In 2015, 151 people died and over 360 were injured as a result of terrorist attacks in the EU. Six EU Member States faced 211 failed, foiled and completed terrorist attacks. 1 077 individuals were arrested in the EU for terrorism-related offences, of whom 424 were in France only. 94% of the individuals on trial for jihadist terrorism were found guilty.
This general overview is an important part of the EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report (TE-SAT) 2016, which Europol released on.
The map shows the number of failed, foiled or completed terrorist incidents, and the number of persons arrested.
In Portugal there were no incidents but two separatists were arrested.
In addition, Europol releases a brief assessment of recent terrorist incidents that highlights the operational difficulties in the detection and disruption of lone actor attacks. In the TE-SAT 2016, Europol stresses that such attacks remained a favoured tactic by the Islamic State and al-Qaeda, and both groups have repeatedly called on Muslims living in Western countries to perpetrate lone actor attacks in their countries of residence.
Rob Wainwright, Director of Europol: “In 2015 the European Union experienced a massive number of casualties caused by terrorist attacks. In this context, Europol made use of its unique capabilities to focus on supporting operational investigations to prevent terrorist attacks and identify and disrupt terrorists. The increased cooperation resulted in a much richer strategic intelligence picture, strengthening the 2016 TE-SAT report and Europol’s ability to advise political leaders and legislators and inform national authorities in the setting of threat levels.”
The TE-SAT 2016 outlines two worrying developments: the overall threat is reinforced by the substantial numbers of returned foreign terrorist fighters that many Member States now have on their soil, and the significant rise in nationalist (xenophobic), racist and anti-Semitic sentiments across the EU, each resulting in acts of right-wing extremism.
The report brings to light the fact that a significant percentage of all foreign terrorist travellers in Syria/Iraq are now female.
On the other hand, there is no concrete evidence to date that terrorist travellers systematically use the flow of refugees to enter Europe unnoticed. The investigations into the 13 November Paris attacks revealed however that two of the attackers had entered the EU through Greece as part of the large influx of refugees from Syria