A damning report from the European Union’s cross-border police agency, Europol, revealed that the number of jihadi-inspired attacks “more than doubled” last year.
The organisation’s annual ‘EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report (TE-SAT)’ states that 9 EU countries reported a total of 205 foiled, failed or completed terrorist attacks in 2017, up from 142 in 2016.
A total of 975 people were arrested in the EU for terrorism-related offences last year, with the vast majority of those pertaining to Islamist terrorism.
The report states: “In recent years there has been an increase in the frequency of jihadist attacks, but a decrease in the sophistication of their preparation and execution.
“Jihadist attacks, however, cause more deaths and casualties than any other terrorist attacks.”
The shocking report also claims that many Islamists are “radicalised in their country of residence without having travelled to join a terrorist group abroad.
“This group of home-grown actors is highly diverse, consisting of individuals who have been born in the EU or have lived in the EU most of their lives, may have been known to the police but not for terrorist activities and often do not have direct links to the Islamic State (IS) or any other jihadist organisation,” it concludes.
Of the 5,000 individuals from the EU who had travelled to Iraq and Syria to fight for the Islamic State, 1,500 have returned home – with Belgium, Germany and the UK being the biggest recipients of foreign terrorist fighters.
“EU Member States reported that returnees to Europe may have a certain amount of combat and operational experience; gained an enhanced capability to commit acts of terrorism; and be particularly dehumanised and prone to violence upon their return,” the report states.
“They also serve as role models and might be involved in recruiting and radicalising others. Furthermore, returnees and other extremists in prison may encourage inmates to ultimately travel overseas to fight or conduct other terrorist activities.”
This should serve as a reminder of the scale of the threat Britain and Europe faces from jihadists and other forms of terrorism. Our security services must be given the tools to do the job, and the government shouldn’t be allowing jihadis to return.