Terrorism in Europe
There is a long history of terrorism in Europe. This has often been linked to nationalist and separatist movements (separating countries), while other acts have been related to politics (including anarchism, far-right and far-left extremism), religious extremism, or organized crime. Terrorist incidents in the intercontinental countries of Russia and Turkey are not included in this list.
- 1 History
- 2 Prevention
- 3 Incidents
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 Bibliography
- 7 Further reading
- 8 External links
Defining terrorism is difficult, and there are more than one hundred definitions of it in scholarly literature. The term is used in polemical contexts, thus it can become a move in a campaign rather than an aid to thought. A simple definition would be "use of force against innocent people for political purposes". Some scholars argue that there is no true or correct definition due to terrorism being an abstract concept without a real presence. Legal definitions contain internal contradictions and might be misused. There is an overlap between terrorism and various other forms of conflict and violent action, including civil wars or non-international armed conflicts. This is the case with several significant non-international conflicts in Europe, where there thus can be dispute as to what counts as terrorism: examples include the Irish War of Independence (1919–21), the breakup of Yugoslavia and subsequent conflicts, the First (1994–6) and Second Chechen Wars (1999–2009), and the War of Dagestan (1999).
In the Middle Ages, maritime nations in Europe sponsored pirates and privateering against rivals, which can be compared to terrorism. The term "terror" is used about the reign of terror in France, carried out by the Jacobins in 1792-4.
Terrorism within the European Communities since 1951 has often been linked to separatist movements, including the Irish Republican Army within the United Kingdom, and Euskadi Ta Askatasuna within Spain. Other perpetrators have been linked to far-right and far-left extremism, environmental extremism and anarchism. Since 2001, there has been an increase in attacks linked to extremist Islamist groups, particularly in France. Many separatist terrorist activities also have a religious angle, as, for example, with Chechen separatism in Russia. The internationally co-ordinated element has seen increasing attempts by governments to seek to weaken extremist ideology, particularly Islamic extremism.
It remains the case that the majority of deaths from terrorism do not occur in the "West". When the Al Qaeda attacks against the United States in 2001 are excluded, only 0.5% of all deaths from terrorism have occurred in Western countries – European nations, United States, Canada and Australia – in the years 2000-14. There have been recent increases in the number of high-fatality attacks. There had been a decrease in the number of overall fatalities from terrorist attacks between 1990 and 2015, compared to those between 1970 and 1990. Prior to 1990, on average 150 people died each year from terrorist attacks; this figure would be even higher if the large number of people who died in 1988 from the Pan Am 2013 bombing were included. From 1990, an average of a little under 50 people died each year. There was an increase of fatalities from 2011, with the attacks by far-right extremist Anders Breivik in Norway, and Islamist extremist attacks in France in 2015 and 2016.
Europol has published an annual trend report on terrorist attacks (including failed, foiled, and completed attacks) and terrorist related arrests in the EU since 2006. The reports identify that perpetrators' known or suspected affiliations have been disparate in nature. Europol break these down into five categories: jihadist terrorism (previously termed "religiously-inspired terrorism"); ethno-nationalist and separatist terrorism; left-wing and anarchist terrorism; right-wing terrorism; and single-issue terrorism. Europol's reports do not provide a breakdown of the proportion of attacks that have been completed or the type of damage inflicted. According to these data the vast majority of terrorist attacks in the EU between 2006 and 2013 are affiliated with ethno-national or separatist motives, followed by left-wing attacks and those that are registered as 'unspecified'. A significant number of terror attacks are motivated religiously or associated with right-wing groups. Among those arrested on terror-related crimes, most are religiously motivated and form the largest group, followed by separatist related terror suspects.
In 2015, a total of 211 completed, failed, or foiled terrorist attacks were reported by EU states, resulting in 151 fatalities (of which 148 were in France, with 130 of them occurring during the November 2015 Paris attacks) and over 360 people injured. As in previous years, separatist attacks accounted for the largest proportion (65), followed by jihadist attacks (17). Jihadist attacks caused the largest number of fatalities (150) and injuries (250). The United Kingdom reported the largest number of attacks (103), but did not provide statistics on suspected affiliation. Tackling jihadist terrorism threats has become an over-riding priority for security services, although many commentators express concerns that the risk of far-right terrorism is currently being underestimated.
In 2017, British intelligence MI5 said that Northern Ireland is the most concentrated area of terrorist activity "probably anywhere in Europe", with weekly threats from dissident Irish republicans.
Early twentieth century
European states were at the fore of plans for an international criminal court under the League of Nations in the 1930s, working through the Committee for the Repression of Terrorism (CRT). The CRT sought to define terrorism and get nation's domestic policies to support anti-terrorism activities. Opposition by Britain and tensions over fascism in Germany and Italy limited the final proposals.
The main transnational activity to combat terrorism in recent years has been through Europol. They have categorised acts of terrorism that have either failed, been foiled or been successfully executed within the European Union (EU) as either pertaining to religious issues, right wing, left wing or separatist movements. The field is subject to considerable cooperation among national authorities.
In July 2014 the Government of France introduced legislation to combat terrorism by toughening surveillance, making it lawful to detain individuals linked to radical "Islamist" groups, and to block Internet sites that incite anti-Semitism, terrorism and hatred. The country's Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve revealed 600 French nationals were in Syria at the time or planned to go there. The bill includes a ban on foreign travel for up to six months for those believed to hold terrorist sympathies, provides for the confiscation and invalidation of passports, and prohibits airlines from allowing such individuals to fly.
From 2005, the United Kingdom government introduced the CONTEST strategy, which seeks to improve co-operation between security services, and other public and private organisations. This includes four strands, namely Pursue, (seeking to apprehend potential terrorists), Prevent, (seeking to reduce risks of 'radicalisation', deter potential terrorists and share information), Protect, (seeking to ensure the security of potential targets and organisations is optimised), and Prepare, (seeking to ensure an effective response in the immediate aftermath of any attack). Similar strategies have been adopted by other countries across the European Union, and there have been increases in co-operation between nations and security forces.
The following is a list of terrorist incidents in Europe which resulted in at least ten civilian deaths. It lists attacks on civilians by non-state actors that are widely referred to as terrorism. It excludes transcontinental countries such as Turkey and Russia. For incidents in Russia, see Terrorism in Russia and for incidents in Turkey, see Terrorism in Turkey.
- Key: motivation
|24 Apr 1993||UK||1993 Bishopsgate bombing||$2 billion||Provisional IRA|
|15 Jun 1996||UK||1996 Manchester bombing||$996 million||Provisional IRA|
|10 Apr 1992||UK||Baltic Exchange bombing||$897 million||Provisional IRA|
Terrorism by country and region
- Islamic terrorism in Europe
- Islamic terrorism in Europe (2014–present)
- List of non-state terrorist incidents
- Terrorism in the United States
- Michael O'Keefe; C.A.J. Coady (2002). Terrorism and Justice: Moral Argument in a Threatened World. Melbourne Univ. Publishing. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-522-85049-9.
- Jonathan R. White (1 January 2011). Terrorism and Homeland Security. Cengage Learning. p. 11. ISBN 978-0495913368.
- "Defining Civil War by Examining Post-Soviet Conflicts" by Pavel K. Baev, Terrorism and Political Violence, 19(2), 247-268. doi:10.1080/09546550701246965
- "Approaches to political violence and terrorism in former Yugoslavia 1" by Florian Bieber, Journal of Southern Europe and the Balkans 2003, 5(1): 39-51
- "West European Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism: The Evolving Dynamic" by P Chalk. 1996: Macmillan Press Ltd. p. 2
- "1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created", Charles C. Mann, 2011
- The History of Terrorism: From Antiquity to Al Qaeda by Gérard Chaliand & Arnaud Blin
- Richard Jensen, "Daggers, rifles and dynamite: Anarchist terrorism in nineteenth century Europe." Terrorism and Political Violence 2004, 16(1):116-53
- "Global Terrorism Index 2017". globalterrorismindex.org. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
Just five countries account for three quarters of all deaths from terrorism: Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Nigeria and Pakistan.
- "Global Terrorism Index: Measuring and Understanding the Impact of Terrorism" (PDF). Institute for Economics and Peace. Retrieved 13 August 2016.
- "Is Terrorism in Europe at a Historical High?". World Economic Forum. Retrieved 13 August 2016.
- Europol statistics, europol.europa.eu, retrieved 15 January 2015
- European Union Terrorism Situation and Trend Report 2016, europol.europa.eu, retrieved 13 August 2016
- Quinn, Ben; Malik, Shiv (29 February 2016), "Focus on Islamist terror plots overlooks threat from far right – report", The Guardian, The Guardian, retrieved 13 August 2016
- "MI5: Terror threat in Ireland is greatest in Europe". 21 December 2017.
- Lewis, Mark (13 February 2014). International Terrorism in the 1920s and '30s: The Response of European States through the League of Nations and the Attempt to Create an International Criminal Court – Oxford Scholarship. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199660285.001.0001. ISBN 9780191757716.
- "Legislation to crack down on jihadists planned by France". France News.Net. Retrieved 10 July 2014.
- "The United Kingdom's Strategy for Countering Terrorism: Annual Report 2015" (PDF). Her Majesty's Stationery Office. Retrieved 13 August 2016.
- Jill Harsin (2002). Barricades: The War of the Streets in Revolutionary Paris, 1830-1848. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-312-29479-3.
- The Making of Ireland: A History, James Lydon, p.308
- "Terrorism in Barcelona and Its Impact on Spanish Politics 1904-1909", by J. Romero Maura, Past & Present 1968, 41:130-183
- Megas G. The Boatmen of Thesalloniki. The Bulgarian anarchist group and the bomb attacks of 1903, Troxalia, 1994 ISBN 960-7022-47-5
- Chaliand, Gérard; Blin, Arnaud (August 2007). The History of Terrorism: From Antiquity to Al Qaeda. University of California Press. ISBN 9780520247093.
- Anna Geifman (1995). Thou shalt kill: revolutionary terrorism in Russia, 1894–1917. Princeton University Press. p. 341. ISBN 978-0-691-02549-0. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
- Tadeusz Władysław Świątek, Rafał Chwiszczuk, Warszawski ruch społecznikowski, Fundacja Cultus, Warszawa, 2010, ISBN 978-83-62679-00-3, p.149
- "PALACE BOMBED, 100 KILLED; Bessarabian Conspirators Accused of Outrage at Bolgard". The New York Times. 14 December 1921. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
- Jensen, Richard Bach (2009). "The International Campaign Against Anarchist Terrorism, 1880–1930s". Terrorism and Political Violence. 21: 89–109. doi:10.1080/09546550802544862.
- "Sofia Church Terror Attack Vie for Bulgaria Top Event". The Free Library. 2010. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
- ‹See Tfd›(in Italian) Una strage con troppi misteri, La Sicilia, May 1, 2011
- Pech, Marie-Estelle (7 January 2015). "L'attentat le plus meurtrier depuis Vitry-Le-François en 1961" [The deadliest attack since Vitry-Le-François in 1961]. Le Figaro (in French). Archived from the original on 8 January 2015. Retrieved 14 January 2017. ()
- Flight International, 5 September 1968, p.361
- Clutterbuck, Richard (1990). Terrorism, Drugs & Crime in Europe After 1992. p. 27. ISBN 978-0-415-61620-1. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
- "Criminal Occurrence description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
- Taylor, Peter (1999). Loyalists. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 88. ISBN 978-0-7475-4519-4.
- "Criminal Occurrence description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
- Cosgrove, Ben; Bhowmick, Nilanjana. "Terror at the Olympics: Munich, 1972". Time. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
- RAND Corporation (3 April 2001). "TKB Incident Page: Other Group attacked Airports & Airlines target (Dec. 17, 1973, Italy)". MIPT Terrorism Knowledge Base. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
- Sutton, Malcolm. "CAIN: Sutton Index of Deaths".
- "1974 – Car bombs explode in Dublin and Monaghan, killing 34 people". Stair na hÉireann – History of Ireland. 17 May 2015. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
- Bocca, Giorgio. Gli anni del terrorismo (in Italian). pp. 291–293.
- "AAR 75-07 Boeing 707 Ionian Sea Crash" (PDF). Airdisaster.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 October 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
- Ediciones El País (27 May 1979). "Atentado de la calle del Correo: un caso similar todavía no aclarado, El Pais, 27 May 1979". EL PAÍS. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
- The Birmingham Framework -Six Innocent Men Framed for the Birmingham Bombings; Fr. Denis Faul and Fr. Raymond Murray (1976)
- "BBC ON THIS DAY - 5 - 1976: Ten dead in Northern Ireland ambush". 5 January 1976.
- "BBC ON THIS DAY - 18 - 1978: Belfast bomb suspects rounded up". 18 February 1978.
- "Civil Guard website listing the Civil Guard retired high rank member died in the fire as an ETA victim". Archived from the original on 7 June 2008.
- "BBC ON THIS DAY - 2 - 1980: Bologna blast leaves dozens dead". 2 August 1980.
- Gerber, Larry (29 September 1980). "Neo-Nazi Group Suspected in Munich Oktoberfest Bombing". The Lewiston Daily Sun. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
- "1982: IRA bombs cause carnage in London". BBC: On This Day. 20 July 1982. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
- "INLA almost called off attack". Irish News. 8 December 2007. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
- ‹See Tfd›(in Italian) Rapido 904: "Un intreccio tra mafia, camorra e politica", Il Fatto Quotidiano, January 13, 2017.
- "Al-Qaeda suspect linked to 1985 Madrid bombing". Retrieved 14 January 2017.
- "The Bombing of Air India Flight 182". CBC News Online. 25 September 2006. Archived from the original on 19 April 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
- "EgyptAir Flight 648." Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on January 14, 2017.
- "Abu Nidal Organization (ANO) attacked Airports & Airlines target (Dec. 27, 1985, Austria)". Archived from the original on 25 March 2006. Retrieved 27 December 2005.
- 25 años del atentado de la plaza de la República Dominicana, El Diario Montanes, 14 January 2017
- "Bomb explodes in Barcelona". Los Angeles Times. 19 June 1987. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
- "Enniskillen bomb victim dies after 13-year coma". The Guardian. 29 December 2000. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
- El País: Zaragoza: cinco ataúdes blancos 2 August 2009 accessed 14 January 2017
- "Attacked By Terrorists 11 Dead, – Terror Attack". Cruiseshipdeaths.com. 12 July 1988. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
- "Clipper Maid of the Seas: Remembering those on flight 103". panamair.org. 2007. Archived from the original on 26 March 2008. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
- BBC On This Day, '1989 Remembering the Deal bombing', retrieved 6 March 2007
- "Timeline: Major ETA Attacks in Spain". 25 March 2015.
- "Vic (Barcelona) recordará hoy a las víctimas del atentado de ETA en su casa cuartel - EcoDiario.es". 13 June 2009.
- "Man cleared over Omagh bombing". CNN.com. 20 December 2007. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
- "Serbs killed in Kosovo pilgrimage". BBC. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
- "elmundo.es. Documento: Auto del 11-M".
- ZoomNews (in spanish) Archived 2015-03-15 at the Wayback Machine. The 192nd victim (Laura Vega) died in 2014, after a decade in coma in a hospital of Madrid. She was the last hospitalized injured person.
- "Indepth London Attacks". BBC News. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
- "В Беларуси умерла еще одна жертва теракта". podrobnosti.ua. 25 April 2011. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
- Seierstad, Asne (2016). One of Us: The Story of Anders Breivik and the Massacre in Norway. p. 5. ISBN 9781944195663. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
- "French security forces kill gunmen, end terror rampage". 9 January 2015. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
- Прокуратура расследует обстрел автобуса под Волновахой по статье "теракт" (in Russian). Retrieved 25 February 2018.
- "Paris attacks death toll rises to 130". RTE News. 20 November 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
- "Brussels Attacks Death Toll Lowered To 32". The Huffington Post. 29 March 2016. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
- "Nice killer visited Italy's 'Little Calais' as he was radicalised over a year before July 14 massacre". The Telegraph. 14 October 2016.
- Eddy, Melissa (21 December 2016). "Germany Seeks Tunisian Tied to Berlin Christmas Market Attack". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
- Abbit, Beth (22 June 2017). "Number of people injured in Manchester terror attack rises to 250". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
- "Barcelona attack: Suspected van driver shot dead by police". BBC. 21 August 2017. Retrieved 21 August 2017.
- Burgen, Stephen (27 August 2017). "Spanish attacks death toll rises to 16 after woman dies in hospital". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
- "Most Expensive Terrorist Attacks in the World". Retrieved 24 March 2018.
- "The Bishopsgate Bomb: One bomb: pounds 1bn devastation: Man dead after". 25 April 1993. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
- "IRA's City of London Bomb Aimed for Financial Impact". Christian Science Monitor. 27 April 1993. Retrieved 24 March 2018 – via Christian Science Monitor.
- Barry M. Rubin; Judith Colp Rubin (2008). Chronologies of Modern Terrorism. M.E. Sharpe. ISBN 9780765622068.
- Janos Besenyo: Low-cost attacks, unnoticable plots? Overview on the economical character of current terrorism, Strategic Impact (ROMANIA) (ISSN: 1841-5784) (eISSN: 1824-9904) 62/2017: (Issue No. 1) pp. 83–100.
- Poland, J.M (1988). Understanding Terrorism. Englewood Cliffs. NJ: Prentice-Hall.
- Romagnoli, M. 2016, "The Effects of Terrorism on Tourism: (Inter)relations, Motives & Risks", Almatourism, vol. 7, no. 5, pp. 125–133.