Jihadists Dominated Terror-Related Arrests Last Year, but Left-Wing Attacks Were Most Common Across Europe
Thomas Brooke, Remix, June 14, 2023
Islamic terrorism remained the top national security threat across Europe last year in relation to the number of arrests, although left-wing activists and anarchists carried out the majority of successful terror attacks across the continent.
According to Europol data published on Wednesday, authorities arrested 380 individuals across all EU member states last year on suspicion of terror-related offenses. Of those, 266 arrests were as a result of investigations into Islamic terrorism.
Most of the arrests related to jihadism took place in France (93), followed by Spain (46), Germany (30), and Belgium (22). This category of arrests has risen each year since 2020, from 254 that year to 260 in 2021 and 266 in 2022.
The Europol report also revealed that 28 completed, failed, or foiled terror attacks were recorded across the European Union last year. A total of 16 were completed. Of these, “the majority were attributed to left-wing and anarchist terrorism (13), two to jihadist terrorism, and one to right-wing terrorism,” the report stated.
The majority of completed left-wing terror attacks occurred in Italy (8), followed by Greece (3) and one each in Belgium and Spain.
Left-wing attacks primarily targeted police personnel, according to the report. “Violence amounted to premeditated and targeted attacks against law enforcement, both during service and off-duty, including attacks on private vehicles and homes.”
There were significantly more arrests of those authorities suspected to be right-wing terrorists (44) compared to left-wing arrests (19). This is despite the report stating that the majority of right-wing suspects “propagate a plethora of narratives, mainly online” and were responsible for just four completed, failed, or foiled terror attacks compared to 18 by left-wing terrorists.