Some of the findings reported in the TE-SAT 2017:
— Arrests: 1002 persons were arrested for terrorist offences in 2016. Most arrests were related to jihadist terrorism, for which the number rose for the third consecutive year: 395 in 2014, 687 in 2015, and 718 in 2016.
— Victims: Of the 142 victims that died in terrorist attacks, 135 people were killed in jihadist terrorist attacks.
— Age of terrorists: Almost one-third of the total number of arrestees (291 of 1002) were 25 years old or younger.
— Explosives: Explosives were used in 40 percent of the attacks. Even though terrorists use a wide range of readily available weapons, explosive devices continue to be used in terrorist attacks, due to their high impact and symbolic power.
— Technical trend: Regarding the potential use of alternative and more sophisticated improvised explosive devices (IEDs), the current trend in using weaponized unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as a drone, in the Syria/Iraq conflict zone might also inspire other jihadist supporters and increase the use of this kind of tactic.
— Terrorism financing: 40 percent of terrorist plots in Europe are believed to be at least partly financed through crime, especially drug dealing, theft, robberies, the sale of counterfeit goods, loan fraud, and burglaries.
— Women and children: Women have increasingly assumed more operational roles in jihadist terrorism activities, as have minors and young adults. One in four (26 percent) of the arrestees in 2016 were women, a significant increase compared to 2015 (18 percent). In addition, the United Kingdom reported an increase in the number of women, families and minors engaging in the conflict in Syria/Iraq, and the Netherlands reported that more 40 children (age 0-12 years) have travelled to Syria and Iraq.
— Ethno-nationalist and separatist terrorism: 99 foiled, failed and completed attacks carried out were labelled as ethno-nationalist and separatist terrorism. Dissident Republican groups in Northern Ireland were involved in 76 attacks.
— Left-wing and anarchist terrorism: The numbers of attacks of left-wing and anarchist terrorists increased in 2016 compared to 2015. 27 attacks were carried out and EU Member State authorities arrested 31 people. Italy, Greece and Spain were the only EU member states to experience left-wing and anarchist terrorist attacks.
— Online propaganda: The quantity of Islamic State propaganda decreased in 2016 due to lower production rates and the containment of dissemination. After a peak in mid-2015, the number of new videos produced by the Islamic State slowly decreased. In the second half of 2016, the frequency of new releases dropped even further. As the volume of Islamic State propaganda diminished, al-Qaeda and its affiliates attempted to take advantage of the situation and increased their efforts to reach new audiences.
— Social networks: Jihadist groups have demonstrated a sophisticated understanding of how social networks operate and have launched well-organized, concerted social media campaigns to recruit followers and to promote or glorify acts of terrorism and violent extremism. The success in restricting terrorist activity online shows the impact of collaborative efforts between law enforcement, such as Europol’s Internet Referral Unit (IRU) and the private sector.
Belgium/Brussels – A man suspected of setting off a bomb at Brussels Central Station on 20 Jun 17 has been identified was a 36-year-old Moroccan from a city district that has spawned a number of jihadist attackers. The unnamed suspect came from Molenbeek, and a number of raids in the area were reported early on the 21 Jun 17. He was shot and later died after the explosion, which is being treated as a terrorist attack. He was known to police but had not been linked to terrorism, reports said. Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel told reporters that a "terrorist attack had been averted" at the station. Soldiers on patrol at the station on the evening of the 20 Jun 17 had been able to "neutralise" the attacker, the prime minister said. The attack apparently took place between the main hall and two platforms. After convening a security cabinet on the 21 Jun17 he said extra measures were being taken to secure stations, public places and major events. A major concert by rock group Coldplay is due to go ahead as planned. Brussels was hit by a double bombing in March 2016 in which 32 people died. The attacks on Zaventem airport and the Brussels metro were claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group. Defence Minister Steven Vandeput praised the soldiers for following their guidelines to the book, by opening fire on the attacker as a bag blew up. The device has been described as a nail bomb that could have caused far more damage. Nicolas Van Herrewegen, a railway sorting agent, said he had gone down to the station's mezzanine level when he heard someone shouting. "Then he cried 'Allahu Akbar' and he blew up a wheeled suitcase," he said.
Follow-on Report (21 Jun 17) – Belgium said on the 20 Jun 17 that the attacker was a 36-year-old man, identified only as O.Z, shouted "Allahu Akbar" and tried to detonate a suitcase in a group of passengers at Brussels Central station before a soldier shot him dead. The suspect, from the largely immigrant Brussels neighbourhood of Molenbeek was not known to police for terrorism offences. "It could have been much worse," Belgian federal prosecutor's spokesman Eric Van Der Sypt told a news conference. "It is clear that he wanted to cause more damage than he did." The Islamic State group claimed the attack which were carried out by the same Brussels-based cell behind the Nov 15 suicide bombings and shootings in Paris which left 130 people dead.
'Nails and gas bottles'
The terrorist entered the station and twice approached a group of around 10 passengers, the second time standing in the middle of them, prosecutors said. "He grabbed his suitcase while shouting and causing a partial explosion. Fortunately nobody was hurt," Van Der Sypt said. "The suitcase immediately caught fire. The man then left his luggage burning and went down to the platform in pursuit of a station master. Meanwhile the bag exploded a second time more violently. This bag contained nails and gas bottles," he added. "The man then returned to the hall where he rushed to a soldier shouting 'Allahu Akbar'. The soldier immediately opened fire and hit the individual several times." The man, who died instantly, was not wearing a suicide belt, contrary to some Belgian media reports, he said. "He was not known to the authorities for any terrorism connection," Van Der Sypt said, declining to give the man's full name while the investigation continues. Belgium would keep its terror alert level at three on a scale of four, Michel said after chairing a meeting with his national security council.
Bosnia/Herzegovina – Gornja Maocha, Bosnia, 06.15.2017: The confessions of a Bosnian terrorist sympathizer. A finger of news reporting pointed at a village full of sleeper cells. Finally, there is a German news organization that is unintimidated and unabashed about taking an unflinching look to report the truth about the situation inside Bosnia, a country founded through an old Clinton Administration pet project (in partnership with Saudi Arabia) involving a regional Islamic nation-building, still ongoing. The German news channel reporting on this represents an influential, politically middle-of-the-road public news organization in Germany, the main rival of Deutsche Welle – the largest German news organization. It is popularly referred to as “The First Channel” (Erstes Programm). In this reportage, the First Channel’s German crew was sent on the ground to Bosnia to investigate a known Salafi village that is an unconfirmed nest of terrorist sleeper cells. Even the Bosnian police and domestic security services shun it and don’t like to make official trips there. The corrupt local police make only token appearances there. The apparent chief of the village, its Muslim patriarch, is Edis Bosnich – a rather wayward citizen (a Moslem version of an ultra alpha male chauvinist) whose entire life purpose is focused on promoting the spread of Islam into Europe to accomplish what the Turkish arms and Ottoman armies could not in spite of centuries of warfare against Europe. Interviewed sitting next to his umpteenth son from God knows how many concubines cowering in the village is something of a hidden monster with a fanatical agenda up his sleeve. He is in charge of breeding the next generation of terrorists in the Balkans with an eye on Europe, the ultimate prize, which he hopes to reach after the sophomoric European Union accepts Bosnia into its membership. Through the dialogue between the German reporters and their Salafi Bosnian Muslim host the festering schemes of Islamic expansion westward emerge like evil ghosts from holes. Even the docile, mild-mannered and politically uber-correct Germans became irritated enough to title the article with an ominous headline describing the geopolitical function of present-day Bosnia: the European bridgehead for Islamists. Here is a group of strange men hiding in village ghettos who are dressed in odd, retrograde outfits, and yet their country is Washington’s new democracy model for the Balkans. Nothing in either the thinking or feeling of these people is based on democratic ideas. This German report is yet another confirmation of the key truth that Islam and democracy are fundamentally incompatible. Given this fact, it is unpardonable that policy makers in Washington, Brussels and Berlin ignore this reality and proceed on the basis of a religion-blind policy. An old French patriot by the name of Charles Maurras was right to refer to Hitler’s Nazism in 1934 as “Islamisme du Norde” (Islam of the North). The policymakers of the modern West, a civilization that is socially on its last legs, have expanded the idea of freedom from individuals to religious groups, incorrectly extending the equality of individuals to the equality of religions – which is an oxymoron. While religions are not equal, some, like Islam (and secular religions like Nazism and Communism), are an outright toxic brew of outdated ideas and deep-seated resentments expressed through vicious political activism. Such religions are an enemy of the intelligentsia and always act to prevent independent intellectual circles from forming because the doctrines they teach are unquestionable and immutable for the masses. Like Communism, Islamism too aims for a world takeover. And, unlike Communism, it is here to stay.
Bosnia-Herzegovina: Newest Bridgehead For Islamists?
Eight o’clock in the morning: police are patrolling on the access road to Gornja Maocha, one of the most remote mountain villages in the north of Bosnia. Day and night the police are here. Their mission: To find possible sympathizers of the terror group ISIS who want to move back here. 212 people live in Gornja Maocha, all Salafists with their families. Some men are said to have several married women – unofficially, that is. No one has to fear punishment because polygamy is forbidden in Bosnia. The children go to a public school, but grow in this environment with a particularly extreme variant of Islam.
The required gift
We meet with the village chief Edis Bosnich, who has lived here for eight years. Without him, nobody enters the village from outside. From us he would like to receive a gift before he sits down with us, namely, a sheep from the village breeder, to be used for consumption by his men in the village. We agree. The police officers (who came along) and our would-be host Edis Bosnich seem to understand each other well; They talk like familiar neighbours. The policemen want to remain unrecognized (anonymous). Like the sheep breeder. Edis Bosnich, a trained salesman, gives us a piece of his mind. At the same time, he is fascinated: the idea of the so-called Islamic State to set up a world-wide caliphate: “Is this our wish? But clearly yes. Of course, we want all Muslims to live in a state where we no longer have problems, where hopefully all Muslims can have the same passport and travel freely, in the global caliphate.”
Village with bad reputation
The village cultivates fruits and vegetables for own consumption and sale. Customers came today from a neighbouring village. Further money sources for the Salafists, for example from abroad, are assumed. But there is no evidence. The two customers (who buy foodstuffs) are often here, and have grown accustomed to the Salafis. But generally speaking the village is strictly avoided: “When others hear of the village of Maocha, people get frightened, and they are afraid, they cannot imagine it.” Maocha is the cause of fright in all of Bosnia.” Noon prayers in the village are only allowed for men and boys. For many years, many have suspected that the village should be one of the country’s most dangerous terrorist cells and, according to the security authorities, there are already at least 28 such Salafist communities in all of Bosnia. In the capital Sarajevo, many years of neglect have now been acknowledged, as Mijo Kresich, Deputy Minister of Internal Security, confirms: “Obviously, we have not paid enough attention to some things, as the number of those who are hostile to us is multiplying. Now they want to live exclusively under Sharia Law, that is, according to the religious laws of Islam, and not in a democracy. “ And not just in rural areas of Bosnia. In the capital city of Sarajevo more and more Salafists are setting foot. Their favourite meeting point in Sarajevo is the Saudi Arabia-financed grand mosque, the largest in the Balkans. Salafists in Bosnia feel connected to the Saudi Wahhabis, because in Saudi Arabia the law of Shariah applies. But the Saudis also love a dazzling living with material pleasures, which is rejected by the Salafis in Bosnia. We cannot go into the mosque. Suddenly one is energetically being told that filming from the outside is banned here.
The money from Saudi Arabia
One thing is certain: Saudi Arabia is still spending more money on Bosnia, for example, in this state-of-the-art shopping centre in Sarajevo. It is already the second largest Saudi mall for shopping consumers, both of which are centrally located in the capital. As a rule, alcohol is not allowed to be drunk, but most of the employees do not understand this entire phenomenon as the creeping Islamization, which Emina Mandzuka of the Sarajevo City Centre confirms for us: “I personally did not have to abandon my habits, nor did I have to accept convictions of anyone else.” In the middle of the glitter of the shopping world – a prayer room: this is a novelty for the Muslims in Bosnia, for the majority are secular. The numerous jobs that have been created with the shopping centres are very welcome, because Bosnia needs and takes any investment that she can get, no matter where the money comes from. Youth unemployment alone is catastrophic at 60 percent. Mijo Kresich, Deputy Minister of Internal Security, adds: “Our economy is still totally grounded with bad consequences: the extremists make it easy to find victims who then quickly accept their radical ideology, and become ready to join the Islamic State (ISIS).”
Foreign Fighters from Bosnia
Back in Gornja Maocha – security experts have found out that from villages like these most Bosnians went on to join the ISIS. Life here is strikingly different than usual in Bosnia: the few women we do see briefly are completely veiled. During our visit, the women stayed in the houses as far as possible, as they should, because contact with outsiders is basically forbidden. Edis Bosnich sees the benefits of this approach: “When women outside our village are at home – they are uncombed, ugly dressed, not showered, but if they want to go out without their husbands – then they suddenly get up, shower themselves, straighten themselves. But for whom is this good? Is it not much more important for the woman to stand up for her man (like me) instead?” Meanwhile, the sheep, our gift as the guests. A round of dining, exclusively among men and their sons. Daughters or women are not allowed to be a part of it – this is a law in the village. And, as they say, all Muslims around the world should be doing the same: “If Bosnia joins the EU one day, many doors would open to us, and we with our Islam could be active somewhere else. Much easier with open borders, and we could then come to your Germany without difficulty and then pass our beautiful Islam on to the Germans.” In parts of Bosnia this is already a reality. For a long time the country did nothing against the spread of radical Islam. Now it is becoming increasingly difficult.
France – A driver with a gun has died after ramming a police van on the Champs-Élysées in a car filled with weapons and a gas bomb on the 19 May 17. His car burst into flames moments after impact having deliberately aimed at a line of police vans with a boot full of Kalashnikov rifles, handguns and gas bottles. A police officer was videoed stripping clothes from the unconscious assailant to check for a suicide bomb as the assailant, who was a known extremist in France, lay dying in the street. Witnesses in the capital said he heard shots being fired and smoke coming from the silver Renault Megane which was used by the 31-year-old perpetrator in what is being considered an attempted suicide attack, though nobody was injured. French anti-terrorism prosecutors opened an inquiry today after a suspected suicide attacker was seen targeting a line of police vans which were travelling up the Champs Elysee towards the Arc de Triomphe. 'There was a sudden impact, and then a fireball,' said an investigating source. 'A gas bomb was in the car. 'The man was very badly injured, and then pulled out of his damaged vehicle. He was badly injured in the collision and was taken away. 'He did not cause any injuries, but the collision was a deliberate act.' An Interior Ministry source meanwhile said that the attacker 'is likely to have died following the attack'. He added that 'numerous weapons were found in his car boot'. The specialist anti-terrorism officers confirmed they had opened an inquiry into the kamikaze attack. France's Interior Minister Gerard Collomb called the incident an attempted attack and said: 'Security forces have been targeted in France once again'. The weapons and explosives found in the vehicle 'could potentially blow this car up,' he added. Interior ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said bomb disposal experts were on the scene to 'ensure the vehicle poses no further danger'. Video showed orange smoke pouring from the car after the impact. No police or bystanders were injured in the incident near the Grand Palais exhibition hall. Police have closed two of the Metro stations on the Champs-Elysees, the world-renowned avenue lined with shops and cinemas that is a major tourist draw in the French capital. The incident came just two months after a policeman was shot and killed on the avenue, three days before the first round of France's presidential election. A note praising the Islamic State group was found next to the body of the gunman, Karim Cheurfi, in that incident. Police later found other weapons in Cheurfi's car including a shotgun and knives. On the 7 Jun 17 a hammer-wielding Algerian man was shot and wounded by police after he struck an officer on the head in front of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, shouting it was in revenge 'for Syria'. He had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group in a video found at his home. It is understood the car crashed into a police van and that there were no casualties as video footage emerged of the aftermath. People were seen fleeing the area as police officers armed with machine guns frantically cleared the tourist hotspot. Officers leapt into action and broke the car window to drag him from the flames. France remains under a state of emergency after a string of deadly Islamic extremist attacks in the country.
France – A man has been arrested in Paris after trying to drive his vehicle into a crowd outside a mosque, police said. The incident took place at about 1830 hrs local time (1630 hrs GMT) on the 29 Jun 17 in the suburb of Créteil and no-one was hurt. The man was apparently thwarted by barriers put up to protect the mosque. The suspect's motives remain unclear but Le Parisien newspaper reported that he was of Armenian origin and had said he wanted to avenge Islamist-linked attacks in Paris. Europe has seen a number of vehicle attacks in the past year, many by those claiming allegiance to IS. A police statement said the suspect's 4x4 vehicle repeatedly struck bollards and barriers designed to protect the mosque in the south-eastern suburb of the French capital. The car sped off but crashed and the man fled before being arrested shortly afterwards. He did not appear to be acting under the influence of drugs or alcohol, Le Parisien said. It reported that the suspect had said he wanted to avenge attacks on the Bataclan theatre and Champs-Élysées, both linked to so-called Islamic State. France remains under a state of emergency, in place since attacks on the capital in November 2015, including at the Bataclan theatre, claimed 130 lives. In April, a gunman killed police officer Xavier Jugelé on the Champs-Élysées before being shot dead. A note defending IS was found near his body.
Timeline: Vehicle ramming attacks in Europe
· 14 July 2016, Nice, France: A man drove a lorry for 2km (1.2 miles) through a large crowd gathered to watch Bastille Day fireworks in Nice. Eighty-six people were killed, and more than 300 injured
· 19 December 2016, Berlin, Germany: A man drove a lorry through the crowded Breitscheidplatz Christmas market, killing 12 people and injuring 49. IS said one of its "soldiers" carried out the attack
· 22 March 2017, London, UK: Six people died and at least 50 were injured when a car mounted the pavement on London's Westminster Bridge and drove at high speed through pedestrians. The attacker then entered the parliament complex on foot and fatally stabbed a police officer, before being shot
· April 7 2017, Stockholm, Sweden: Four people were killed when a lorry crashed into the front of a department store. The Uzbek driver was arrested and confessed to a "terrorist crime"
· 3 June 2017, London, UK: Eight people were killed when three attackers drove a van into pedestrians on London Bridge and launched a knife attack in Borough Market. The attackers were shot dead
· 19 June 2017, London, UK: A man was arrested on suspicion of terror offences after he drove a van into a group of worshippers close to a mosque in north London. One man died
Italy – Italy has threatened to prevent vessels flying under foreign flags from disembarking migrants rescued in the Mediterranean in its ports, a source close to the government said on the 28 Jun 17. "We can't go on like this," the source said after media reported that Italy's representative to the European Union, Maurizio Massari, delivered a letter to the bloc warning that the country was considering closing its doors. Massari is said to have met the European Commissioner for Immigration, Dimitri Avramopoulos, to insist that the latest wave of people saved from rickety vessels in the Mediterranean had meant "the situation has become unsustainable". Rome is threatening to deny the landing of boats that have picked up people setting off from crisis-hit Libya and are not flying Italian flags, the reports said. Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said Italy was "asking certain European countries to stop looking the other way, because we cannot go on like this". The threat follows a poor performance by the ruling centre-left Democratic Party (PD) at local elections this weekend, where it lost heavily to the centre-right Forza Italia and the anti-immigrant Northern League party. The anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S), which is running neck-and-neck in national polls with the PD, has followed the Northern League in demanding a stop to new arrivals -- particularly in the capital Rome. "I wonder whether the proposed measure is legal at all," said Mattia Toaldo, an expert on Libya at the European Council on Foreign Relations. "Denying docking rights to ships who have rescued people in distress at high seas (a legal obligation for all vessels, including commercial ships) sounds dubious. "It sounds more like a desperate way to get Europe's attention than a real measure that can be implemented," he said. More than 10,000 people were pulled to safety between the 25 Jun 17 and the27 Jun 17 off Libya -- including 5,000 on the 26 Jun 17 alone. While the Italian coastguard coordinates the operations, many ships sailing under foreign flags take part including several aid ships chartered by privately-funded organisations from France or Germany. The NGOs have already faced a fierce campaign to discredit them this year after an Italian prosecutor alleged their collusion with smugglers, an accusation they said was political and designed to thwart their rescue efforts. Critics have said the NGOs attract traffickers by sailing close to the Libyan coast. They insist they have no choice, because smugglers put the migrants out to sea in flimsy vessels that sink as they reach international waters. The Maltese organisation Moas was the first to launch a private rescue vessel in the summer of 2014. By last summer close to ten different NGOs, financed mainly through private donations, were taking part in migrant relief operations off Libya. Those with one or more boats in the area in 2016 included German NGOs Sea Watch, Sea Eye and Jugend Rettet, as well as the Dutch Lifeboat Project, the Spanish Proactiva Open Arms and Moas. France-based Doctors Without Borders (MSF) also carries out rescues with two aid vessels, one of which is run in partnership with SOS Mediterranee. Rome has complained for years about being abandoned to face alone the worst migrant crisis since World War II and has repeatedly demanded Europe do more to take in migrants setting off from the coast of Libya. Over 73,300 migrants have landed in Italy since Jan 17 a 14 percent increase from the same period in Jan 16. 361 COMMENT: Even though Italy’s politicians will blame one another as they do in all countries and although its legal for boats to dock if they are in distress, how legal is it for boats to dock who are deliberately seeking immigration and refugee status? These people set out in a state of distress from the people smugglers who are deliberately putting people’s lives at risk in order to gain at the expense of other people’s lives for profit. The NGO’s must also take some form of responsibility. If they are taking people just off the coast in flimsy boats surely they should return them from where they first set off. The question to be asked is how long can this problem keep going for? At some point the European Union must say enough is enough. COMMENT ENDS
United Kingdom – On the 19 Jun 17 at 0020 hrs local a single male drove a white van at a number of Muslims outside the Muslim Welfare House on Seven Sisters Road, near the Finsbury Park Mosque, in London. A small group of Muslims were assisting an elderly male who had collapsed with suspected heart problems when the driver struck those and others who were waiting nearby for the next set of prayers. The white van mounted the pavement and drove into the waiting people. The police later confirmed that one person had died as a result of the attack and ten others were injured two seriously. The male that died was the person (who has not been named at the time of reporting) who was being treated earlier and the police are unsure (at the time of reporting) if his death was a result of his injuries or the white van. The police are treating the incident as a terrorist attack. A single 47 year old male was arrested after a small group of males tackled the driver as he attempted to leave the incident on foot; he was then handed over to the police on their arrival. One witness claimed that the driver said he “wanted to kill Muslims.” The vehicle that was used was a rental van which was hired in Wales and had “Pontyclun Van Hire” which is a firm from Rhondda Crnon Taff in Wales. The driver was later named as Darren Osborne who had hired the £80 a day van. Osborne was born in Singapore in 1969 and believed to have been brought up in Western-Super-Mare, Somerset and then later moved to South Wales. After the incident Osborne was taken to hospital where later he was arrested for attempted Murder. 361 COMMENT: The far right groups will support this style of attack whilst others such as Da’esh will quickly condemn it and use it as propaganda to inspire and recruit to commit retaliatory attacks not just in the UK but in other countries as well. There will be other Muslims who will see this attack as one step too far in Islamaphobic attacks that have been occurring for some time and may look to retaliate. COMMENT ENDS