28 May 2014
A total of 152 terrorist attacks were carried out in the EU last year. There was also a sustained number of Europeans taken hostage by groups or individuals linked to religiously inspired terrorism. The yearly EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report from the European police authority, Europol, summarises the extent of this security threat.
"Be it right or left-wing extremism, separatism or religiously motivated acts, we need to step up our work to respond to the threat of radicalisation. Radicalisation leading to violent terrorism is a gradual process and does not happen overnight. In times when populist movements and xenophobic winds are sweeping across Europe, it is more important than ever to keep this in mind", says EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström.
In 2013, seven people died as a result of terrorist attacks in the EU, and 535 individuals were arrested for terrorism-related offences. The largest proportion of terrorist attacks in the EU was related to separatist groups, although the number significantly decreased in 2013 compared to previous years. The majority of EU Member States continue to consider religiously inspired terrorism as a major threat, as evidenced by the significant increase in the number of arrests. Two attacks and several disrupted plots in 2013 illustrate this threat.