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Terrorism on the rise in EU

Published on April 08, 2008

8 April 2008

BRUSSELS / THE HAGUE – European police authorities reported on Monday an increase in the number of unsuccessful, prevented or actually carried out terrorist attacks in European Union states.

Some 583 such attacks took place in the EU in 2007, a 24-percent increase from 2006, Europol director Max-Peter Ratzel told the European Parliament in Brussels.

The vast majority of these attacks were attributable to the Basque separatist organisation ETA in France and Spain. Muslim terrorists carried out one attack in Britain, while a number of attempts were made in Britain as well as Germany and Denmark.

ETA terrorism was responsible for the deaths of two Spanish policemen, but no other deaths were caused by terrorism within the EU.

Europol, however, warned that Islamic terrorists attempted to cause the most casualties with their attacks, both in their choice of targets as well as the means used. In a recent unsuccessful attack in London, the would-be attackers placed nails in their homemade bombs.

In the entire EU in 2007, 1,044 suspects were jailed for acts in connection with terrorism, an increase of 48 percent from 2006. This consisted mainly of arrests of separatists in France and Spain. The number of detained Muslim terrorist suspects dropped from 257 in 2006 to 201 in 2007.

[dpa / Expatica]