Here is a brief overview of the report. It makes interesting reading.
According the report produced by Europol:
· Arrests related to religiously inspired terrorism increased from 122 to 159 in 2012. In France, the number of arrests in this category nearly doubled from 46 to 91;
· The trafficking and sale of the drug known as ‘khat’ report -reportedly offers a funding stream for the Somalia-based Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahidin (HSM, Young Mujahidin Movement) terrorist organisation.
· France had the most terrorist attacks and arrests. 186 and 125. (Corse separatists springs to mind), followed by the UK, Ireland and Holland.
· Europol definition – religiously inspired terrorism. 8 lives lost in 2012. Actually doesn’t include the Burgas attack in Burgaria!!!
· The attack in Frankfurt is not considered to be terrorism under German law. 2 US service members were killed in March 2011.
· 8 attacks in Europe compared to 0 in 2011 and arrests increased from 122 in 2011 to 159.
· EU citizens increasingly targeted for kidnapping by terrorist groups;
· EU nationals continue to travel to regions such as the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Afghanistan, Pakistan and Somalia for terrorist purpose.
· Interestingly the average age of individual arrested is decreasing over the years, from 32, 30 to 25 years old in 2012.
· October 2012, a home-grown terrorist group responsible for a grenade attack against a kosher grocery in Paris(France) was dismantled whilst in the planning stages of further attacks against Jewish targets.
· All members of the group were born in France and had been radicalised on the Internet. Most were converts to Islam. Their leader, who had several issues of the Inspire magazine, which is associated with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), and a leaflet justifying the actions of Mohammed Merah in his possession, died in an armed confrontation with police officers attempting to arrest him.
· In March 2012, the murder of the imam of a Shi’i mosque in Brussels (Belgium) during an arson attack on the property may have been a consequence of tensions between Shi’is and Sunnis, exacerbated by the Syrian conflict.
· "At the beginning of August 2012, Spanish security forces arrested three individuals on suspicion of intending to commit a terrorist attack in the EU. The suspects, two Russian citizens – one of Dagestani and the other of Chechen origin – and a Turkish national, had links to Afghani-Pakistani networks associated with al-Qaeda"
· In April 2012, three males of Jordanian, Turkish and Egyptian origin were arrested in Denmark.
· " Whilst some of these individuals remain active primarily in online environments, a number have transitioned towards preparing acts of terrorism beyond the confines of the Internet. One such example was the arrest, in March 2012, of a 20-year-old Moroccan national in Italy on suspicion of plotting an attack against a synagogue in Milan. The subject had been particularly active on the Internet, using at least eight social media profiles accessible only through a complex series of controls that he had created."
Another example occurred in April, when an Italian citizen (a convert to Islam), who had been actively engaged in spreading terrorist propaganda via the Internet as well as documents ontraining in the use of weapons and explosives, was arrested. Neither of these individuals belonged to any structured organisation, they merely shared the same ideology.
Breakdown of failed attacks
It is not obvious if it is Islamic or not.~~~~~
91 failed attacks in France, 4 (attacks)
16 in Italy
15 in Romania
8 in Spain and UK in Belgium, (2 attacks)
7 in Holland
6 in Germany
2 in Danmark & Finland
1 in Poland, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Austria
The report then covers kidnapping of Europeans (North Africa, Nigeria, Yemen, Sahel, Philippines, Syria and Kenya). Islamic in nature
Other noteworthy comments include:
· Members of the Millatu Ibrahim group – proscribed in Germany in 2012 – emigrated from Europe to relocate in Egypt and Libya, from where they have disseminated messages in German, inciting acts of terrorism.
· Ongoing terrorism in Libya. (continues to be unstable).
· The turmoil in Syria and Yemen, and the uncertain future political landscape in Egypt and Libya, have had significant effects on how terrorist groups present their struggle and justify their violent actions, in particular those committed to the idea of a global ‘jihad’ as promoted by al-Qaeda andits affiliates.
The report covers foreign fighters in Islamic conflicts.
· An attack in Bulgaria claimed the lives of seven people in July 2012. At the time of writing the responsibility for this attack was not determined, although indications suggest possible links to Hezbollah.
Islamophobia is mentioned in the report - Chapter 5 P37
Several incidents in 2012 were linked to perceptions by right-wing extremists that increasing immigration and the alleged growth of Islam in Europe were threats to national culture and values.
In Germany, in 2012, a small right-wing extremist party organised a series of demonstrations in front of different mosques, as well as a defamatory cartoon competition. Confrontations between members of the group and salafists resulted in violent clashes.
Whereas right-wing extremist political parties are unlikely to orchestrate serious violent offences against Muslims, it is assessed that such events may incite certain participants to commit criminal offences.
In the UK, recent anti-Islamic protests have led to a rapprochement between the right-wing extremist scene and the English Defence League (EDL) as well as its splinter groups. This is mirrored elsewhere, with the EDL and its counterpart ‘defence leagues’ in other EU Member States linking up with right-wing extremist groups.
In March 2012, anti-Islamic activists gathered in the Danish city of Aarhus in an attempt to form a European anti-Islamic movement consisting of separate organisations from across the EU. This ‘European Counter-Jihad Meeting’ was attended by ‘defence leagues’ from countries including the UK, France, Poland and the Scandinavian countries, in addition to groups such as Stop Islamisation of Europe (SIOE).
The Aarhus rally, organised by the EDL, was attended by between 160 and 200 supporters. Another event took place in August 2012 in Stockholm (Sweden). Representatives of anti-immigration groups from the EU, the US and Canada participated in this so-called first ‘Annual Global Counter- Jihad’ rally.