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November 2013

Europes Challenge: The Return of the Foreign Fighters

Comprehensive Information on Complex Issues
Linda Lavender Complex Coverage Desk Officer This report considers the presence of transnational volunteers, otherwise known as foreign fighters, in the Syrian conflict and the security implications of returning radicalised fighters to home countries. Additionally the report briefly reviews the unique challenges European countries face regarding domestic terrorism attacks. Related information is available at Hyperlinks to source material are highlighted in blue and underlined in the text.

Introduction Rebel fighters battling the Syrian regime of President Bashar al Assad now number between 100,000 and 120,000, according to defence consultancy IHS Janes and Aram Nerguizian, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Nearly fifty to sixty thousand are considered to be jihadist and hard-line Islamists intent on establishing an Islamic state upon the ousting of the Assad government, reports The Telegraph. Of that fifty per cent, approximately 10,000 fighters, including foreign fighting elements, are considered to be jihadist1. While the US and its allies continue to fund the rebel Free Syrian Army, many observers warn that the growing presence of jihadist and militants from beyond Syria is creating a dangerous new conflict within the Syrian civil war, according to Christian Science Monitor (CSM). The increasing number of radicalised young Muslims travelling to Syria to fight against the regime has raised Western concerns over what might occur once those fighters return home, according to Bloomberg. Matthew Olsen, director of the US National Counterterrorism Center says that the Syrian war is providing both a rallying point and a training ground for radical Islamists from other nations. Richard Barrett, former coordinator of the UN al Qaeda Taliban Monitoring Team, says the risks of returning jihadists are real, while acknowledging that not all those retuning home will be inclined to engage in terrorist activity.
Figure 1: 2013 EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report Europol reports that terrorist attacks and related arrests in the European 2012 Union (EU) significantly increased in 2011 Deaths 2012 compared to previous years. Its findings lend credibility to concerns that terrorism threats remain strong Individuals arrested and varied throughout Europe. In 2011, there were 174 reported Terrorist attacks terrorist attacks in EU member states. In 2012, 219 terrorist attacks were 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 documented (Figure 1.). Terrorist bomb attacks at Burgas airport in Bulgaria Source: Europol and shootings by a lone gunman in France claimed the lives of fourteen people in 20122. Separate attacks in Belgium, France and Northern Ireland killed three others. Director of Europol Rob Wainwright says, [t]here is growing concern about the threat posed by [foreign fighters] given the possibility of their returning to the European Union intent on committing acts of terrorism.

Charles Lister from IHS Janes offers variations in these numbers. In August 2013, Lister indicated that al Qaeda-linked jihadist fighters such as those associated with Jabhat al Nusra (JAN) and the Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) numbered 12,000. Lister also indicates that the larger and more powerful rebel group Ahrar al Sham has approximately 15,000 to 25,000 fighters and is also strongly Islamist. 2 According to the Europol report, there were no terrorism related deaths in 2011.

This report considers the current level of terrorist threats in the EU, provides an overview of a select number of countries of origin for foreign jihadists now fighting in Syria, and discusses the on-going debate on how best to address jihadists returning to their countries of origin. Foreign Fighters in Syria According to Newsweek, the Syrian civil war is the third-largest foreign Mujahideen3 mobilisation in history, following Afghanistan in the 1980s and Iraq in the past decade. Syria is the new epicentre for the global jihad with would be martyrs arriving from across the Islamic world to fight Assad (Figure 2.). They are getting experience in the terror arts they will bring home, according to Bruce Riedel, former CIA official and member of the White House National Security Council, cited by The Washington Times. The newly-appointed head of the UK Security Services, Sir Andrew Parker, issued a stern warning in October 2012 when he said that jihadi fighters migrating to Syria are a major security threat to the UK, Europe and beyond, reports Newsweek. Parker reports that a growing proportion of our casework now has some link to Syria, mostly concerning individuals from the UK who have travelled to fight there or who aspire to do so. Al Nusrah [Jabhat al Nusra] and other extremist Sunni groups there aligned with al Qaeda aspire to attack Western countries .

Figure 2. Deaths by Country of Origin (May 2013)

Source: NBC News

Precise information is difficult to gather and verify. Foreign Policy reports that foreign fighter groups operating in Syria have integrated themselves into the social fabric of host communities, particularly in the northern governorates of Aleppo, northern Idlib, Raqa and in eastern Deir al Zour. Aaron Zelin of the Washington Institute states that in the early stages of the Syrian conflict, most foreign fighters joined the Free Syrian Army (FSA) but this was prior to any jihadi group announcing its presence in Syria. In the autumn of 2011, there were only a small number of foreign fighters in Syria. This changed after January 2012 when Jabhat al Nusra (JAN4) announced its formation, resulting in a greater number of foreign fighters travelling to Syria to engage in the fight. Since 2012, there has been a steady stream of foreign fighters entering Syria. This is significant as the majority of jihadists come from the Arab world5, states Zelin,
Mujahideen is an Islamic-Arabic term for Muslims guerilla warriors engaged in jihad. Jabhat al Nusra (JAN) is an al Qaeda linked militia fighting against the Assad regime. 5 The Arab world, Zelins description, includes Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia.
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JAN quickly became one of the most effective fighting rebel forces in Syria. According to Zelin, since the summer of 2011 when the Syrian uprising became an armed insurrection, the jihad in Syria has become the du jour locale for fighters who want to topple the apostate al Assad regime for a variety of strategic, geographic and religious reasons. Foreign fighters in Syria have varying motivations for engaging in the conflict. Some foreign fighters view the Syrian conflict in jihadist terms. That is, they see the fight within Syria as an opportunity to establish an Islamic state based on Sharia Law with intent to undertake jihad in the West. The hope of instituting a Caliphate State is one of the most significant motives to enter the fight, and it is often linked to the Islamic sect of Salafism, a strict interpretation of Sunni Islam. The rise of al Qaeda worldview fighters can be traced back to the fall of 2011, according to Zelin, who also authored Deciphering the Jihadist Presence in Syria: An Analysis of Martyrdom Notices. Jihadi Tourism Figure 3: Routes into Syria Jihadi Tourism is a term often used to describe travel to foreign destinations with the object of locating and engaging in terrorist training. As early as 2009, British and US counterterrorism officials voiced concerns that British Somalis could return to the UK after participating in jihad training in Somalia, according to CBS News. Counterterrorism expert Anat Berko asserts that the overwhelming desire of many Muslim adolescent boys, even those educated in the West or who are converts to Islam, especially those living in countries where there is no real governance, is excitement [performing jihad]. To that end they stream into confrontation zones like Afghanistan, Source: Truth Frequency Radio Pakistan, Chechnya, Libya, Iraq, Africa (such as the recent terrorist attack in Kenya), and Syria to experience the mission, the excitement and promise of being a shaheed6 as the ultimate in self-realization. As of July 2013, reports suggested that thousands of foreign terrorists have travelled to Syria in order to wage jihad (Figure 3). Jihadists that once used similar routes to access the insurgency in Iraq, now use those routes to join jihadists in Syria. Ibrahim Talib, head researcher and deputy director of the Center for Strategic Studies in Damascus indicated the same month that Tunisians in Syria number 15,000 followed by Libyans, Saudis, Egyptians, Palestinians and Lebanese, according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. In September 2013, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem told the UN General Assembly that terrorists from more than 83 countries were operating in Syria, according to BBC. Jihadists have travelled to Syria at rates not even experienced during the height of the Iraqi insurgency, according to the Washington Times. In March 2013 UK Foreign Minister William Hague said, Syria is now the number one destination for jihadists anywhere in the world today. One senior French counterterror official who requested anonymity stated, Imagine this: Between 2001 and 2010, we identified 50 jihadists who went from France to Afghanistan, surely there were more, but we identified 50. With Syria, in one year, we have already identified 135. It has been very fast and strong, reports Pro Publica. At the Syrian border town of Atmeh near Turkey, one journalist described the scene as a set for a movie about al Qaeda, reports Der Spiegel. New jihadists arrive pulling suitcases searching for their emirs. Africans and Asians can be seen on the streets. Long-haired men dressed in traditional Afghan clothing walk around wielding AK-47s. Atmeh was once considered a sleepy smugglers nest on the Turkish border. Now, it has become mecca for jihad tourists from around the world. More than 1,000 jihadists were staying in and around the village in

Shadeed is a martyr for the sake of Allah. It is an Arabic term for holy martyrs.

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September 2013, making it the densest accumulation of jihadists in Syria. Responding to the influx, Atmeh shops now carry shalwar kameez, traditional Afghan clothing. New restaurants are opening and a new company, International Contacts, books flights and serves as a currency exchange. In June 2013, a third Internet caf opened in Atmeh in order to accommodate the many jihadists looking to communicate with relatives and friends. Atmeh has become the transit point for international jihadists arriving at the nearby airport in Hatay, Turkey. Some jihadists will remain in the area, while others will travel on to Aleppo, Latakia to Raqa'a. Jihadists in Atmeh consider Syria a staging ground. A young jihadist from the UK explains, First there is jihad here, until we achieve victory! Then we will liberate Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine. According to Der Spiegel, in June 2013 there were at least five jihadist groups in and around Atmeh. The five groups are discussed below: i. Dawla al-Islamiyya fi al-Iraq wa bilad al-Sham (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) The name means those who believed and migrated. The al Qaeda-affiliated group continues to grow and has more than 200 members. ISIS has played an important role in fighting on the outskirts of the city of Aleppo and in the surrounding countryside. Recently, ISIS has sought to expand and consolidate control over outlying towns in Aleppo and Idlib governorates especially those with strategic importance along the border with Turkey. According to Joshua Landis, an expert on Syria, ISIS martyrs are overwhelmingly foreign. Fighters from Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Libya, Jordan have been killed while members of ISIS. ii. Jaysh al Muhajirin wal Ansar (The Army of Emigrants and Helpers) The Army, a Chechen jihadist group, is fighting primarily in Aleppo and is one of the most prominent groups fighting in the Syrian Jihad. The group integrated several Syrian fighting units into its ranks. In March 2013, a unit of Mujahideen of Kataeb al Mujahideen, or Brigade of Emigrants, under the command of Abu Omar al Chechen was joined by several brigades of Syrian Mujahideen, including Kataeb Khattab, or the Brigade of Khattab, and Jaish Muhammad, or the Army of Muhammad, after which it was decided to reorganise the structure of Kataeb, Kavkaz Center reported. One report suggests there are over 1,000 in the group originating from different countries, including the Caucasus Emirate, Russia, Ukraine, Crimea and other Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS7) countries. Formed in the summer of 2012, it is headed by an ethnic Chechen Abu Omar al Chechen. As of June 2013, there are approximately 170 foreign fighters belonging to Jaysh al Muhajirin wal Ansar. iii. Abu al-Banat A group of an estimated seventy fighters, it is named after its emir and consists of Chechens, Dagestanis and Azerbaijanis. The groups numbers are in decline. Few additional details about its capabilities and activities are known. iv. Abu Musab al Jazairi The group takes its name from the founder, an Algerian financier, and comprises sixty members. Few additional details about its capabilities and activities are known. v. Jahbat Al Nusra JAN (Front of Defense) Most of the foreign jihadists now fighting in Syria express loyalty to al Qaeda-affiliated Jahbat al Nusra (JAN). Reports suggest that while fighters are coming from around the world. JAN ranks are largely comprised of Saudis, Iraqis, Libyans and Tunisians. By all accounts, JAN is the best organised and ideologically motivated armed opposition group operating in Syria, after the secular Free Syrian Army (FSA). According to Foreign Policy, JAN maintains an operational presence in eleven of Syrias thirteen governorates. Jihadists in Europe To date, counterterrorism measures are largely relegated to the individual European countries. However, the EU Terrorism Chief Gilles de Kerchove anticipates EU member countries becoming more cooperative over security measures and setting joint objectives in order to address the threat. Kerchove indicated a high priority for the EU to engage with the Turkish government in order to more closely monitor suspicious travel of EU citizens. European leaders express great concern over the return of foreign fighters, who arrive equipped with deadly military skills, trained in the tradecraft of international terrorism and immersed in the extremist anti-Western ideology of al
Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries are an association of former Soviet republics that were establish in December 1991 by Russia, the Ukraine and Belarus to help ease the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Other members include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

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Qaeda. Of the large number of European Muslims who have received training overseas and fought in places such as Somalia, Libya and Syria, few have actually conducted attacks after returning to Europe, according to Stratfor. Still, in an era when jihadist ideologues are urging individual jihad in the West, these trained individuals pose a very real threat to Europes security. Foreign Fighters from European Countries Foreign Policy indicates that the UK, France, Germany, and Ireland are among the countries from which up to 1,000 European transnational volunteers8 have left to join Syrian rebels against the Assad regime. Zelin reports that European countries have growing concerns over the number of European Muslims joining the Syrian rebels (Figure 4.). In February 2013, the UK-based Independent claims that more than 100 Britons had gone to Syria. Le Figaro estimated 50 to 80 people came from France. Der Spiegel reported dozens of Germans, and JyllandsPosten reported 45 Danes. Without question, the picture on the ground in Syria is far from complete and will likely change as the conflict continues to morph. As a result, accurate figures vary considerably, but do reveal the European countries from which citizens have travelled to Syria to engage in the fight. Figure 4. European Nationalities Represented in Syrian Opposition Forces Albania Britain Finland Ireland Netherlands Austria Bulgaria France Iceland Spain
(as of Feb 2013)

Belgium Denmark Germany Kosovo Sweden

Source: International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation

The threat of battle savvy, foreign fighters returning to Europe from combat in Syria and North Africa is fuelling debate over immigration and integration policies throughout Europe, says an August 2013 Stratfor report. EU Counterterrorism Coordinator de Kerchove estimated in April 2013 that 500 Europeans were fighting in Syria mostly from the UK, France and Ireland; the ICSR reported up to 600 Europeans. The challenge of monitoring returning fighters is complex. EU cross-border travel restrictions are minimal and some European officials report they do not want to provoke reaction from Muslim communities. Compounding the problem, according to Stratfor, is that returning fighters are in fact European citizens and are not flagged by current immigration mechanisms. Hence, returning European fighters can receive support from people and groups in the Middle East and North Africa largely undetected. Further, the networks made on the battlefield can be leveraged to plan and execute attacks on Western targets. This potential threat posed by radicals has emerged as an important policy issue, likely one reason both the UK and France have been reluctant thus far to arm Syrian opposition fighters, suggests Stratfor. Additionally, Thomas Hegghammer, an expert on terrorism and political violence, discovered that approximately one in nine returning foreign fighters attempt to launch a Western attack. While the percentage is low, Hegghammer asserts that the plots are more likely to succeed. Attacks planned by returning foreign fighters are twice as likely to be lethal than those planned by terrorists who have never fought abroad. While Hegghammers research reveals that most foreign jihadists prefer to attack abroad, the one in nine radicalisation rate demonstrates that the foreign fighting experience is one of the strongest predictors of individual involvement in domestic operations. Hegghammer also emphasised that the vast majority of returning foreign fighters will resume their former, peaceful lives-albeit perhaps with enhanced prestige among home country Islamists. Research also suggests that some foreign fighters will never return home. Of course, some foreign fighters will die in battle but some could move to other locations to fight9, and some may settle in Syria. For those monitoring radicalism in Europe, Caucasian converts to radical Islam is of great concern. Patrick Poole, a private counterterrorism analyst indicates that terrorist groups welcome Americans that join their ranks. These new recruits facilitate fundraising and recruitment in the West, demonstrated in recent years with al Shabaab
Foreign fighters have also been referred to as transnational volunteers and transnational insurgents. Thomas Hegghammer asserts that some of the battle seasoned jihadists currently fighting in Syria cut their teeth battling against Muammar Qaddafi in Libya.
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recruiting and fundraising in US Somali communities 10. Al Qaeda has been attempting to recruit Americans and Europeans as terrorists for years assuming that they would be capable of more easily evading western security monitoring. EU and US Case Studies The following section demonstrates some of the internal challenges facing European countries as they encounter returning foreign fighters and the threat of extremism. This section is not an exhaustive treatment of the legal implications or the complex issue of foreign fighters within a respective country Belgium Belgium no longer conducts a national census; however, the population of Muslims in the country is estimated at between 320,000 to 450,000 persons, translating to approximately four per cent of the population, reports EuroIslam. Almost 35 per cent of the Muslim population consists of Turkish or Moroccan immigrants. The Council of Europe (COE) shows that since December 2003, Belgium has enacted counter terrorism legislation. The Terrorist Offences Act transposed into Belgian law the Council of the European Union Framework Decision of 13 June 200211 on combating terrorism. Later, in 2004 Belgium incorporated the financing of terrorism 12 into its Act of 11 January 1993 on prevention of the use of the financial system for money laundering. According to reports, Belgian authorities have found it difficult to prosecute jihadists in Belgian courts, as the uprising against Assad is generally regarded as legitimate, according to Gatestone Institute. In a recent De Standaard reported court case; thirteen Muslim extremists were acquitted of having membership in a terrorist organisation. While the Belgian court claimed the existence of proof that the jihadists travelled to Chechnya, there was no evidence that they fought in Chechnya as members of a terrorist group. Relating to Syria, an outlawed Belgian extremist Muslim group, Sharia4Belgium, indicated that at least seventy of its members are fighting in Syria. According to the De Standaard, the Belgian jihadists are young people, between the ages of 17 and 25, who grew up in [Belgium]. They are young people without qualifications and often with criminal records. They come from Antwerp, Brussels, Mechelen and Vilvoorde. Pro Publica places the number of jihadists who have journeyed from Belgium to Syria between 100 - 300 persons. In April 2013, the New York Times reports that authorities conducted 48 raids on suspected jihadi recruiters allegedly affiliated with Sharia4Belgium, and who are believed to be luring Belgians to the Syrian front. According to Al Jazeera, eighteen-year-old Jejoen Bontinck was arrested on 18 October for allegedly fighting alongside Syrian rebel forces following a recruiting call from Fouad Belkacem, leader of Sharia4Belgium. BBC reports that Bontinck did not deny he was in northern Syria for eight months, but asserts he only provided humanitarian support in Syria as a hospital transport. On 23 October, the young man was remanded into custody by an Antwerp court while police investigate the case further. The case underscores Europes growing concerns over returning foreign fighters and what kind of security implications the returnees bring with them. De Standaard reports that the Belgian security services are particularly concerned about what will happen when the militarytrained drop-outs, after the war from Syria, return to our country. Denmark While there is no official census of Muslims in Denmark, some reliable data is available, reports American Foreign Policy Council (AFPC). Between 1999 and 2006, the proportion of Muslims in the total population grew from 2.9 per cent to 3.8 per cent (207,000), resulting from Iraqi and Somalia refugee resettlement, in addition to a limited number of family reunifications among Turkish and Pakistani immigrants. Denmarks Muslim community is ethnically diverse. The largest group is Turkish (24.7 per cent), followed by Iraqis, Lebanese and Pakistanis (11.7 per cent, 10.7 per cent and 8.3 per cent, respectively). Since 2001, the Danish parliament has passed two Anti-Terrorism Acts, first in 2002 and subsequently in 2006. According to the Misson of Denmark to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) ,the first
The 23 September attack on a shopping mall in Nairobi Kenya shines new light on the recruitment practices of al Shabaab in Somali communities in the US, Canada and Europe. 11 The Council Framework Decision of 13 June 2002 can be accessed at: 12 The Law of 11 January 1993 can be accessed at:

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Act de facto amended the Danish penal code by introducing a separate terrorism provision (Chapter 13, 114) that increased the punishment for a variety of previously-proscribed actions if carried out with the intention of frightening a population, unduly forc[ing] Danish or foreign authorities to act or abstain from acting, or destabilising the fundamental political, constitutional, economic or social structures of a country or an international organization. The maximum sentence for committing an offense under the new terrorism provision was raised to life in prison. A report commissioned by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) and the Norwegian Refugee Council in 2013 states that in 2006 Denmark also introduced additional offences, including the provision of financial support or the making of money, other financial assets of financial or other similar services available indirectly to a person or group that commits or intends to commit terrorist acts. The Anti-Terrorism Act similarly equipped authorities with new tools to fight terrorism, including secret searches; the logging of telephone and Internet communications; easier access to computer surveillance; expanded ability to refuse or withdraw residence permits. Following the 07 July 2005 London subway bombings, Danish authorities began re-focusing on home-grown terrorism threats, according to Extremis Project. State antiterrorism policies soon focused on preventing the radicalisation of Danish Muslims, leading to the establishment of a comprehensive Danish counter -radicalisation Action Plan adopted in 2008-2009. With regard to Syria, on 03 March, the Danish newspaper Politiken reported that a Danish convert to Islam had been killed in fighting near the Syrian city of Homs. The death of Abdel Malik came two weeks after another Danish citizen, Slimane Hadj Abderrahmane, was killed while fighting with the Syrian opposition. Interestingly, Abderrahmane spent two years in the US prison at Guantanamo after his capture in Afghanistan in 2001. Politiken also reported that 65 Danish nationals had fought alongside Syrian rebels, with at least five of them having been killed as of June 2013. In efforts to bolster security, Danish intelligence services inform Danish authorities of trips made by the countrys citizens to Syria and the source of any funds used for this purpose, reports Politiken. The government is considering sanctions against returning fighters, ranging from a suspension of welfare benefits for immigrants to criminal charges of terrorism. France France has an estimated six million Muslims, while according to the NYT, the number of Muslim converts has doubled in the past 25 years as conversions to Islam are becoming more commonplace. French antiterrorism authorities have been warning for years that the conversion of French nationals to Islam could be a critical issue in the Europe-wide terrorist threat, as the converts do not stand out with Western passports. Muslims relate they are regularly discriminated against, demonstrated by the 2010 law banning the full-face veil from public spaces. France responded to the 9/11 attacks, with the 15 November 2001 passing of the Everyday Security law. The law is considered controversial as it extends beyond the boundaries of what normally could be considered counterterrorism according to Euro-Islam. France has continued to adopt specific anti-terrorist laws including the Acts of 18 March 2003, 09 March 2004 and 23 January 2006 which have reinforced the basic legislation and procedural regulations, according to COE. France deported 129 suspected terrorists between 2001 and 2010, reports The Telegraph. In October 2012, French police conducted a series of antiterrorism raids which resulted in twelve arrests including three French citizens who had recently converted to Islam, reports NYT. Again in March 2013, CNN reported that three citizens were Chechens suspected of Islamist terrorist activity. French Interior Minister Manuel Valls claimed that only a handful of French jihadists had travelled to participate in the recent unrest in Mali. However, it is widely believed that at least fifty and as many as eighty French citizens departed the country to fight in the Syrian conflict as of March 2013. Travel to Syria is relatively uncomplicated for French citizens. According to Turkeys Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Turkey does not require a visa for French citizens. Upon arrival, it is relatively easy to cross the porous Syrian-Turkish border in order to join the Syrian conflict. Germany Germany is home to the highest number of Muslim citizens in Western Europe and is described by AFPC as a hotbed of Islamist activity. With a total Muslim population of 4.3 million, Salafists are the fastest growing Muslim November 2013 Page 7

sect in Germany with 4,000 adherents. AFPC reports that the attacks of 9/11 were organised in part in Germany by the Hamburg cell headed at the time by Mohammed Atta 13, one of the 9/11 hijackers. Abu Hajer, one of Osama Bin Ladens deputies in Sudan and head of his computer operations and weapons procurement, was arrested in Germany shortly after the 9/11 attacks, according to the 9/11 Commission Report. Germanys counter-terrorism provisions are located within the German Criminal Code (section 129a, b and 89a ff) as well as a growing number of sections of the Code of Criminal Procedures14. The COE country profile asserts that Germany recognises the importance of working on an international level to address terrorism. German security services closely monitor extremism, reports The Guardian. The Bundesamt fr Verfassungsschutz (BfV15) estimates that there are 20 Islamist groups active in Germany with approximately 35,000 members or supporters who desire to establish a Koran -state in Germany. As of May 2013, German intelligence suggested that up to forty people had left Germany to fight in Syria and up to sixty militants had left Germany for Egypt where they were traced to training camps in Somalia, reports The Guardian. In the 08 June 2013 interview with Die Welt, Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said, Radical Salafism is like a hard drug. All of those who succumb to her become violent. On 22 October, Germany's BfV secret service suspects there are some two hundred jihadists from Germany in Syria, reports Deutsche Welle. The majority of fighters come from the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia, followed by Hesse, Berlin, Bavaria and Hamburg. More than fifty per cent are German citizens. In Syria the majority of German jihadists congregate in a so-called German camp. A spate of Salafist-led attacks on German police in 2012 has many concerned of rising extremism in Germany. In the aftermath, German authorities launched a major crackdown on radical Islamists suspected of working against the interests of Germans. In March, 2013, the Ministry of the Interior banned three Salafist organisations as antidemocratic, reports Reuters. DawaFFM, Islamische Audios and An-Nussrah16 were deemed incompatible with Germanys free democratic order. Evidence collected in country-wide raids involving over 1,000 German police in June 2013 could enable the German government to outlaw some of the dozens of Islamist groups still operating in the country, reports Gatestone Institute. Minister of the Interior Hans-Peter Friedrich, in May 2013, raised the issue of home-grown terrorism and pledged to address it at meetings of EU governments. Friedrich proposes a controversial two year re-entry ban to the EU for suspected terrorists. Netherlands Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reported in 2012 that 951,000 Muslims reside in the Netherlands, accounting for 5.7 per cent of the total population. However, this accounts for legal residents while the illegal Muslim population is reported to be quite substantial and more difficult to quantify. Turks account for 37 per cent of the Muslim population and Moroccans an additional 36 per cent. Other large Muslim communities come from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Somalia. Additionally, there are several thousand native Dutch converts and children of second-generation Muslim immigrants. For example, Dutch Islamophobe Arnoud Van Door a onetime antiIslamic filmmaker and member of the anti-Islamic Geert Wilders party, converted to Islam in April 2013, reports The Guardian. The Dutch judicial system, like many other Western countries, lacks the authority to prevent Dutch foreign fighters from travelling to foreign battlegrounds. In many instances, the cases are highly controversial. For example, three Dutch Kurds were arrested in November 2012 under charges they were taking preparatory actions for the purpose of committing terrorist offenses. The case is pending and two of the three Kurds have been released from jail. In another case, on 23 October 2013, a Dutch court convicted two men of preparing to commit murder. It set a legal precedent in the Netherlands for people planning to fight in Syria, reports Al Jazeera. The Courts ruling suggested that the two men planned to join rebel fighters in Syria; both men were Dutch citizens and arrested in November 2012. Suspicions were raised after one of the men purchased an airplane ticket to Turkey, terminated his apartment lease and told social service he was going abroad. Prosecution spokesman Paul van der Zonden said the decision, is the first time that the Netherlands hands down such a judgement and this helps clarify the fact that its illegal to go to Syria to fight. This means that we now have a legal precedent and can prosecute other people wanting to go to Syria or coming back.
Spiegel reports that the al Qaeda Hamburg-Cell, was headed by Mohammad Atta. Atta and cell-member Marwan al Shehhi piloted the planes that rammed into the World Trade Center. Ziad Jarrah, also a cell-member had skyjacked the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania. 14 An extensive listing of Germanys codes that address aspects of counter-terrorism efforts can be accessed at: 15 The Bundesamt fr Verfassungsschutz is the domestic intelligence agency of the Federal Republic of Germany. 16 An-Nussrah is reported to be part of the Millatu Ibrahim group that was outlawed in Germany in June 2012.

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The 2004 Madrid train bombings, and the European response that followed, motivated the Dutch government to step up its own counterterror infrastructure. A new central body, the National Coordinator for Counter Terrorism (NCTV), was created and tasked, to minimize the risk of terrorist a ttacks in the Netherlands and to take prior measures to limit the potential impact of terrorist acts . NCTV efforts focus on the issue of counter-radicalisation, launching a joint government and law enforcement operations to disrupt the work of the main Salafi centres in the Netherlands, reports AFPC. Despite NCTV efforts, the Dutch government raised the terrorism alert level from limited to substantial in March 2013 stating that the chance of an attack in the Netherlands or against Dutch interests abroad has risen. The same month, the Dutch public broadcasting system, NOS television, reported that the Netherlands had become one of the major European suppliers of Islamic jihadists. According to NOS, an estimated 100 Dutch Muslims were fighting in Syria, most with JAN. NCTV shared that the individuals had left the Netherlands for various countries in Africa and the Middle East, especially Syria. The agency cautioned that individuals fighting for Islam abroad could return and inspire others in the Netherlands to follow in their footsteps. Spain According to the AFPC, 1.6 million of Spains 47.4 million inhabitants are Muslim. Seventy-five per cent of the Spanish Muslim population lives across the Mediterranean Sea in two territories that border Morocco, Ceuta and Melilla (Figure 5.). On the mainland, Spanish Muslims are concentrated in three regions: Catalonia (427,000), Andalusia (253,000), and Madrid (242,000). According to Gatestone Institute, Catalonia, an autonomous region in northeastern Spain, is home to the biggest concentration of radical Islamists in Europe. Spanish authorities are particularly concerned over the threat to security posed by Salafism which seeks to re-establish an Islamic empire across the Middle East, North Africa and Spain 17. Catalonia is home to potentially hundreds of Salafists. In Spains fight against terrorism, both the general provision of the Spanish juridical regulations established to prevent all kinds of crime, including terrorism and the specific provisions adopted to fight terrorism can be applied. According to the Council of Europe, Spain has no specific antiterrorist legislation. In Spain, the legal concept of terrorism is closely aligned with Article 55.2 of the 1978 Constitution that allows for the restriction of certain procedural rights in connection with the acts of armed gangs or terrorist cells; however, the Penal code does not contain a precise definition as to what is meant by the term terrorist group. Figure 5. Spanish Ceuta and Melilla

In July 2013, Spains Secretary of State for Security Franciso Martinez Vazquez suggested that Europe was witnessing a new kind of terrorism characterised by self-radicalisation and self-training mainly through the Internet, which is absolutely different from what we knew before, reports the Independent. In Valencia Spain, according to Agence France-Presse, Mohamed Echaabi, a 22 year old Moroccan, was taken into custody February 2013 for planning terrorist attacks in Spain and elsewhere in Europe. A year earlier, In March 2012, police in Valencia arrested Mudhar Hussein Almalki, a Saudi suspected of running jihadist Internet forums and sharing documents with extremists. In August 2012, three suspected al Qaeda terrorists were arrested by Spanish police for the alleged planning of an airborne attack on a Gibraltar shopping mall and another plan against a US-Spanish naval base at Rota. The suspects were Chechen-Russians and a Turkish national. More recently, in June 2013, BBC reported eight suspected members of an al Qaeda network based in Ceuta, and in the city of Fnideq, stand accused of training, funding and facilitating travel for jihadist fighters. In an issued statement, the Spanish Ministry of Interior said dozens of people, some of them under eighteen, had left both Ceuta and Moroccan territory under the cover of the al-Qaeda-linked network. The Ministry indicated that some of them had taken part in suicide attacks, while others had joined training camps to prepare for armed action. Several groups of jihadists were still expecting to travel from Spain to Syria, the ministry statement said, adding that the investigation was ongoing. Diaz said, We are aware that they [al Qaeda network] facilitated the travel of a number of persons from Ceuta, Morocco and other places in Spain, via Turkey. Later in September, Spanish police

Source: BBC

Salafists view Spain as a Muslim state that must be reconquered for Islam.

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arrested the suspected leader of an al Qaeda-linked militant group that recruited and sent militants to fight in Syria, according to Agence France-Presse. Yassin Ahmed Laarbi was arrested in the Spanish territory of Ceuta and is charged with leading a group that sent an estimated fifty jihadists to Syria. United Kingdom According to the 2011 census, approximately 2.7 million Muslims live in the UK. Since the 7/7 attacks18, homegrown terrorism remains a central concern for the countrys security services. Just recently, UK native Samantha Lewthawaite, the widow of one of the 7/7 bombers Jermaine Lindsay, has been sought by Interpol for her suspected role in the Kenyan Westgate Mall attack, reports The Telegraph. In October, Scotland Yard arrested four men under the Terrorism Act 2000 on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism, reports The Telegraph. Earlier in September, British police arrested four people as part of an on-going investigation into suspected terrorism in Syria, reports NBC News. Two of the suspects were apprehended as they entered the country at the port of Dover. The arrests were made in connection to the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism in Syria. In 2000, the UK passed the Terrorism Act that provides the legal basis for prosecuting terrorists and proscribing organisations. Since then, the UK has passed a series of laws19 to address the evolving threat of terrorism. In October 2010, the government published a new National Security Strategy which identified terrorism as one of the four highest risks facing the UK. In May 2013, the Economist reports that Secretary of State for the Home Department of the United Kingdom Theresa May announced that the UK government could withdraw the passports of those suspected of involvement in foreign terrorist activities. British intelligence justified the move with three primary concerns: (i) British fighters may have already been inclined to carry out attacks on British soil but lacked the expertise they might gain in the Syrian theatre; (ii) foreign fighters may be exposed to al Qaeda ideology in Syria and recruited as potential leaders; and (iii) the prospect of a large, ungoverned space closely situated to Europe could be the ideal staging groups for attacks in the UK and other European countries. Authorities surmise that more than one hundred British Muslims have departed the UK to fight in Syria. After kidnapped British freelance photographer John Cantlie was released by British jihadists near the Syrian city of Idlib in July 2012, Cantlie expressed his shock at the number of disenchanted young Britons fighting in Syria. According to a Kings College of London study, the largest contingent of jihadists originates from the UK with estimates between 28 and 134 foreign fighters from the UK. In October 2013, Secretary of State for the Home Department of the United Kingdom Theresa May claimed that UK jihadists, receiving live training in the Syrian civil war and then returning home are already considered to be security threats by UK security agencies. In July 2013, the annual report of the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament concluded that al Qaeda elements and individual jihadists in Syria currently represent the most worrying emerging terrorist threat to the UK and the West. Also, large numbers of rad icalised individuals have been attracted to [Syria], including significant numbers for the UK and Europe [who] are likely to acquire expertise and experience which could significantly increase the threat posed when they return home. Further, the report states that the UK threat level from international terrorism is SUBSTANTIAL, indicating that an attack is a strong possibility. Of particular interest, is the a growing trend for UK-resident extremists to join Islamist elements of the opposition in Syria which is likely to form part of the terrorist threat picture for years to come. United States The US hosts the most diverse Muslim population in the Western world and is estimated to have 2 to 3 million Muslims identifying with different sects of Islam, reports AFPC. Sixty per cent of native-born Muslims identify themselves as Sunnis, 5 per cent as Shia, and 24 per cent as having no specific affiliation. Immigrated, foreignborn Muslims identify 68 per cent Sunnis, 14 per cent as Shia, and 10 per cent as non-specific. A large proportion of Muslims in the US are first generation immigrants (63 per cent), native born (37 per cent) and second generation (15 per cent). Foreign-born Muslim Americans have come from at least 77 different countries. Twentysix per cent of Muslim immigrants to the US come from the Middle East and North Africa, 9 per cent from Pakistan, 7 per cent from other South Asian countries including India, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, 7 per cent

7/7 Attacks refer to the 07 July 2005 London bombings, in which four suicide bombers killed 52 people and injured more than 770 in central London. 19 The UK has numerous terrorism laws, secondary legislation and case-law addressing the legal response to the terrorism threat.

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come from Sub-Saharan Africa, 5 per cent come from Europe, and 3 per cent come from Iran. Eighty-one per cent of all Muslim-Americans are US citizens. In the months following the 9/11 attacks, the United States created the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT ACT) Act of 2001. The Act was directed towards the detection and investigation of terrorist activities. Since 2001, a plethora of legislation has been passed regarding counterterrorism activities. Additional policy measures have also been implemented. For instance, in December 2009, Daniel Benjamin, then the State Departments Coordinator for Counterterrorism, announced the rollout of Countering Violent Extremism (CVE). The policy shares some commonalities with UKs Preventing Violent Extremism strategy. CVE focused on local communities prone to radicalisation. CVE attempts to address underlying conditions for at-risk populations, seeking to improve moderates ability to express views and strengthen opposition to violence. CVE, which now operates under the Department of Homeland Security, is considered an important component of President Barack Obamas 2011 National Strategy on Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism. Internationally, CVE collaborates with partners in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK, in addition to international law enforcement organisations such as Europol. In May 2013, the Daily Mail reported that American Nichole Lynn Mansfield of Flint, Michigan was killed in Idlib province, Syria. Nicole Mansfield, a single mother was the first known American to be killed in Syrias civil war. Syrian state television reported that Mansfield was fighting with JAN while another Islamist group, Ahrar al Sham, also claimed that she was fighting with them. In October 2013, a North Carolina man was arrested after a Facebook posting said that he was on his way to join al Qaeda fighters in Syria, according to NBC News. Intelligence suggested that at least ten US citizens have signed up with al Qaeda-related groups in Syria, reported Newsweeks Daily Beast in September. An October Newsweek article argues that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) estimates as many as 700 American Muslims are fighting in Syria. The Collective Threat in Europe A report published by the European Union indicates that seventy per cent of terrorist attacks in 2012 were related to separatist terrorism20. However, eight people were killed in six religiously inspired terrorism 21 attacks in 2012. In comparison, there were no deaths in 2011. Arrests related to religiously inspired violence increased from 122 incidents in 2011 to 159 in 2012. Key conclusions in the Europol report revealed that the terrorist threat in the EU remains strong and varied. Figure 6: Failed, Foiled and Completed Attacks in EU (2012)

Source: Europol

In July 2013, six people were killed in a French train accident when a train derailed shortly after leaving Paris. On 24 July 2013, a train crashed on the approach to Santiago de Compostela Station in northern Spain killing eighty people when it jumped the tracks and crashed into a wall. Santiago de Compostela is a Christian pilgrimage destination and the crash occurred on the eve of one of Europes biggest Christian festivals. While investigators indicated that the crash was unrelated to terrorist activities, the Spanish crash stirred memories of a train bombing in Madrid 2004 when Islamist terrorists killed 191 people. In August 2013, the German newspaper Bild
Separatist terrorism is violence carried out by separatist groups with the goal of separation from existing entities through independence, political autonomy or religious freedom or domination. Typically the ideologies separatists subscribe to include social just or equity, antiimperialism, and the resistance to conquest or occupation by a foreign power.


Religiously inspired terrorism is on the rise. While Islamic terrorists and organisations have been the most active, all of the major world religions have extremists that have reverted violence to further their perceived religious goals. Religiously motivated terrorists see their objectives as holy writ, and therefore infallible and non-negotiable.

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reported that al Qaeda leaders have been plotting attacks on high speed rail systems throughout Europe. An intercepted conference call between al Qaeda operatives revealed that the targeting of trains and tunnels, or planning to sabotage railway tracks and the electric cabling serving them, was a central topic of conversation. European Unions Counter-Terrorism Strategy The EU, as it moves towards full European integration, has long sought to harmonise policies among its members in the areas of justice and home affairs (JHA22). These policies seek to foster common internal security measures while at the same time protecting the rights of EU citizens. The US Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports that JHA includes countering terrorism and cross-border crimes, police and judicial cooperation, border controls, immigration and asylum issues. In the past, EU efforts have been hampered by member state concerns that cooperation could impinge on a countrys legal system and sovereignty. According to CRS , the September 2001 terrorist attacks, followed by the March 2004 Madrid and the July 2005 London bombings, provided a sense of urgency to harmonise counterterrorism efforts. Figure 7: EU Counter Terrorism Strategy Member states in 2008 expanded the common definition of terrorism to include terrorist recruitment, training and public provocation to commit terrorism. Also in 2010, the EU issued its first ever internal security strategy which highlights the threat introduced by terrorism. While most observers note that the EU has made rapid JHA progress since 2001, the relatively slow-moving JHA Council, has lagged behind adaptable, versatile terrorism organisers. The implementation of policies in the JHA field resides with member states. Efforts promoting greater EU-wide cooperation against terrorism and other cross-border crimes largely Source: EU Counter-Terrorism Strategy remain a work in progress. In efforts to make Europe more secure, the EUs Internal Security Strategy seeks to eliminate international criminal networks, prevent terrorism and address radicalisation, increase cyber security for citizens and businesses, strengthen security through border management and increase Europe s resiliency to crisis and disasters. The EUs Counter-Terrorism Strategy outlines four focus areas in order to effectively address potential terrorist threats within the EU (Figure 7). Prevent, Protect, Pursue and Respond requires work at national, European and international levels in order to reduce terrorist threats. This report considers the first three components of prevent, protect and pursue. Prevention The EU recognises that assistance to and cooperation with North African, Middle Eastern and South East Asian countries is vital. Beyond collaboration, the EU has identified key priorities in order to prevent terrorism. Developing common approaches to spot and address problem behaviour, in particular the misuse of the Internet, address incitement and recruitment in prisons, places of worship through legislation that makes these behaviours offences, develop media and communications to better explain EU policies, develop inter-cultural dialogue with and outside the EU, implement a non-emotive lexicon for discussing these issues and to continue to research, share analysis and experiences in order to better understand issues. Collectively, the EU encourages a more rigorous transport security process in order to protect airports, seaports and at the same time increase the effectiveness of border security. Protect Key protect initiatives include improvements to the security of EU passports through the introduction of biometrics23. Establishment of the Visa Information System (VIS), which allows Schengen States to exchange visa data through a central IT system and communication infrastructure that links to the central system of member states. Also the newly implemented second generation Schengen Information System (SISII) (Figure 8) increases
Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) is more fully considered at: 23 Biometrics or biometric identifiers are an objective measurement of a physical characteristic of an individual which, when captured in a database can be used to verify identity or check against other entries in the database.

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security and facilitates free movement within the Schengen area. The SISII provides easy exchange of information between national border control authorities, customs and police authorities on persons who may have been involved in a serious crime. It also provides alerts for missing persons, as well as information on certain property such as banknotes, cars, vans, firearms and identity document that may ben been stolen misappropriated or lost according to the EU. Further, protection can be enhanced through Frontex24 effective risk analysis of the EU external border and through implementing common standards on civil aviation, port and maritime security. Finally EU member states affirm that action must be taken to protect critical infrastructure. Pursue While much of the terrorist threat to Europe currently originates outside the EU, member countries must recognise that pursue must include a global dimension and will work with the UN Comprehensive Convention against Terrorism to achieve dialogue and agreements. Instruments such as the European Arrest Warrant 25 are proving to be important but controversial tools in pursing and investigating terrorists across borders. Critics lament that it violates rights such as due process and rules of evidence. In June 2013, the Joint Communication to the European Parliament, the COE, the European Economic and Social Source: Europa Committee and the Committee of the Regions published a report that addressed ways to prevent radicalisation. In the report, the EU affirmed its need to remain vigilant over potential threats of returning EU citizens from Syria. The Commission indicated that it has initiated the EU Radicalisation Awareness Network,26 seeking to prevent and counter violent extremism. The Commission encouraged member states to make better use of the Second Generation Schengen Information System that could assist in better movement monitoring of foreign fighters. Also the Commission will continue to work with the European Parliament and the Council towards implementing a proposed EU Passenger Name Record (PNR 27) Directive as the data will provide an additional tool to track foreign fighters who leave or return to the EU via air travel. While most EU countries already collect such data, it is often not shared due to the European Parliament concern of privacy rights. Additionally, the body could increase use of EU-instruments and tools available under international agreements such as the Terrorist Finance Tracking Programme (TFTP 28) to track payments related to terrorist movements. With border controls inside the European Union largely abolished, radicalised Islamists can easily threaten multiple countries, making collaboration among EU members more important. Working in conjunction with EU intelligence Analysis Centre (IntCen29), Europol30 and Frontex, The EU will continue to identify the major security risks for the EU and the identification of possible mitigation measures.
Frontexs mission is to promote, coordinate and develop European border management in line with the EU fundamental rights charter applying the concept of Integrated Border Management. 25 The European Arrest Warrant has come under criticism that it violates human rights. 26 The Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) is part of the Prevent portion of the EU Counter-terrorism strategy and is guided by the EU Strategy for Combating Radicalisation and Recruitment to Terrorism. 27 On 01 August the European Parliament was urged by nine member countries to review plans for an EU-wide passenger data list that could help prevent suspected extremists traveling to fight in Syria. Earlier attempts to introduce legislation requiring airlines to share personal data on passengers failed in April 2013, reports RT. Lawmakers concerned about privacy issues, failed to approve the proposed the introduction of Passenger Name Record (PNR). PNR would provide detailed flight information to member states of passengers entering or leaving the EU. The petition advanced by France, Belgium. Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Britain and Sweden underscored the importance for the security of the European Union and those who live within it, of being able to quickly have at our disposal a PRN system offering a high level of privacy protection. 28 According to the European Commission, the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (TFTP) has been successful in generating intelligence that has helped detect terrorist plots and trace their planners. A new EU-US TFTP agreement signed in August 2010 improves appropriate safeguards to address concerns over security, privacy and respect of fundamental rights. 29 IntCen monitors events both inside and outside the EU in order to provide intelligence analyses, early warning and situational awareness to EU institutions and member states in the realm of security, defence and counter-terrorism. 30 Europol is the EUs law enforcement agency whose mission is to achieve a safer Europe for the benefit of all EU citizens.

Figure 8: Schengen States (as of Dec 2011)

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However, the management of public assets within the EU is challenging and complex. The density and transnational character of many European critical infrastructures as well as the interdependency of border security, transport and other cross-border infrastructures have only increased the opportunities for multifaceted crisis, posits Javier Argomaniz, expert in European terrorism and political violence. Unfortunately, Argomaniz concludes that while the EU recognises the need to better secure infrastructure against attack, EU actions to date have not yet matched the ambitions outlined in its programmes and declarations. This is partly due to the fact that there are long-running tensions related to security and the notion of national sovereignty versus the trans-border character of European critical infrastructure (ECI). EU member states are aware of the necessity of enhancing cross-border cooperation but remain reluctant about delegating powers to the EU. While Ar gomaniz acknowledges a few notable instances of swift and firm EU action, he suggests the EU still has not moved far from the discussion stage of enhanced protection. Efforts to Counter Radicalisation Without question, the UK has taken the lead in prevention strategies, according to the Centre for Security Studies (CSS), launching its first incarnation of a prevent strategy in 2003 with several countries following suit. In 2005, the EU launched its own counter-radicalisation strategy and has since encouraged member states to adopt their own measures. Today, only Denmark, Norway, Netherlands and the UK have issued a comprehensive national counter-radicalisation strategy detailing a budget, goals, methods, and responsibilities. Broadly speaking, counter radicalisation efforts can be divided into two categories; general prevention initiatives and targeted interventions31. Preventative initiatives seek to help the target group 32 become less vulnerable or, more resilient, to radical ideologies, according to Washington Institutes Matthew Levitt . Preventive initiatives vary significantly in characteristics and underlying philosophy. Some have a strong religious component such as the Radical Middle Way, a British government-sponsored project that brings traditionalist Muslim scholars to speak to young British Muslim audiences and denounce terrorism from a theological perspective. Other projects focus on integration, seeking to provide employment and education for young Muslims. Many initiatives seek to foster critical thinking and the ability to deal constructively with opposing views. Stephen Jones at the Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship at the University of Bristol argues that government funded initiatives such as the Radical Middle Way risk being discredited because everyone assumes that point of view is being pushed for political reasons by the same politicians that support Israel and smashed up Iraq. In order for EU members to better address the threat of jihadist attacks at home, security along the blocs borders will likely need to be tightened, reports Stratfor. This tightening will affect not only potential terrorists but also other Muslim and European travellers. This could add pressure on countries such as the Balkan states to increase their overall security efforts, many of which are not EU members, though they border EU territory and reportedly have seen extensive outflows of fighters to Syria. Western European countries will probably provide aid in the form of money, personnel and hardware to those that need it, according to Stratfor. Conclusion According to the EU, the international dimension associated with terrorism and other types of organised crimes must be addressed through international cooperation. However, the intensification of cooperation among states, which have differing standards on the subject of fundamental rights, puts these rights at risk. Member states tend to infiltrate terrorist organisations by employing special methods of investigation that may constitute potential threats to privacy, particularly when they are used proactively before an actual offense has been committed. Legal tools to prevent potential jihadists from engaging in Syria are lacking throughout Europe. EU initiatives to protect member states from terrorism have been strong on rhetoric but weak on implementation. While there is political commitment of EU leaders to promote cooperation in the JHA field and to improve the EUs ability to better combat terrorism, forging common internal security polices remains a challenge. As such, EU member states face an adaptable and resilient opponent. Some analysts assert that al Qaeda franchises, and foreign fighters, now control more territory and can call on more fighters than at any time since 1988 when Osama bin Laden created the organisation. The EU, while making calculated advances, remains vulnerable to terrorist activity.
According to the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence (ICSR), European countries have developed schemes that seek to identify individuals that have displayed clear signs of radicalisation but have not yet committed a crime. Authorities assess each case and specifically tailor targeted interventions aimed to sway the individual away from militancy. 32 In this particular the target group consists, de facto, of Muslim youth.

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