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If viewed in a broader sense, terrorism can be defined as the
usage of intentional violence done indiscriminately to create aspects such as
fear or terror, so as to achieve a political,
financial, religious or ideological aim. Terrorism is a threat which doesn’t
recognize borders and seldom affects people and property irrespective of their
geographical region. Certainly, however secure EU might be, it also falls under the jurisdiction of Terrorism. People as
an individual or group who believe that they may advance their political aims
with the help of terrorism, certainly present a credible threat to the values
of our society as well as to the rights and freedom of the citizens, as they
indiscriminately target seldom weak and innocent people. In no ways, the act of
terrorism may be justified as it is brutal and criminal and so it should be
treated as such in all the circumstances.


terrorism in Europe was observed significantly at the beginning of the 20th century and has often been associated
with anarchism. Within the European communities, terrorism after the 1950’s was
usually associated to various separatist agitations including but not confines
to Euskadi Ta Askatasun in Spain and UK’s Irish Republican Army. Some of the
other aggressions, which can broadly be
defined as terrorism have also been linked to anarchism, far-right and far-left
extremism, as well as environmental extremism. Ever since the attack on USA in
2001, it has also been observed that the attacks associated with Islamist
Extremist groups have been on the rise, more often than not affecting France. In
Russia, some of the separatist terrorist activities such as Chechen Separatism
also imbibed a religious flavour in it. This has led to increases in International coordination among the governments with
the intention of weakening Extremist ideology specially aimed towards Islamist

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It is also well important
to take into view that the majority of fatalities due to terrorism has not
occurred in the ‘WEST’ part of the world.
Statistically, if the Al-Qaida’s attack on the USA
in 2001 is excluded, only 0.5% of the fatalities linked to terrorism has
happened in West countries – USA, Canada, Australia and the EU. As compared to the number of attacks
between 1970 and 1990, there have been fewer attacks from 1990 to 2015. Even
after excluding the fatalities in 1988
from the Pan Am Bombing, about 150 people  have been casualty of terrorist activities
before 1990 whereas on an average about
50 people died each year because of terrorist activities post-1990.However, in the present times, there
has been a trend of increase in the
number of high fatality attacks in the western
countries. The significant examples include the terrorist attack by the
far-right extremist Anders Breivik in
Norway in 2011 and Islamist Extremist attacks in France in 2015 and 2016.


According to an annual
trend report that has been published by Europol on terrorist attacks and the associated
arrests (including foiled, failed and completed attacks) in EU since 2006. The
report had identified that the perpetrators’ known or suspected affiliations have been disparate in nature. Europol has
bifurcated those into 5 categories

1. Jihadist terrorism (also
known as ‘Religiously-inspired terrorism)

2. Ethno Nationalist
and Separatist terrorism

3. Left wing and
Anarchist terrorism

4. Right-wing terrorism

5. Single issue

Though, Europol’s
reports do not provide a breakdown of the proportion of attacks that have been
completed or even the severity and type of damage inflicted. According to those
data, the vast majority of attacks in the EU between 2006 and 2013 are
affiliated with Ethno-National or separatist motives, followed by left-wing
attacks and those being labelled ‘Unspecified’. In addition, a large number of
attacks were religiously influenced or linked with right-wing blocks. However,
among those arrested and charged for terror-related crimes, most of them were
religiously motivated forming the largest group, followed by separatist related
terror suspects.


In 2015, a total of 211
foiled, failed or completed terrorist attacks were reported by EU states,
resulting in a total of 151 fatalities (out
of which 148 were in France with 130 of them occurred in November 2015 Paris
attacks) 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. The
United Kingdom has reported the largest number of attacks (103) but abstained
from providing the statistics on suspected affiliation. Tackling religious and
jihadist terrorism, especially in Europe has become an over-riding
priority for security services but the threat and risk associated with
far-right terrorism should not be undermined as it is been done so. Many
commentators and specialists have increasingly begun to be sceptical. On the top, Europe has few
geographical disadvantages too. For jihadis fleeing the battlefields of Syria,
Europe is very easily accessible as compared to far-flung
countries such as USA, Canada or even Australia. The reverse also holds very
true. As many as 5000 left Europe to wage Jihad. In Syria and Iraq, much larger a
number compared to the number of Americans who joined ISIS or other terrorist groups. Although, as per the estimation of European
Security Services, 30% of the fighters have returned home, there are most
likely dozens of those plotting attacks in Europe.

And thanks to Schengen
Agreement, which has dismantled the internal border controls within the EU,
terrorists can slip in and out of EU countries with relative ease.


Even with numerous
scope for Europe to become the target of terrorists, it sees far few terrorism-related incidents as compared to
Afghanistan, Syria, Nigeria, Iraq and
other parts of the world. In 2016, Western Europe accounted for less than 2
percent of global terrorist attacks and only 1 percent of death worldwide.


Also, it is very safe
to state that this period has not seen
the worst period of terrorism in modern Europe history. In 1972, during the
insurgencies and trouble in Northern Ireland, over 400 people were killed in
Western Europe due to terrorist attacks. At the same time, this region accounted for more than 70% of
terrorist attacks worldwide.




In 2016, an
overwhelming 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, the
concluded court proceedings in EU resulted in a much higher number of verdicts
related to Jihadist terrorism as compared to any other form including
separatist terrorism.


IN 2016, as many as 135 people were killed in terror
attacks related to Jihadism in EU. In total, 13 terrorist
attacks were reported in EU- 5 in France, 4 each in Germany and Belgium. Out of
these 13 attempted attacks, 10 were the complete ones. A staggering 718 people
were asserted on the suspicion of Jihadist terrorism-related
offences. There was also a considerable
increase in a number of arrests. In
France, the number increased from 188 in
2014 to 377 in 2015 and then to 429 in 2016. In the Netherlands, the number increased from 20 in 2015 to 36 in 2016. In
the other Member states, the number of
arrests increased insignificantly and remained more or less, the same. Surprisingly, women, young adults
and even minors have increasingly assumed more operational roles in Jihadist
form of terrorism. The same has been demolished in recent primarily failed and
foiled attacks in member states of EU. Almost a quarter of the arrestees in
2016 were women, a significant increase in comparison to 2015 figures which
stood at 18%. Planning attacks in the EU continues in Syria and Iraq. It has
been believed that groups including ISIS and Al-Qaida have the intent as well
as ability to mount complex, mass
casualty attacks. ISIS has been training operatives in Syria and Iraq to carry
out attacks in the West and has no dearth of a shortage
of volunteers to be part of the group to be sent West for the purpose.
Al-Qaida, despite being reduced in operational capabilities of the core
organisation, has always maintained the ambition to carry out large-scale operations against the western countries, the same being their target countries. In 2016, the terrorist
threat in EU emanated from either remotely directed individuals operating alone, or in small groups or may have been inspired
by the terrorist propaganda. The former are individual attackers possibly being
assisted by friends, family or accomplices. They are primarily influenced by
Jihadist propaganda and may not necessarily receive personal direction or
instructions form any big terrorist group. The latter have been receiving
direction and personal instructions from and being facilitated by a terrorist organisation. On 7 January 2016, a
man wearing a suitable jacket and wielding a meat cleaver was shot and killed
as he tried his way inside Goutte d’Or police station in Paris, France. Again
in the same month, a Jewish teacher wearing their traditional clothing and kippa was attacked and wounded with a machete
in Marseille while walking to work. The attacker in the case was a 15 year young boy who had arrived in France in
2010.Again, in June, a French Commander and his wife were stabbed to death by a
former convict sentenced in terrorism-related
offences. The police officer and his wife were attacked on arriving at his home
in Magnanville , nearby Paris. The
attacker entered the house where he held the wife and his small kid on hostage. After the siege ended, police found
the mother dead while the child survived.
After the incident, the attacker broadcasted the statement live from the scene
via a social media and pledged allegiance to ISIS and threatened for many more



As per the report, more
than 1.8 million people had entered EU illegally within a short period 10
months between January and October 2015, while about 1 million applied for
asylum. The refugees basically belonged to conflicted areas of Syria, Iraq and
Afghanistan while many were the economic migrants from the Balkans, the Middle East and Africa.


As per the estimation
of EU, even of EU had accepted 1.4
million immigrants per year for next 30 years, the EU would still end up having 2 working aged people for every
person aged above 65 years, compared with 4 at the moment. Thus, immigration
should have been welcomed and EU was happy doing so.


But the flow of
irregular immigrants entering EU reached at an unprecedented level during 2015
and continued so even in 2016. The EU member countries reported new arrivals from the Middle
East, Africa as well as Asia, many of whom
turned into criminals especially involved
in drugs smuggling business


Migrant smuggling is a
general global criminal activity, dynamic in nature. Social and political
instability combined with poverty, alongside limited availability of legal
migrant routes, pushed people towards
criminal network to facilitate their illegal and unauthorized entry into,
transit through and stay back in EU


The journey to the EU
nations is very dangerous and smugglers in usual expose migrants to life-threatening risks and violence. The loss
of lives in the Mediterranean Sea clearly demonstrates the requirement of an
assertive as well as urgent response from the EU


The fight against the
migrants smuggling had always been one of the key parts of EU policies tackling irregular migration for more than a
decade now. In 2002, the EU had adopted a legal framework on smuggling which
was composed of a Directive defining the penal framework of those offences.


With the aim so as to
prevent the exploitation of migrants by criminal chains and gangs, as well as
the need to further reduce the incentives for irregular migration, the European
Union on migration and the European Union on security designed to transform
smuggling from a ‘high profit, low risk’ activity into a complete reverse, while
ensuring and caring the migrants’ human rights of respect, peace and


In some cases, migrants
continued depending upon criminals after arriving in the EU. Criminal networks
were facilitating irregular residence,
including the arrangement of counterfeit documents and at the same time
enabling migrants to use other people’s genuine documents to pose as an
impostor. As in any other country or union, that is completely illegal in EU
under the 2002 directive.


Migrants usually are
subject to many other types of exploitation including forced labour and even
prostitution. To control trafficking, the EU had established very strict rules
of action against the criminals engaged in it. The EU rules ascertain the victims of trafficking to have an
access to assistance, including a temporary residence in the EU. Also, the EU
has been continuously monitoring the implementation of the employer’s sanction
directory from 2009, making sure to check irregular migrants’ exploitation.


Improving external
border control


Smuggling the migrants
through the water bodies has always been the most dangerous form of migrant
smuggling and also the one which requires serious humanitarian assistance and
efforts. To save the life of those distress at the sea, EU state coast guard
and naval Services has been making serious effort,
with assistance from the European Union
coast guard agency (FRONTEX)


It has always been a
case that the migrant entered EU legally on short-stay
visas but stayed back in EU even after the expiry of visa. Credible and
effective management of the external borders is mandatory. The EU on response
has created an integrated border management strategy which always aims to maintain a high level of security by
using several information technologies such as the visa information
system or biometric features for identification.


The commission has
taken a strong step to check irregular immigration so as to ensure that each EU
state effectively controls their own
portion of the EU’s external boundary, build
trust in the effectiveness of the EU system of migration management and to also
ensure that the fundamental rights of migrants are
always completely protected.


To ensure the same,
there are some legislative measures, few
of them already implemented while others on the verge of it. These include


1. Strengthen the
mandate of FRONTEX to ensure the effectiveness the external borders


2. To ensure the
correct application of the Schengen rules 


3. To intensify the
coordination between border surveillance authority and to consider the
feasibility of creating a European system of border guards.


4. Establishing rules
for the surveillance of the external sea borders in the context of operational cooperation coordinated by FRONTEX.


A humane and effective
return and readmission policy


A humane and effective
return and readmission policy in line with the EU Charter of Fundamental rights and based on the principle of giving
preference to voluntary return – is also a comprehensive and sustainable
migration policy. The EU had always seemed to harmonize and support national
efforts to improve returns and facilitate reintegration with the Return
Directive and the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund. Effective cooperation
with countries outside EU on the basis of readmission agreements is also an
integral part so as to ensure that the return policy is effective.


Return legislation is
also a part of the Schengen acquis. Its correct implementation in the EU
countries is checked through the evaluation visits led by the commission
itself, together with the experts designated by the EU states and the countries
participating in Schengen.


At the present moment,
the commission has been formally authorized to negotiate EU readmission
agreement with Russia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, the Chinese Special
Administrative 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 and


About two-thirds of the people say non-resident
terrorism is on the rise. Also, the immigration rate has fuelled the rise
of nationalist parties which has shocked up European politics in 2016. Across
the 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 in
itself is less common as a median of 55% of residents views current immigration level as a serious and concerning problem
in their country.


The debate among the
members of EU union has been growing about the badly needed reforms to the
bloc’s asylum policy. The European Union’s governing body has been in favour of
the proposal of accepting more refugees by the member states so as to take the burden off from the front line countries such
as Malta, Italy and Greece. However, this proposal has at most times met with
resistance and outright refusal. Some of the leaders fear that Migration is a
‘Trojan Horse’ for terrorists to seek entry in EU


The threat of terrorism
can be also linked to the public support for the anti-immigration policy. The percentage of residents who consider
the level of immigration as a serious problem varies widely, from 86% in Malta, where
it outweighs concerns about terrorism to as low as 18% in Iceland. It has also
been observed that residents’ tendency of viewing immigration as a serious
threat in their country rises with their likelihood to describe terrorist
attacks – by either residents or non-residents – the same way, even though it
has been evident that in few of the cases the terrorist attacks have been
planned and executed by the natives rather than the migrants or expats.


As per the analysis of
respondent level among the 14 countries studied, the relationship between the
concerns about immigration and terrorism is statistically dependent upon the
individual’s feeling about racial and ethnic minorities in their country and


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