If viewed in a broader sense, terrorism can be defined as theusage of intentional violence done indiscriminately to create aspects such asfear or terror, so as to achieve a political,financial, religious or ideological aim. Terrorism is a threat which doesn’trecognize borders and seldom affects people and property irrespective of theirgeographical region. Certainly, however secure EU might be, it also falls under the jurisdiction of Terrorism. People asan individual or group who believe that they may advance their political aimswith the help of terrorism, certainly present a credible threat to the valuesof our society as well as to the freedom and rights of the citizens, as they extensivelytarget seldom weak and innocent people. In no ways, the act of terrorism may bejustified as it is brutal and criminal and so it should be treated as such inall the circumstances. Historically,terrorism in Europe was observed significantly at the beginning of the 20th century and has often been associatedwith anarchism.
Within the European communities, terrorism after the 1950’s wasusually associated to various separatist agitations including but not confinesto Euskadi Ta Askatasun in Spain and UK’s Irish Republican Army. Some of theother aggressions, which can broadly bedefined as terrorism has also been linked to far-right & far-left extremismand anarchism, as well as environmental extremism. Ever since the attack on USAin 2001, it has also been observed that the attacks associated with IslamistExtremist groups have been on the rise, more often than not affecting France. InRussia, some of the separatist terrorist activities such as Chechen Separatismalso imbibed a religious flavour in it.
This has led to increases in International coordination among the governments withthe intention of weakening Extremist ideology specially aimed towards IslamistExtremism.It is also well importantto take into view that the majority of fatalities due to terrorism has notoccurred in the ‘WEST’ part of the world.Statistically, if the Al-Qaida’s attack on the USAin 2001 is excluded, only 0.
5% of the fatalities linked to terrorism hashappened in West countries – USA, Canada, Australia and the EU. As compared to the number of attacksbetween 1970 and 1990, there have been fewer attacks from 1990 to 2015. Evenafter excluding the fatalities in 1988from the Pan Am Bombing, about 150 people have been casualty of terrorist activitiesbefore 1990 whereas on an average about50 people died each year because of terrorist activities post-1990.However, in the present times, therehas been a trend of increase in thenumber of high fatality attacks in the westerncountries. The significant examples include the terrorist attack by thefar-right extremist Anders Breivik inNorway in 2011 and Islamist Extremist attacks in France in 2015 and 2016.
According to an annualtrend report that has been published by Europol on terrorist attacks and the associatedarrests (including foiled, failed and completed attacks) in EU since 2006. Thereport had identified that the perpetrators’ known or suspected affiliations have been disparate in nature. Europol hasbifurcated those into 5 categories1. Jihadist terrorism (alsoknown as ‘Religiously-inspired terrorism)2. Ethno Nationalistand Separatist terrorism3. Left wing andAnarchist terrorism4.
Right-wing terrorism5. Single issueterrorismThough, Europol’sreports do not provide a breakdown of the proportion of attacks that have beencompleted or even the severity and type of damage inflicted. According to thosedata, the vast majority of attacks in the EU between 2006 and 2013 areaffiliated with Ethno-National or separatist motives, followed by left-wingattacks and those being labelled ‘Unspecified’. In addition, a large number ofattacks were religiously influenced or linked with right-wing blocks. However,among those arrested and charged for terror-related crimes, most of them werereligiously motivated forming the largest group, followed by separatist relatedterror suspects.
In 2015, a total of 211foiled, failed or completed terrorist attacks were reported by EU states,resulting in a total of 151 fatalities (outof which 148 were in France with 130 of them occurred in November 2015 Parisattacks) with more than 360 injuries. As in previous years, separatist attacks accounted for the biggest proportion(65), followed by Jihadist attacks (17). But the latter ‘Jihadist Attack’caused the heaviest damage causing as many as 150 fatalities and 250 injuries. TheUnited Kingdom has reported the largest number of attacks (103) but abstainedfrom providing the statistics on suspected affiliation. Tackling religious andjihadist terrorism, especially in Europe has become an over-ridingpriority for security services but the threat and risk associated withfar-right terrorism should not be undermined as it is been done so. Manycommentators and specialists have increasingly begun to be sceptical.
On the top, Europe has fewgeographical disadvantages too. For jihadis fleeing the battlefields of Syria,Europe is very easily accessible as compared to far-flungcountries such as USA, Canada or even Australia. The reverse also holds verytrue. As many as 5000 left Europe to wage Jihad. In Syria and Iraq, much larger anumber compared to the number of Americans who joined ISIS or other terrorist groups. Although, as per the estimation of EuropeanSecurity Services, 30% of the fighters have returned home, there are mostlikely dozens of those plotting attacks in Europe.And thanks to SchengenAgreement, which has dismantled the internal border controls within the EU,terrorists can slip in and out of EU countries with relative ease.
Even with numerousscope for Europe to become the target of terrorists, it sees far few terrorism-related incidents as compared toAfghanistan, Syria, Nigeria, Iraq andother parts of the world. In 2016, Western Europe accounted for less than 2percent of global terrorist attacks and only 1 percent of death worldwide. Also, it is very safeto state that this period has not seenthe worst period of terrorism in modern Europe history.
In 1972, during theinsurgencies and trouble in Northern Ireland, over 400 people were killed inWestern Europe due to terrorist attacks. At the same time, this region accounted for more than 70% ofterrorist attacks worldwide. FORMS OF TERRORISM In 2016, anoverwhelming number of verdicts of terrorism in Member states of EU was pronounced in relation to Jihadist terrorism.This the fact also confirms the findings in 2015, when for the first time since 2008, theconcluded court proceedings in EU resulted in a much higher number of verdictsrelated to Jihadist terrorism as compared to any other form includingseparatist terrorism. IN 2016, as many as 135 people were killed in terrorattacks related to Jihadism in EU. In total, 13 terroristattacks were reported in EU- 5 in France, 4 each in Germany and Belgium. Out ofthese 13 attempted attacks, 10 were the complete ones.
A staggering 718 peoplewere asserted on the suspicion of Jihadist terrorism-relatedoffences. There was also a considerableincrease in a number of arrests. InFrance, the number increased from 188 in2014 to 377 in 2015 and then to 429 in 2016. In the Netherlands, the number increased from 20 in 2015 to 36 in 2016.
Inthe other Member states, the number ofarrests increased insignificantly and remained more or less, the same. Surprisingly, women, young adultsand even minors have increasingly assumed more operational roles in Jihadistform of terrorism. The same has been demolished in recent primarily failed andfoiled attacks in member states of EU.
Almost a quarter of the arrestees in2016 were women, a significant increase in comparison to 2015 figures whichstood at 18%. Planning attacks in the EU continues in Syria and Iraq. It hasbeen believed that groups including ISIS and Al-Qaida have the intent as wellas ability to mount complex, masscasualty attacks. ISIS has been training operatives in Syria and Iraq to carryout attacks in the West and has no dearth of a shortageof volunteers to be part of the group to be sent West for the purpose.Al-Qaida, despite being reduced in operational capabilities of the coreorganisation, has always maintained the ambition to carry out large-scale operations against the western countries, the same being their target countries. In 2016, the terroristthreat in EU emanated from either remotely directed individuals operating alone, or in small groups or may have been inspiredby the terrorist propaganda. The former are individual attackers possibly beingassisted by friends, family or accomplices.
They are primarily influenced byJihadist propaganda and may not necessarily receive personal direction orinstructions form any big terrorist group. The latter have been receivingdirection and personal instructions from and being facilitated by a terrorist organisation. On 7 January 2016, aman wearing a suitable jacket and wielding a meat cleaver was shot and killedas he tried his way inside Goutte d’Or police station in Paris, France. Againin the same month, a Jewish teacher wearing their traditional clothing and kippa was attacked and wounded with a machetein Marseille while walking to work. The attacker in the case was a 15 year young boy who had arrived in France in2010.Again, in June, a French Commander and his wife were stabbed to death by aformer convict sentenced in terrorism-relatedoffences.
The police officer and his wife were attacked on arriving at his homein Magnanville , nearby Paris. Theattacker entered the house where he held the wife and his small kid on hostage. After the siege ended, police foundthe mother dead while the child survived.After the incident, the attacker broadcasted the statement live from the scenevia a social media and pledged allegiance to ISIS and threatened for many moreattacks. ‘EUROPE’S IMMIGRATION PROBLEM As per the report, morethan 1.8 million people had entered EU illegally within a short period 10months between January and October 2015, while about 1 million applied forasylum. The refugees basically belonged to conflicted areas of Syria, Iraq andAfghanistan while many were the economic migrants from the Balkans, the Middle East and Africa.
As per the estimationof EU, even of EU had accepted 1.4million immigrants per year for next 30 years, the EU would still end up having 2 working aged people for everyperson aged above 65 years, compared with 4 at the moment. Thus, immigrationshould have been welcomed and EU was happy doing so. But the flow ofirregular immigrants entering EU reached at an unprecedented level during 2015and continued so even in 2016. The EU member countries reported new arrivals from the MiddleEast, Africa as well as Asia, many of whomturned into criminals especially involvedin drugs smuggling business Migrant smuggling is ageneral global criminal activity, dynamic in nature. Social and politicalinstability combined with poverty, alongside limited availability of legalmigrant routes, pushed people towardscriminal network to facilitate their illegal and unauthorized entry into,transit through and stay back in EU The journey to the EUnations is very dangerous and smugglers in usual expose migrants to life-threatening risks and violence. The lossof lives in the Mediterranean Sea clearly demonstrates the requirement of anassertive as well as urgent response from the EU The fight against themigrants smuggling had always been one of the key parts of EU policies tackling irregular migration for more than adecade now.
In 2002, the EU had adopted a legal framework on smuggling whichwas composed of a Directive defining the penal framework of those offences. With the aim so as toprevent the exploitation of migrants by criminal chains and gangs, as well asthe need to further reduce the incentives for irregular migration, the EuropeanUnion on migration and the European Union on security designed to transformsmuggling from a ‘high profit, low risk’ activity into a complete reverse, whileensuring and caring the migrants’ human rights of respect, peace andprotection. In some cases, migrantscontinued depending upon criminals after arriving in the EU. Criminal networkswere facilitating irregular residence,including the arrangement of counterfeit documents and at the same timeenabling migrants to use other people’s genuine documents to pose as animpostor. As in any other country or union, that is completely illegal in EUunder the 2002 directive. Migrants usually aresubject to many other types of exploitation including forced labour and evenprostitution.
To control trafficking, the EU had established very strict rulesof action against the criminals engaged in it. The EU rules ascertain the victims of trafficking to have anaccess to assistance, including a temporary residence in the EU. Also, the EUhas been continuously monitoring the implementation of the employer’s sanctiondirectory from 2009, making sure to check irregular migrants’ exploitation.
Improving externalborder control Smuggling the migrantsthrough the water bodies has always been the most dangerous form of migrantsmuggling and also the one which requires serious humanitarian assistance andefforts. To save the life of those distress at the sea, EU state coast guardand naval Services has been making serious effort,with assistance from the European Unioncoast guard agency (FRONTEX) It has always been acase that the migrant entered EU legally on short-stayvisas but stayed back in EU even after the expiry of visa. Credible andeffective management of the external borders is mandatory.
The EU on responsehas created an integrated border management strategy which always aims to maintain a high level of security byusing several information technologies such as the visa informationsystem or biometric features for identification. The commission hastaken a strong step to check irregular immigration so as to ensure that each EUstate effectively controls their ownportion of the EU’s external boundary, buildtrust in the effectiveness of the EU system of migration management and to alsoensure that the fundamental rights of migrants arealways completely protected. To ensure the same,there are some legislative measures, fewof them already implemented while others on the verge of it. These include 1. Strengthen themandate of FRONTEX to ensure the effectiveness the external borders 2. To ensure thecorrect application of the Schengen rules 3. To intensify thecoordination between border surveillance authority and to consider thefeasibility of creating a European system of border guards.
4. Establishing rulesfor the surveillance of the external sea borders in the context of operational cooperation coordinated by FRONTEX. A humane and effectivereturn and readmission policy A humane and effectivereturn and readmission policy in line with the EU Charter of Fundamental rights and based on the principle of givingpreference to voluntary return – is also a comprehensive and sustainablemigration policy. The EU had always seemed to harmonize and support nationalefforts to improve returns and facilitate reintegration with the ReturnDirective and the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.
Effective cooperationwith countries outside EU on the basis of readmission agreements is also anintegral part so as to ensure that the return policy is effective. Return legislation isalso a part of the Schengen acquis. Its correct implementation in the EUcountries is checked through the evaluation visits led by the commissionitself, together with the experts designated by the EU states and the countriesparticipating in Schengen. At the present moment,the commission has been formally authorized to negotiate EU readmissionagreement with Russia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, the Chinese SpecialAdministrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macao, Algeria, Turkey, Albania, China,Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Morocco, Serbia, Montenegro,Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Republic of Moldova, Georgia, Cape Verde, Tunisia,Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus and Nigeria. Agreements with the two Chinese Special Administrative Regions,Sri Lanka, the Western Balkan countries, the Republic of Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, Georgia Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan,Cape Verde and Pakistan have entered into force. Terrorism andImmigration About two-thirds of the people say non-residentterrorism is on the rise. Also, the immigration rate has fuelled the riseof nationalist parties which has shocked up European politics in 2016.
Acrossthe 14 countries surveyed by Gallup last year, a median of 66% of residents believes terrorism by non-residents is a serious problem in the country, a median of 65%have the similar views about resident perpetrated terrorist acts. As such,concerns regarding immigration level initself is less common as a median of 55% of residents views current immigration level as a serious and concerning problemin their country. The debate among themembers of EU union has been growing about the badly needed reforms to thebloc’s asylum policy. The European Union’s governing body has been in favour ofthe proposal of accepting more refugees by the member states so as to take the burden off from the front line countries suchas Malta, Italy and Greece. However, this proposal has at most times met withresistance and outright refusal.
Some of the leaders fear that Migration is a’Trojan Horse’ for terrorists to seek entry in EU The threat of terrorismcan be also linked to the public support for the anti-immigration policy. The percentage of residents who considerthe level of immigration as a serious problem varies widely, from 86% in Malta, whereit outweighs concerns about terrorism to as low as 18% in Iceland. It has alsobeen observed that residents’ tendency of viewing immigration as a seriousthreat in their country rises with their likelihood to describe terroristattacks – by either residents or non-residents – the same way, even though ithas been evident that in few of the cases the terrorist attacks have beenplanned and executed by the natives rather than the migrants or expats.
As per the analysis ofrespondent level among the 14 countries studied, the relationship between theconcerns about immigration and terrorism is statistically dependent upon theindividual’s feeling about racial and ethnic minorities in their country andcommunity.