Jihadist Arrests in EU Doubled Last Year, Rising for Third Year in a Row

A new Europol report today on terrorism in eight European Union member states finds that jihadist arrests doubled in 2016, rising for the third year in a row:

Deutsche Welle reports:

Europol, Europe's top law-enforcement organization, said in its annual EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report that 718 suspects were arrested on offenses relating to jihadi terror in 2016, up from 395 in 2014.

The number of attacks dropped from 17 in 2014 to 13 last year, six of which were linked to the so-called "Islamic State" (IS) group.

The report noted that women and children, as well as young adults, were playing an increasingly important operational role.

One in four of those arrested in Britain in 2016 were women, an 18 percent increase from 2015, Europol said [...]

In total 1,002 arrests were made in 2016 relating to terror activities. France had the highest number of arrest at 456, with almost a third of those detained 25 years or younger, Europol said.

There were 142 "failed, foiled or completed terrorist attacks" including those by jihadis, more than half of them in the UK.

The Europol report breaks down the arrests by country, and notes that nearly all reported terror fatalities were from jihadist attacks:

In 2016, a total of 142 failed, foiled and completed attacks were reported by eight EU Member States. More than half (76) of them were reported by the United Kingdom. France reported 23 attacks, Italy 17, Spain 10, Greece 6, Germany 5, Belgium 4 and the Netherlands 1 attack. 142 victims died in terrorist attacks, and 379 were injured in the EU.

Although there was a large number of terrorist attacks not connected with jihadism, the latter accounts for the most serious forms of terrorist activity as nearly all reported fatalities and most of the casualties were the result of jihadist terrorist attacks. Explosives were used in 40% of the attacks and women and young adults, and even children, are playing increasingly operational roles in committing terrorist activities independently in the EU. Most arrests were related to jihadist terrorism, for which the number rose for the third consecutive year.