Counter-Terrorism: Old School Rules In Europe


September 24, 2010: EU (European Union, most of Europe, except Russia) nations expend a lot of effort fighting Islamic terrorism, and it paid off last year. There was only one Islamic terrorist attack in the EU (in Italy) in 2009. That's out of 294 terrorist attacks for the year. Most (81 percent) of these terrorist attacks were by separatists in Spain and France. The next largest category were leftist terrorists, accounting for ten percent of the attacks. Last year, 587 people were arrested as terrorist suspects and 391 were prosecuted.

Still, the Islamic terrorists were seen as the greatest threat, mainly because they aim to kill as many people as possible. The separatist and leftist terrorists have been around for decades and generally try to keep the body count down. Meanwhile, the Islamic terrorists have been busy. Last year, of the 408 people prosecuted for terrorist offenses, 22 percent were Islamic terrorists. Of those, 83 percent were convicted.

Europe has learned to cope, and sometimes even defeat, the older forms of terrorism. Separatists have been a problem for centuries, and leftist (and right wing) political terrorists have replaced the religious fanatics who used to run up enormous body counts. The Islamic terrorists bring back the religious angle, and for reasons many Europeans don't even remember, that is very scary.



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