorist attacks and arrests in the EU in 2019: 

·  A total of 119 foiled, failed and completed terrorist attacks were reported by a total of 13 EU Member States; 

·  1,004 individuals were arrested on suspicion of terrorism-related offences in 19 EU Member States, with Belgium, France, Italy, Spain and the UK reporting the highest numbers;

·  Ten people died because of terrorist attacks in the EU and 27 people were injured. 

·  Nearly all of deaths and 26 injuries were the result of jihadist attacks. One person was injured in a right-wing terrorist attack. In addition, several people were killed in right-wing extremist attacks. The number of jihadist attacks continued to see a decrease – meanwhile, right-wing attacks and, in particular, left-wing attacks saw an increase during 2019.

Right-Wing Terrorism: Online Communication Was Observed to Strengthen International Links Between Right-Wing Extremists
After a decline in reported attacks in 2018, in 2019 three EU Member States reported a total of six right-wing terrorist attacks (one completed, one failed, four foiled), compared to only one in 2018. Additionally, several attacks not classified as terrorism under national law committed by right-wing extremists were reported by Germany and claimed the lives of three people. Furthermore, last year right-wing attacks in Christchurch (New Zealand), Poway (USA), El Paso (U.S.), Bærum (Norway) and Halle (Germany) were part of a wave of violent incidents worldwide, the perpetrators of which were part of similar transnational online communities and took inspiration from one another. Violent right-wing extremists maintain international links, for example through participation in concerts and rallies marking historical events in a variety of EU Member States. Right-wing extremist ideology is not uniform and is fed from different sub-currents, united in their rejection of diversity and minority rights. One element of violent right-wing ideology is the belief in the superiority of the “white race,” which will have to fight a “race war.” Right-wing extremists deem this confrontation unavoidable to stop the alleged conspiracy by the ‘system’ to replace white populations through mass immigration.