Europol moots EU task force after Norway attacks

23rd September 2011, Comments 0 comments

A "virtual" task force to fight violent extremism in Europe should be created in the wake of July's twin attacks in Norway which left 77 dead, Europol said Friday.

"A virtual task force on violent extremism should be created, comprising relevant experts from EU member states, tasked with researching and reporting on new initiatives to counter violent extremism," it said in a statement.

"By 'virtual' we mean this group of experts, from different countries, will not be obliged to gather physically but will be able to work through video conferencing for example or through secured networks," Europol spokesman Soren Pedersen told AFP.

Europol's suggestion was one of a number made by its director Rob Wainwright to the EU's Council of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers (JHA) in Brussels on Thursday, the policing agency said from its headquarters in The Hague.

Wainwright said the 27-nation bloc should create an online portal to exchange ideas on best practice, analysis and assessment relating to the use of the Internet by individuals or groups linked to violent extremism.

He added that Europol and EU states should prepare a full continent-wide assessment of the threat posed by those "associated with violent single issue extremism."

Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik has confessed to the twin attacks on July 22, setting off a bomb outside government offices and then carrying out a shooting massacre at a Labour youth summer camp on an island near Oslo.

Sixty-nine people, mostly young, were shot dead in the rampage on Utoeya island, and eight others died in the bombing.

In a manifesto he published on the Internet just before the attacks, Behring Breivik professed his hatred for Western-style democracy, saying it had spawned the multicultural society he loathed.

© 2011 AFP

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