by : Mujahed Al-Sumaidaie, MA Intelligence and Secutrity Studies, Brunel University, UK

European Centre for Counterterrorism and Intelligence Studies . ECCI , Netherlands & Germany

General View

The attack on 9 September 2001 led the countries all around the world to review their Counter-Terrorism strategies and policies. The United Nations Resolution (number 1373) issued on 28 September 2001 established the Counter-Terrorism Committee and In September 2006, the UN adopted the Global Counter-Terrorist Strategy[1]. The United States adopted their National Security Strategy for counter-terrorism in September 2002[2]. The global move against terrorism enhanced the international efforts to combat terrorism. The US and the UK  represent a significant part in the global movement against terrorism. The main steps were taken in 2002 when the UK, Germany, France Spain and Italy looked very closely at their legislation on terrorism and updated the offences related to terrorism including threating the public as well as recruiting and training terrorists. In the same year, the EU established the Europe Arrest Warrant, but it only became operational in 2007[3].

The EU Counter-Terrorism Strategy was significant as the security systems were updated and new measures for combating terrorism were implemented. However, this was not enough to prevent attacks in Europe and the UK. The lack of executive authority and the reduction of the institutional work at the coordinators’ level meant that there was no direct involvement in the internal security of the EU members and its institutions[4].

The new security pillars were adopted by the EU countries in 2005. The major problem of the Counter-Terrorism strategy was the lack of cooperation between the EU countries[5]. Some of the members were unwilling to share the intelligence information with the other countries, while others preferred the bilateral agreements. The other problem was that Europol did not have the power to make arrests, they could only exchange information with the EU police regarding criminals. There was no exchange of intelligence information with the other EU intelligence agencies and it was limited only to the police. As a result, the EU institutions experienced limitations when exchanging the necessary intelligence information. There was a lack of executive power inside the EU. Also, there was not a strong executive mandate which could lead the fight against terror in the EU and the contiguous region. There were bureaucratic problems regarding the consultancy and coordination work (non-executive work), therefore the EU adopted the “Focal Point Travellers Scheme”[6] which was responsible for the terrorists who were traveling outside of the EU to join the fight in Syria. The European Union Counter-Terrorism Centre was very slow at producing results and became more active only when there was a serious attack or straight afterwards[7].

Historical Overlooking of the EU Counter-Terrorism Development

The internal and external security of the European Union are intimately connected[8]. It regards the free movement of people between all of the 28 countries who share the same principles.[9] Despite Europe combating terrorism for a long time, since the 1960s, the EU did not prioritise Counter-Terrorism and did not consider it a national security threat. This was the case until the catastrophic terrorist attack in the United States which caused mass casualties[10]. On 21 September 2001, the EU decided that Counter-Terrorism was a priority, therefore it started to develop and implement the roles which have been deliberated before the 9/11 attack[11].

In the past, the European Union regarded terrorism as being serious or organized crime[12]. Later on, the terrorism classification came after the political rationale. Despite the development of the EU terrorism strategy, the language of the EU in regards to terrorist threats towards the national security did not change even after 9/11 events. Most European countries did not accept the concept of “War on Terrorism”. They started dealing with the terrorist phenomenon using different methods to track it, such as the intelligence, police and justice[13].

Since 9/11, the European Union took several important decisions in regards to the Counter-Terrorism policy and implemented additional security measures. However, the lack of the executive power of the EU, which was necessary for the  current terrorist threat, rose the question whether the EU was a proper institution, able to lead and coordinate Counter-Terrorism. Despite this highly important question, there is no doubt about the ability of the EU to work out and facilitate the implementation of coherent, comprehensive Counter-Terrorism measures and the ability to exchange information between the EU countries. To do so, we can address some difficulties facing the Counter-Terrorism jurisdiction. For instance, there is no strong executive mandate leading the fight against terror in the EU and contiguous regions. There is a bureaucratic problem regarding the consultancy and coordination work (non-executive work). Additionally, the coordination and consultancy work is intergovernmental, not supranational. Even in terms of consultation and coordination, the EU acts as a multilateral forum for individual governments instead of being the decision maker between the EU states[14].

The European Union and The Post 9/11 Counter-Terrorism Response

After the New York attack, Counter-Terrorism became a priority on the EU political agenda. The EU considered the attack on the US as an attack on the West. At the same time, the EU leaders regarded the war on terrorism more than just a war between the US and the terrorists. It was a war necessary to defend the Western values of freedom and democracy against radicalisation. The 9/11 attack followed by Madrid in 2004 and London in 2005 showed the amount of challenges the EU had to face. The attacks shifted the threat from domestic terror to international threat. Therefore, the requirement was to implement a new Counter-Terrorism strategy to fight against international terrorism. At the same time, given the structure of the terrorist organizations as multinational organizations, the response needed to be equally vigorous trans-national and based on long term response[15].

 

The First EU Counter-Terrorism Response

On 21 September 2001, during the extraordinary meeting of the EU Council, EU leaders took a range of measures to combat terrorism. They announced: “Terrorism is a real challenge to the world and to Europe and the fight against terrorism will be the primary objective of the European Union.”[16] This announcement was followed by the EU Comprehensive Action Plan which was set up in order to combat terrorism.

The legislation framework response to combat terrorism was agreed by the “Justice and Home Affairs [17] Department on 6-7 December 2001. In December 2003, the EU adopted the European Security Strategy (ESS). This was a major step towards framing an approach for Counter-Terrorism taken by the EU to address the terrorism threat as well as build and maintain the security around the EU borders. It was meant to support the international order and provide effective multilateralism. This was the first document adopted for the long-term strategy of the EU foreign policy. It developed and addressed security issues including the EU Counter-Terrorism Strategy[18]. The EU rhetoric and promising policy were difficult to follow with action because the EU member states became quiet. For instance, the European Arrest Warrant was adopted in 2001, but it only became active almost four years after it was issued. This indicates that the framework of the EU Counter-Terrorism was waiting for another attack before taking more serious measures[19].

The Terrorist Attack in Madrid in 2004

After the attack in Madrid on 25 March 2004[20], the Council of the European Union reacted very quickly and on 24-26 April 2004 it declared war on terrorism. Also, it requested the implementation of the European Security Strategy (ESS). At the same time, it established that the EU coordinator will assist the EU Council with the work on Counter-Terrorism and prepare an action plan for Counter-Terrorism based on seven objectives. They included supporting the international efforts regarding Counter-Terrorism, combating the financial funds of the terrorist groups,  maximizing the capacity of the EU members to prevent any terrorist activity, investigating, detecting and prosecuting terrorists, controlling the borders and protecting the infrastructure including the international transport. Furthermore, it enhanced the capability of the EU members to deal with terrorist attacks and the consequences resulted from the attack. In addition, it focused on allocating and stopping the support, recruitment, funding of the terrorists, supporting the third countries through the EU external relations and allowing countries to implement the Counter-Terrorism strategies. This declaration was adopted by the Justice and Home Affairs Minister of the European Council in order to  combat terrorism.

On 18 June 2004, the EU Council issued a revised Action Plan for Counter-Terrorism. Also, the EU Council took an important decision to revise and approve the Action Plan twice a year. The Action Plan should contain an “Updated Matrix containing all of the measures of the action plan and an annex showing an overview of the implementation by the member states of EU Legislation in the fight against terrorism as well as a ratification of the relevant UN Conversation.” [21] During the meetings held on 4-5 November 2004, the EU Council adopted the Hague “Declaration for Strengthening the Freedom, Security and Justice of the EU state members”[22]. On 22 November, 2004, a conceptual framework, the “EU Security and Defence Policy (ESDP)”, was adopted by the EU Council to provide a comprehensive crisis management and prevent conflicts[23].

The London Attack in 2005, The Final Trigger

The London attack proved that the EU Counter-Terrorism response implied waiting for the event to happen and reacting swiftly afterwards. That is exactly what happened after the Madrid attack when the EU Council held a meeting and condemned the terrorist events. On 13 July 2005, during the extraordinary meeting of the EU Council, the Justice and Home Affairs Minister promised an “Accelerated implementation of the EU Action Plan on combating terrorism and other existing commitments” [24] It was very important after the London events in July to investigate the terrorists’ capabilities and  improve the capacity of the EU to combat terrorism. Also, it was paramount to prevent the recruitment of more people and turn them into terrorists. The declaration also included information about the protection of the infrastructure and the EU citizens. In addition,the EU member states had to improve their strategies in order to minimize the result of terrorist attacks and manage the consequences. The EU Council requested the acceleration of the implementation process of the EU legal instruments related to Counter-Terrorism[25].

The EU Council decided to implement a series of measures as an emergency matter, such as setting up the European Arrest Warrant, developing and strengthening the visa information system,  combating the financing of terrorism, prevention of radicalisation, strengthening the control on trade and transportation and storing of illegal materials such as explosives[26]. In December 2005, the EU Council approved the new EU Counter- Terrorism strategy focusing on four pillars: Protect, Prevent, Pursue, and Response[27]. The security strategies were updated in 2008. In 2010, terrorism was a key element of the internal security strategy. The review of all the EU measures was only for combating terrorism and taking the initiative[28]. The EU Counter-Terrorism strategy did not depend on the four pillars mentioned above. There have been many attempts to set out a comprehensive policy for fighting terrorism and make it easier for the general public to understand it.[29]

It is not a secret that the response of the European Union to the terrorist threats has been widely criticised. Despite the developments in the legal and operational measures since 2001 and the adoption of the new EU strategy for counter-terrorism in 2005 (followed by more than 200 set measures), the cooperation between all of the EU state members could not stop the terrorists’ ability to launch attacks in different EU countries. From 9/11 until 2005, there was not a long-term Counter-Terrorism policy available for the EU citizens which they could understand easily. The lack of executive authority and the reduction of the institutional work at the coordinators’ level meant that there was no direct involvement in the internal security of the EU members and its institutions[30].

The new EU strategy could not stop the fear growing inside the EU society. Therefore it was important to evaluate the terrorism and determine the threat to the society. Europol, as a law enforcement agency, put a lot of effort into determining the objectives of terrorism. The Europol figures showed the upsurge of terrorist activities not only in Europe. Terrorism became a global phenomenon. Since 2011, terrorist activities reached 1,000 marks, 60% incidents, and 80% fatalities concentrated in five countries: Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria. The terrorist attacks increased in the last few years as the European Union witnessed the attacks in Paris in 2015 and 2016, in Belgium in 2016 and in London in 2017. All of these attacks were claimed by ISIS or inspired by them[31]. The development of terror and jihadist cells in North Africa and the declaration of the Islamic State (ISIS) in northern Iraq and Syria in June 2014 led to an increase of jihadist cells in Europe. More than 211 terrorist attacks were foiled during 2016. These terrorist attempts increased by 39% from 2013. In 2015 the number of arrests related to terrorism reached 1,077- this increased by twofold from 2013. This was the highest number of arrests according to the annual assessment published by Europol in 2016. The upsurge of the number of arrests/attacks was mainly due to terrorism.

The EU Council set up a great number of legal institutions to combat terrorism since the London attack in 2005. The EU coordinator for CT reports twice a year on the Action Plan and implements the EU strategy. The EU Counter-Terrorism strategy office publishes updates and recommendations of the institutional framework.

Table 1: The EU Action Plan on Counter-Terrorism. The updates were completed between 2001-2012[32].

The table shows the measures taken between 2001 and 2012. It indicates the seven updates on Counter-Terrorism measures and the action taken within this period. It shows that it started off with 41 CT measures and it grew to 64 measures. Straight after the Madrid attack, the number of measures were taken moved up to 164. In 2005, after the London attack, the number of measures taken grew to 203 CT. In 2006, after the new EU strategy was adopted by the EU Council, the Action Plan measures reached 138 CT. Between 2007-2009, 139 Action Plan measures were executed. From 2010 until 2012, the amount of the Action Plan measures was steady because of the reorganization of the EU legal institutions according to the Lisbon Treaty[33].

On the operational level, after 9/11 the EU war on terrorism strengthened Europol as a law enforcement agency. This consolidated the cooperation between the authorities inside the EU in order to combat terrorism, organized crime, cybercrime and people smuggling[34]. Eurojust was established and its purpose was to enhance the operation levels between the EU members, improve the coordination between the judicial authorities and the EU state members and ensure the ongoing collaboration between all EU members[35].  Establishing the European Border and Coast Agency (FRONTEX) helped the EU and the Schengen countries to get control over and manage their external borders[36].

 

The EU Counter-Terrorism Strategy Pillars

The Madrid attack accelerated the EU institutionalization. The impact of the Madrid attack on the EU Counter-Terrorism was greater than 9/11 due to the differences in the EU public space. After the London attack in July 2005, the immediate response was to accelerate the work on the existing framework. At the same time, the UK government increased the pressure on EU to discuss the individual measures such as the “EU Evidence Warrant”. The new EU Counter-Terrorism strategy was adopted in December 2005. The EU legal framework produced a long-term strategy to combat the terrorism inside and outside of the EU and it contained four new pillars : Prevent, Protect, Pursue and Response.

  1. Prevent

Preventing is the most challenging pillar of the Counter-Terrorism Policy and it is important because it represents the main aim of all the intelligence agencies: to prevent the threat on the country. Since December 2005, when the EU adopted the four new pillars for combating terrorism, the Action Plan implemented more than 25 measures based only on the Prevention pillar. This contains seven approaches which are the key priorities of the EU foreign and domestic policy. The aim of the new measures and key approaches is to limit the radicalisation of people by turning them into ISIS or Al-Qaeda terrorists (or any other group inspired by the terrorist ideology). It also aims to combat the causes of terrorism, radicalisation and recruitment, and prevent the justification of terrorism as there is no excuse for terrorism. The majority of the EU community, no matter what sort of belief they follow, refuse the fundamental ideology promoted by terrorists. The main aim of the intelligence communities is to combat the terrorist propaganda and the circumstances that lead people to get involved in terrorist acts.

The difficulties that arise when preventing terrorism are linked to determining  the circle of people inside the Muslim society. The society is one of the important factors of radicalisation and that is how terrorists are recruited inside and outside of the EU. Moreover, combating terrorism is not the responsibility of some of the EU member states only. It is the responsibility of all of the EU countries. They need to contribute to the combat of terrorism as it has been agreed by the EU Council. Some of the member states refuse or do not contribute enough to the sharing of information about their internal security with the EU Council. The EU member states represent the main challenge for the Counter-Terrorism strategy as it focuses on the coordination level produced by the EU legal framework on both regional and local policies. This challenge requires a full engagement from the EU population, not only the governments.

On 15 January 2014, many EU member states developed counter radicalisation strategy projects. It is important to mention that the Preventing strategy was criticised in regards to the predictable level of violence[37]. In 2014, the EU Counter-Terrorism strategy was completely reviewed. The soft approach for preventing radicalisation was not based on the Counter-Terrorism legislation. As a result, it was inefficient and inconclusive and it was a negative reflection of the community relations[38]. The former Director General of MI5, Baroness Elizabeth Manningham Buller, warned of a group of citizens turning into “vigilantism” due to fear induced by terrorism[39]. They found that implementing the prevent strategy created a suspicious atmosphere between the government and the Muslim community in the European Union[40].

One of the recruitment methods used by terrorists is the internet and in particular social media. They use it to turn people into terrorists who then operate in Europe or they transfer them to fighting areas such as Iraq and Syria. The EU Commission built a partnership with the internet service provider in Europe as all the ISP companies are private. It is necessary for the EU to build a partnership with the private companies and share the information with the intelligence communities to prevent the recruitment through the social media[41]. In December 2016, the main social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Microsoft announced that they had developed technologies which allowed them to track extremist behaviour. This announcement came after the EU Council criticised the social media in the USA for not making sufficient efforts to track down the terrorist recruitment videos. The new technologies were implemented in Europe at the start of 2017[42].

  1. Protect

Protecting the infrastructure and strengthening the defence strategy against terrorism is the main aim of the Protection pillar. Thus the impact of terrorist attacks is reduced and the cooperation between the internal and external borders of the EU is improved. Also, the exchange of information between the police and the judiciary inside EU member states is done more efficiently. The EU Action plan listed thirty measures that Counter-Terrorism needed to achieve. The level of exchange of information between the EU countries is still one of the obstacles of the Action Plan measures. The key priority of the EU is to have an agreement to protect the infrastructure program introduced by the EU Council as well as improve and exchange passenger data (including the identity, the biometric information and the passport details of the passengers). It is also important to reinforce the efforts and develop methods to protect the soft targets. At the international level, the EU member states must collaborate and exchange information about travellers through civil aviation and navy. They must also evaluate the existing legislation and implement the Action Plan measures. The Euro Border Agency (FRONTEX) provides risk management to protect the EU external borders. The EU introduced new civil aviation rules and changed many regulations including the maritime transport regulations[43].

  1. Pursue

The main objective of the Pursue pillar of the EU Counter-Terrorism strategy is the pursuit of terrorism around the world and across the EU borders including preventing travel planning, pursuing the terrorist communication, infiltrating terrorist support networks, blocking terrorist funding and bringing the terrorists to justice. The EU Action Plan has more than 60 measures and the pursuit of eight of these measures is a priority for the Action Plan. These measures include strengthening the EU capabilities for counter terrorism, blocking terrorist financing and money laundry, blocking the access to weapons and explosives including homemade explosives, chemical, biological and radiological materials, reinforcing the law enforcement and changing the information between the EU member states and other countries outside of the EU. In addition, the Action Plan includes measures regarding the evaluation of the current legislation and the ratification of international treaties as well as the facilitation of the cooperation between the police and the judicial professionals using Europol and Eurojust. All the measures used in the pursuit of terrorism are for enhancing, gathering and simplifying the information exchange between the institutions of EU member states like Europol and Eurojust. These measures focused on training support and information exchange, including sensitive information. The  Euro Evidence Warrant is very important for exchanging evidence between the EU members[44].

Despite the moderate success of the EU on combating terrorism, the problem of implementing counter-terrorism strategies remains.  The EU needs to reinforce the exchange of information between all EU intelligence communities and not limit it only to Europol, the police and the other criminal institutions. In addition, it must activate the Action Plan and implement the measures related to the pursuit of terrorism legally, stop the funds of the terrorists and freeze their assets.

  1. Response

The objective of the Response pillar is to improve the capability, coordination and response in order to minimize the consequences of a terrorist attack. In 2001, the EU developed the “EU Community Civil Protection Mechanism” (CCPM) and today this represents one of the best efforts of the EU response[45]. CCPM continually reinforced that there should be a fast response in case of any disasters, not only in the case of a terrorist attack. There should be a similar response in terms of other disasters such as earthquakes, forest fires and floods. Each EU member should respond to the crisis within their own country and look after their citizens living abroad as well. Another task of the Response pillar is to link the political response and the emergency management, to make sure the elements are integrated to a high degree and the conformity takes place horizontally and vertically[46].

 

Despite the great developments of the EU Counter-Terrorism Strategy since 2001, a significant challenge still remains. The strategy has not reached its full potential yet[47]. One of the main developments in the EU Counter-Terrorism Strategy was establishing the European Arrest Warrant in 2002 which became operational in 2007[48]. This was set up in order to help the extradition procedure of suspected terrorists between the EU members. The major problem of the EU Counter-Terrorism Strategy was the cooperation between the EU members. Some of the members were unwilling to share intelligence information with the other members through EAW and Europol[49]. Some of these countries still prefer to share information based on bilateral agreements outside of the EU member states[50]. The cooperation problem between the EU members  affects Europol as well, as they do not have the power to arrest any suspects. They are only responsible for exchanging intelligence information between the EU countries. The restriction of Europol is reflected in the EU institutions and its influence is  limited[51]. In 2014, the “Focal Point Travellers Scheme” was established by Europol to collect and analyse the information regarding the terrorists travelling abroad to join the fight. However, only 14 countries of the 28 EU member states responsed on the day of the Paris attack and registered their own people on the scheme. Another problem of Europol was that it collaborated only with the police (national or federal) and it did not involve the intelligence agencies. This caused problems in terms of accessing specific information about certain terrorists. To solve this issue, in 2016 Europol launched the “European Counter-Terrorism Centre” (ECTC) which represents the main hub for intelligence information for combating terrorism inside the EU. The success of the ECTC needs time to be evaluated.

The European Union Counter-Terrorism Strategy was criticised due to the slow bureaucratic process and for the fact that it became active only after the terrorist attacks. This happened because a large number of EU member states refused to participate or provide the EU legal institutions with enough information to combat terrorism. The success of the EU Counter-Terrorism Strategy will be achieved when there is a high level of cooperation and coordination between the EU member states and the EU institutions at a national level[52].

EU Foreign Fighters and Lone Wolf Challenges

Since June 2014, and straight after taking control of the city of Mosul in the north of Iraq, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the so called ISIS, rose concerns for the EU governments. The reason for this was because the terrorist group succeeded in recruiting people holding European citizenship to join the fight in Iraq and Syria. In fact, ISIS managed to attract and recruit fighters and sympathisers from all over the world. More than 5,000 fighters from Europe joined the fight in Iraq and Syria and this number represents a challenge for the EU when they return to their home countries[53]. This can give an indication of the capability of the terrorist group to inspire people born and raised in the west to join the fight in countries out of the EU or launch attacks inside the EU, like the Paris attacks in January and November 2015[54], and Brussels in March 2016[55]. The EU government played an important role in identifying any weaknesses when sharing the information between the EU countries and having open borders between the EU and other countries. The new estimation regarding the number of the EU  citizens who joined the fight in Syria is approximately 5,000 fighters. 30% of them have returned to their country of origin in Europe which represents a direct threat to the European community. In addition, we must take into consideration the “Lone Wolf” individuals who are self-motivated by the jihadist propaganda. They did not join the fight in Syria and Iraq. They may have no connection with any terrorist groups, but they commit mass crimes in their own country as it happened in Nice, July 2016[56].

Despite the EU efforts to reinforce the sharing of information between EU countries, strengthen the external borders of the EU and support the existing measures for counter radicalisation, there were difficulties in implementing the EU strategy for Counter-Terrorism. The reason for this was because the initiatives related to the view of the intelligence, judicial operations and police were considered at the centre of a country’s sovereignty. Also, the balance between the EU security, human rights and personal liberties led to a lot of complications in the formulation of EU policies. Some EU policy analysts suggested that the differing views between the EU countries constrained them to use the force to fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. This led some other EU countries to participate in the fight by joining the US in their fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria[57].

Freedom of Movement, Schengen, and the European Citizenship Challenge

The EU Counter-Terrorism response after the Paris attack in 2015 posed a fundamental challenge to the freedom of movement, Schengen and EU citizenship. After the attack,  the EU started focusing on the mobility surveillance through a large database in order to support the exchange of information on the European travellers between the police and the intelligence communities of the EU member states[58]. Europol did not participate in the day-to-day work within the Counter-Terrorism institutions and the information coming from Schengen Visa did  not provide any control over crossing the borders, passenger movement or sharing information between the EU states. This led to major weaknesses in the Schengen freedom of movement within the EU and the external borders through the immigration waves. The easy penetration of the EU borders caused a free movement of firearms between the EU external borders. Also, it is important to consider the fact that a limited number of police officers, who had little intelligence information, had to engage with the minority communities[59]. On 21 April 2016, the EU Council adopted the Passenger Name Record (PNR) to “prevent, detect, investigate, and prosecute” any terrorist activities and serious crimes. Under the new regulations,  the airline companies were obliged to provide full details PNR of the departure and arrival to the EU state authority. Also, they needed to provide them with PNR for selective flights inside the EU under no obligations. Each EU member state had to establish a “Passenger Information Unit” to receive the PNR from airline companies.

The challenge with implementing the PNR data lies on the fact that it may go against the fundamental EU rules for non-discrimination. Using a certain description leads to targeting EU citizens holding another nationality or having a non-EU background unfairly. PNR database focuses more on the “person-centric approach” and the individual. This system represents a security risk as it does not focus on the nationality or migration status of the person, but rather on the personal profile. Focusing on personal profiles or personal behaviours contradicts with the principles of EU legal system for non-discrimination[60].

The Financing of the Terrorists

The core component and most tangible measure of the EU Counter-Terrorism strategy is combating the financing of the terrorists. The terrorists and their supporters always use a different way to move and collect money and they have access to the funds. The EU takes punitive actions to stop the funding, fight the terrorist financing and freeze the terrorists’ assets. These measures have been successful when infiltrate in the terrorists’ structures in the EU. The EU needs more measures of financial surveillance- this will help to uncover the hidden network of organizations. Despite many measures being implemented to prevent terrorist financing, some of these measures are still facing implementation difficulties due to Eurojust and Europol. This is because some of the EU countries are still facing the problem of matching the EU measures or legal framework[61].

Conclusion

Despite the great developments of the EU Counter-Terrorism Strategy since 2001, a significant challenge still remains. The strategy has not reached its full potential yet[62]. One of the main developments in the EU Counter-Terrorism Strategy was establishing the European Arrest Warrant in 2002 which became operational in 2007[63]. This was set up in order to help the extradition procedure of suspected terrorists between the EU members. The major problem of the EU Counter-Terrorism Strategy was the cooperation between the EU members. Some of the members were unwilling to share intelligence information with the other members through EAW and Europol. Some of these countries still prefer to share information based on bilateral agreements outside of the EU member states. The cooperation problem between the EU members  affects Europol as well, as they do not have the power to arrest any suspects. They are only responsible for exchanging intelligence information between the EU countries[64]. The restriction of Europol is reflected in the EU institutions and its influence is  limited. In 2014, the “Focal Point Travellers Scheme”[65] was established by Europol to collect and analyse the information regarding the terrorists travelling abroad to join the fight. However, only 14 countries of the 28 EU member states responsed on the day of the Paris attack and registered their own people on the scheme. Another problem of Europol was that it collaborated only with the police (national or federal) and it did not involve the intelligence agencies. This caused problems in terms of accessing specific information about certain terrorists. To solve this issue, in 2016 Europol launched the “European Counter-Terrorism Centre”[66] (ECTC) which represents the main hub for intelligence information for combating terrorism inside the EU. The success of the ECTC needs time to be evaluated.

The European Union Counter-Terrorism Strategy was criticised due to the slow bureaucratic process and for the fact that it became active only after the terrorist attacks. This happened because a large number of EU member states refused to participate or provide the EU legal institutions with enough information to combat terrorism. The success of the EU Counter-Terrorism Strategy will be achieved when there is a high level of cooperation and coordination between the EU member states and the EU institutions at a national level[67].

[1] United Nations, “UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy”, Counter Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF). https://www.un.org/counterterrorism/ctitf/en/un-global-counter-terrorism-strategy. [Accessed 21/06/2017].

[2] The White House,” The National Security strategy”, Septeber, 2002. file:///C:/Users/ps16mma/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/INetCache/IE/W0FLIUAH/63562.pdf. [Accessed 21/06/2017].  

[3]Sajjan Gohel, “the challenge of EU Counter-Terrorism cooperation”, Debating Security Plus, Security Europe, 12 December, 2016. http://www.friendsofeurope.org/publication/challenges-eu-counter-terrorism-cooperation

 

[4] ibid

[5] ibid

[6] Council of the European Union, “Improving information and Intelligence exchange in the area of counter-Terrorism across the EU”, Eropol, Brussel, 16 March 2015. http://statewatch.org/news/2015/apr/eu-council-europol-exchange-of-intelligence-7272-15.pdf.

[7] Peter Chalk, “West European Terrorism and counter terrorism”, the Evolving Dynamic, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, 1996, p.123-127. https://www.palgrave.com/us/book/9780333654613.

[8] Alistair J. K Shepherd, “The European Security Continuum and the EU as an International Security Provider”, Global Society, Routledge, 09 March 2015, pp156-160. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/13600826.2015.1018146.

[9] Ottavio Marzocchi, “Free Movement of persons”, Fact sheet on the European Union, European Parliament, June 2017. http://www.europarl.europa.eu/atyourservice/en/displayFtu.html?ftuId=FTU_2.1.3.html.

[10] Javier Argominaz, “Post-9/11 institutionalisation of European Union Counter-Terrorism: Emergence, Accelaration, and Inertia, School of politics and International Relations, University of Nottingham, UK, 2009. https://ecpr.eu/Filestore/PaperProposal/1ddc130d-e5fd-4cb9-aeae-cccad4d91e98.pdf.

[11] European Parliament, “the European Union’s policy on Counter-Terrorism” Relevence, coherence, and Effectiveness, Policy Department, 2017, p15. http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2017/583124/IPOL_STU(2017)583124_EN.pdf.

[12] Brian M. Jenkins, “Inernational Terrorism: A new kindof warfare”, the Rand cooperation, Santa Monica, California, USA, June 1974. https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/papers/2008/P5261.pdf.

[13] Therese Delpech, “International Terrorism and Europe”, Chaillot Papers, n56, Institute of security studies, December, 2002, pp,13-31. https://peacepalacelibrary.nl/ebooks/files/chai56e.pdf [Accessed 22 June, 2017].

[14] Peter Chalk, “West European Terrorism and counter terrorism”, the Evolving Dynamic, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, 1996, p.123-127. https://www.palgrave.com/us/book/9780333654613.

[15] Von Hippel K., “Introduction: Europe Confronts Terrorism”, in Von Hippel K. (ed.), Europe Confronts Terrorism, pp. 1-4. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/bfm%3A978-0-230-52459-0%2F1.pdf. [Accessed 30/06/2017].

[16] Council of the European Union, Extraordinary Council Meeting: Justice, Home Affairs and Civil Protection, Brussels, 20 September 2001: http://ue.eu.int/uedocs/cmsUpload /12019.en1.pdf. [Accessed 30/06/2017].

[17] Council of the European Union, “Justice and Home Affairs Council Configuration (JHA)”, http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/council-eu/configurations/jha/.

[18] Ruprecht Polenz, “The E Security Concept – Implications for NATO and the EU,” Report from 2004 Annual Session, Brussels, Belgium: NATO Parliamentary Assembly, 2004. [Accessed 14/07/2017]. http://www.nato-pa.int/default.asp?CAT2=471&CAT1=16&CAT0=2&COM=490&MOD=0&SMD=0&SSMD=0&STA=&ID=0&PAR=0&PRINT=1.

[19]Max-Peter Ratzel, In, Oldrich Bures,”EU Counterterrorism Policy”, A Paper Tiger? , Metropolitan University Prague, Czech Republic, Routledge, Oxon, UK, 2016, p 2. https://www.book2look.com/embed/9781317140405

[20] Council of European Union, “Extraordinary Council Meeting”,  Justice and Home Affairs, Brussel, 25 March, 2004; http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cmsUpload/JAI19.03.04.pdf. [Accessed 04/07/2017].

[21] Council of the European Union, “EU Plan of Action on Combating Terrorism – Update, December 7, 2004” ,Brussels, Belgium: Council of the European Union,  07 December, 2004. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cmsUpload/EU_PlanOfAction10586.pdf. [Accessed 15 July, 2017].

[22] Council of the European Union, “Brussels European Council 4/5 November 2004, Presidency Conclusions,” Brussels, Belgium: Council of the European Union, 8 December, 2004. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/ec/82534.pdf. [Accessed 14 July, 2017].

[23] Council of the European Union, “Conceptual Framework on the ESDP dimension of the fight against terrorism,” Brussels, Belgium: Council of the European Union, 22 November, 2004. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cmsUpload/14797Conceptual_Framework_ESDP.pdf. [Accessed 14 July, 2017].

[24] Council of the European Union, “Press Release: Extraordinary Council meeting Justice and Home Affairs”, Brussels, Belgium: Council of the European Union, 13 July, 2005. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/ueDocs/cms_Data/docs/pressData/en/jha/85703.pdf. [Accessed 14 July, 2017].

[25] Ibid.

[26] Council of European Union, “Extraordinary Council Meeting”,  Justice and Home Affairs, Brussel, 13 July 2005; http://www.consilium.europa.eu/ueDocs/cms_Data/docs/pressData/en/jha/85703.pdf. [Access 04 July, 2017].

[27] Council of European Union, “EU counter-Terrorism Strategy”,  2697th Council Meeting, Brussel 1-2 December, 2005, doc. 14390/05. http://register.consilium.europa.eu/doc/srv?l=EN&f=ST%2014469%202005%20REV%204. [Accessed 04/07/2017].

[28] European Comission, “Comission staff Working Paper” Taking stock of EU counter –Terrorism Measures, COM(2010)386 final, 20 July 2010. https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/sites/homeaffairs/files/news/intro/docs/sec_2010_911_en.pdf. [Accessed 04/07/2017].

[29] Den Boer M., “The EU Counterterrorism Wave: Window of Opportunity or Profound Policy Transformation?” in Van Leuween M. (ed.), Confronting Terrorism. European Experiences, Threat Perceptions and Policies, 2003, p. 189

[30] Europe Union Terrorism situation and trend report: TE-SAT 2016, The Hague, Europol 2016. file:///C:/Users/Haider/Downloads/europol_tesat_2016.pdf

[31]Ibid.

[32] Council of the European Union Public Register, “EU Action Plan on Combating Terrorism,”

[33] Council of the European Union, “The European Union Action Plan for Combating Radicalization.” Brussel, 8 December, 2004. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/ec/82534.pdf. [Accessed 15 July, 2017].

[34] The Council of European Union, “Acts adopted under EU treaty”; establishing the European Police Office (Europol) (2009/371/JHA), Official Journal of the European Union, 15 May, 2009. file:///C:/Users/ps16mma/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/INetCache/IE/0CEBI55T/council_decision.pdf. [Accessed 05/07/2017].

[35] The Council of European Union, “Acts adopted under EU treaty”; on the strengthen of Eurojust and amending decision 2002/187/JHA setting up Eurojust with a view to reinforcing the fight against serious crime, Official Journal of the European Union, 04 June, 2009. file:///C:/Users/ps16mma/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/INetCache/IE/12UKUK11/Eurojust-Council-Decision-2009-426-JHA-EN.pdf. [Accessed 05/07/2017].

[36] The Council of European Union, “Regulation”, Regulation EU 2016/1624 of the European parliament and of the council of 14 Septmber, 2016. Official Journal of the European Union, 16 September, 2016. file:///C:/Users/ps16mma/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/INetCache/IE/E2P80SKT/European_Border_and_Coast_Guard.pdf. [Accessed 05/07/2017].

[37] Secretary of state for Home department, ”Prevent Strategy,” Command of her majesty, UK, June, 2011, p17. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/prevent-strategy-2011. [Accessed 16 July, 2017].

[38] House of Commons, House of Lords Joint Committee on National Security Strategy (2012), First Review of the National Security Strategy 2010. London: Great Britain Parliament House of Commons. https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/jt201012/jtselect/jtnatsec/265/265.pdf. [Accessed 16 July, 2017].

[39]Tony Blair’s anti-Jihadist programme has failed” Says ex-MI5 Chief, the Telegraph, 14 January, 2015. www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/11344281/MI5-chief-Blairs-anti-jihadist-programme-hasfailed.html. [Accessed 16 July, 2017].

[40]  D. Bigo, L. Bonelli, E. Guittet and F. Ragazzi, “Preventing and Countering Youth Radicalisation in the EU”, European Parliament Study, Brussels, 2014. http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/etudes/join/2014/509977/IPOL-LIBE_ET(2014)509977_EN.pdf. [Accessed 16July, 2017].

[41] European Commission, “The EU Counter-Terrorism Policy: main achievements and future challenges,” Brussels, Belgium: European Commission, COM (2010)386 final, July 20, 2010. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2010:0386:FIN:EN:PDF.

[42] Madhumita Murgia, “Social media group join forces to counter online terror content,” Financial Time, London, UK, 05 December, 2016. https://www.ft.com/content/ff15c750-bafd-11e6-8b45-b8b81dd5d080?mhq5j=e2.

[43] European Commission, “The EU Counter-Terrorism Policy: main achievements and future challenges.”

[44] European Commission, “The EU Counter-Terrorism Policy: main achievements and future challenges” 8; See more in Chapter II, Section D.

[45] Bundesministerium fur Inneres, “Civil Protection,” http://www.bmi.gv.at/cms/BMI_Zivilschutz/more_on_topic/european_union.aspx. [Accessed 18 July, 2017].

[46] Council of European Union, “The European Union Strategy for Combating Radicalisation and Recruitment to Terrorism”, document No. 14781/1/05, Brussel, 24 November, 2005. http://www.statewatch.org/news/2005/nov/eu-radicalisation-nov-05.pdf. [Accessed 20 July, 2017].

[47] Sajjan Gohel, “the challenge of EU Counter-Terrorism cooperation”, Debating Security Plus, Security Europe, 12 December, 2016. http://www.friendsofeurope.org/publication/challenges-eu-counter-terrorism-cooperation

[48] Ibid.

[49] Ibid.

[50] Ibid.

[51] Ibid.

[52] Sajjan Gohel, “the challenge of EU Counter-Terrorism cooperation”, Debating Security Plus, Security Europe, 12 December, 2016. http://www.friendsofeurope.org/publication/challenges-eu-counter-terrorism-cooperation.

[53] David Malet, “Foreign fighters: transitional identity in civil conflicts”, New York, Oxford university press, 2013.

[54]Paris and Brussels: The Links Between the Attackers,” The Guardian, April 20, 2016. https://www.theguardian.com/world/ng-interactive/2016/mar/24/paris-and-brussels-the-links-between-the-attackers. [Accessed 21 July, 2017].

[55]Idle Swede Charged with Brussels Terrorist Murders”, The Local (Sweden), https://www.thelocal.se/20160409/swede-arrested-in-connection-with-brussels-attacks. [Accessed 21 July, 2017].

[56]. Riccardo Dugulin, “Responding to the”Lon Wolf” threat in western Europe”, Global Risk Insights, 13 April, 2017. http://globalriskinsights.com/2017/04/lone-wolf-threat-western-europe/. [Accessed 21 July, 2017].

[57] Christian Molling, “France Makes the Case for European Défense”, a la Francaise, German Marshal Fund of the united states, 18 November, 2015. http://www.gmfus.org/blog/2015/11/18/france-makes-case-european-defense-a-la-francaise. [Accessed 21 July, 2017].

[58] S. Carrera and N. Hernanz (2015), “Re-Framing Mobility and Identity Controls: The Next Generation of the EU Migration Management Toolkit”, Journal of Borderlands Studies, 02 April, 2015. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/08865655.2015.1012737?needAccess=true. [Accessed 22 July, 2017].

[59] Richard Walton, “Being in the EU doesn’t keep us safe from terrorist”, the telegraph, 26 Feb, 2016. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/eureferendum/12175207/Being-in-the-EU-doesnt-keep-us-safe-from-terrorists.html. [Accessed 22 July, 2017].

[60] S. Carrera and N. Hernanz (2015), “Re-Framing Mobility and Identity Controls: The Next Generation of the EU Migration Management Toolkit”, Journal of Borderlands Studies, 02 April, 2015. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/08865655.2015.1012737?needAccess=true. [Accessed 22 July 2017].

[61] Migration and Home Affairs, “Financing”, European Commission, updated 25 July 2017. https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/what-we-do/policies/crisis-and-terrorism/financing_en. [Accessed 22 July, 2017].

[62]Sajjan Gohel, “the challenge of EU Counter-Terrorism cooperation”, Debating Security Plus, Security Europe, 12 December, 2016. http://www.friendsofeurope.org/publication/challenges-eu-counter-terrorism-cooperation.

[63] Ibid.

[64] ibid

[65] Council of the European Union, “Improving information and Intelligence exchange in the area of counter-Terrorism across the EU”, Eropol, Brussel, 16 March 2015. http://statewatch.org/news/2015/apr/eu-council-europol-exchange-of-intelligence-7272-15.pdf.

[66] Europol, “European Counter Terrorism Centre”, Europol, 2016. https://www.europol.europa.eu/about-europol/european-counter-terrorism-centre-ectc.

[67] Sajjan Gohel, “the challenge of EU Counter-Terrorism cooperation”, Debating S. ecurity Plus, Security Europe, 12 December, 2016. http://europesworld.org/2016/12/12/challenges-eu-counter-terrorism-cooperation/#.WUkrh2aGOUk. [ Accessed on 20 July 2017].

 

European Centre for Counterterrorism and Intelligence Studies . ECCI

Peppelkade , 3992AK, – Netherlands . & P.O. Box. 101017, Germany, e mail, info@europarabct.com

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