Terrorist attacks doubled in 2017: Europol report

Updated June 21, 2018

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THE HAGUE: Terrorist attacks on European targets more than doubled last year, Europe’s police agency said on Wednesday, warning the risk of more unsophisticated attacks by the so-called Islamic State group “remains acute”.

Last year, a total 33 terror attacks were reported on the continent and Britain — 10 of which were successful, killing 62 people, while the rest were foiled or failed, Europol said in an annual report issued in The Hague.

That figure compared with 13 reported attacks in 2016, of which 10 were successful leading to 135 deaths.

However, the “increase in the number of terrorist attacks in 2017 ran parallel to a decrease in sophistication in their preparation and execution”, Euro­­pol’s 2018 Terrorism Situation and Trend report said.

This included the attack on London’s Westminster Bridge on March 22 last year and a similar attack on London Bridge two months later when attackers simply drove vehicles into pedestrians and stabbed bystanders with knives, killing 13 people in total and wounding some 98 others.

Terrorists, who carried out such attacks in the EU in 2017, were mainly home-grown, “meaning that they were radicalised in their country of residence without having travelled to join a terrorist group abroad”.

Amid a series of offensives, IS fighters who swept across large parts of Syria and neighbouring Iraq in 2014 declaring a so-called “caliphate”, have mostly now lost control in those areas.

Published in Dawn, June 21st, 2018