Terrorism Situation and Trend Report 2021
Terrorists use any opportunity to erode democratic structures, spread fear and polarise society. In 2020, terrorist organisations attempted to take advantage of the global pandemic to spread hate propaganda and exacerbate mistrust in public institutions. The New EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report 2021, published today, outlines the features, facts, figures and trends concerning terrorist attacks and arrests in the European Union in 2020.
Jihadist terrorism remains the greatest threat to the European Union and is still influenced by developments abroad. The so-called Islamic State (IS), still active in Iraq and Syria, reaches out to supporters in Europe to incite them to perpetrate attacks. Global affiliates serve to uphold the group’s image of success – particularly those in Africa, which expanded in 2020. While hundreds of individuals are still held in detention camps in Syria, very few have returned to Europe during the past year.
Online communities are having an increased role in the propagation of right-wing extremism. In recent years, such communities have coalesced around white supremacist or neo-Nazi views and shared language. The interactions in these groups further radicalise members with the idea that survival of their racially defined in-group depends on the destruction of the current system.