11 people suspected of terrorism have been arrested in Romania last year, according to the latest Europol report, EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report (TE-SAT) 2016, released on Wednesday.
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 which 424 in France only. 94% of the individuals trialed for jihadist terrorism were found guilty and prosecuted, the report reveals.
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.
“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,” says Rob Wainwright, Director of Europol.
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.