Tag Archives: radicalisation

MEPs propose strategy to combat terrorism

xBased on a thorough assessment European Parliament sets out recommendations to tackle radicalisation, improve data exchange and support victims of terrorism.

In a non-legislative resolution adopted this week with 474 votes to 112 and 75 abstentions, Parliament suggests reinforcing the role of the EU agencies such as Europol and the European Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT Systems (LISA).

MEPs also voice concerns over insufficient data exchange among the agencies, and between the member states and EU authorities. They underline the importance of fully respecting fundamental rights, including data protection and freedom of expression, when undertaking counter-terrorism measures.

““…Attack on the Christmas market in Strasbourg was an attack on European citizens and the common EU values and principles in the worst possible way. The incident has shown us again that we need to leave empty slogans and unrealistic measures behind and concentrate our activities on what really makes Europe safe. Despite all the efforts made over the past years, there are still gaps and ways to make the fight against terrorism more efficient. This means wider cooperation and information exchange between intelligence services and authorities, more prevention measures against radicalisation, tougher legal instruments and better protection of the rights of victims” – Following the vote, the co-rapporteur, Monika Hohlmeier (EPP, DE) said.

The terrorist attacks in the centre of Strasbourg, yesterday evening, highlight the imminent threat and absolute urgency of dealing better with this sad new reality. Today our report has been put to the vote in the same city, the seat of the European Parliament. Many innovative ideas have been proposed, such as the EU black list for hate preachers, allowing people renting cars to be cross-checked against police databases, and including private planes under the PNR Directive. We are recommending best practices, such as the local anti-radicalisation cells introduced in Belgium. And we put the victims at the forefront, by asking for medical costs to be automatically pre-paid after an attack and smoother insurance procedures. These are just a few examples from the comprehensive and poignant report “The co-rapporteur, Helga Stevens (ECR, BE), said.

Among Parliament’s main proposals:

  • Creating an EU watch list of radical preachers;
  • Stronger monitoring to ensure harmonised security and judicial prosecution of identified ‘returning fighters’ to Europe;
  • preclude convicted terrorist offenders from being granted asylum;
  • Anti-radicalisation measures, such as programmes for prisons, education and campaigns;
  • Specific training on radicalisation for EU and member states’ officials;
  • Strengthening EU’s external borders and proper checks at all border crossings using all relevant databases;
  • Demand for legal procedures to probe the praise of acts of terrorism;Removing printed or online propaganda explicitly inciting to violence;
  • call for continuity of EU-UK cooperation and information exchange;
  • Restricting knife-carrying and banning particularly harmful knives;
  • Inclusion of private planes under the PNR Directive;
  • European system of licences for specialised buyers of explosive precursors;
  • Urgent need for a common definition of ‘victim of terrorism’ at EU level;
  • Commission asked to create an EU Coordination Centre of victims of terrorism (CCVT) to provide crisis support and assistance in cases of attacks;
  • use the European Solidarity Fund to compensate victims of large-scale terror attacks; Closer cooperation with non-EU countries, especially neighbouring countries.”How a man, who was convicted 27 times, and known for 10 years for radicalisation, received only 5 years of prison, and ended freely perambulating around?!” asked a rhetoric question  in his Twitter mico rbolg MEP Nicolas Bay (Fr, ENF)  reflecting on the incident at Christmas market in Strasbourg. “This is unacceptable laxism on all the level, because it kills!.”https://twitter.com/NicolasBay_/status/1072839646822981634

ALERT! Strasbourg perpetrator at large

Strasbourg police asked inhabitants to stay inside, while the operation is ongoing. The perpetrator has been under police surveillance on list S. of radicalised individuals.

In issued press-release police explained the course of events in Strasbourg: “Around 20H, an individual entered the perimeter of the Christmas Market from the side of the birdge Corbeau and took the direction to the street des Orfèvres. The individual opened fire, wounding a number of people.

The provisional toll mounts up to 14 persons, among them 2 died, 6 seriously wounded,, and 6 lightly wounded.
“The point of reception of victims is installed at square Kléber(…
information concerning public transport in town, and lock down  of Neudorf sector…)

The perpetrator is on list S. – under surveillance for radicalisation  of French police. At the moment he is at large. The police operation is ongoing.

Strasbourg police issued an alert, asking citizens for cooperation, to follow police information, and stay inside (at home).

The radical change should come, because politics against terrorism is clearly failing“, tweeted Marine Le Pen in her micro blog, while expressing her condolences to the victims of the attack.

Once again list S for radicalisation! – wrote in his Twitter mico blog Nicolas Dupont-Aignan. –This new tragic attack reminds us about the total war the Islamic terrorists are waging against us. When, finally will we take measures to win it?”

AMENDEMENT:

French police have tracked down a gunman who shot 14 people in the center of Strasbourg, reportedly four of them died.

The gunman was identified as a 29-year old man from Strasbourg whose residence had been searched by police earlier in the day in connection with a robbery, two police sources said.

There is no official confirmation, but in French media the gunman is named as Chérif Chekatt.

Liège attack: two policemen shot dead

According to the Liège (Belgium) police, a man shot two policemen and took a cleaning woman as a hostage at Waha High School, located in the heart of the vibrant and busy city.

It was in the morning hours, around 10:30 on Tuesday (29/05) when gunshots were heard in the city center of Liège. According to  information local media obtained from the police, the alleged perpetrator shouted “Allahu akbar!“. The attacker shot two police officers and took a cleaning woman hostage at Waha High School, located in the busiest part of the city. As follows the rapid reaction of police the attacker was neutralised.

II. 12:45

According to preliminary reports, a man fired this morning on two policemen near the Cafe des Augustins, in the street of the same name in the city center of Liege. The two officers died, and a third, a member of the Anti-Banditry Squad (PAB), was reportedly injured during contact with the suspect.
A civilian, present in his car at the time of the events, also died.

Afterwards the attacker rushed to Waha High School, where he took a cleaning woman hostage. A rapid police intervention allowed to neutralize the culprit on the 6th floor of the school according to the RTBF news channel.

The Liège police will organize a press conference in the coming hours. Currently, there is still a large security perimeter organized around the premises. The police and rescue forces are massively present at the spot. A helicopter still flies over the scene.

The children of Waha High School are well and are safe under police protection and are supported by the PMS services. The burgomaster of Liège, Willy Demeyer, went to the scene and is in contact with the chief of police corps. The federal crisis center is following the situation, tweeted the Minister of the Interior, Jan Jambon, who said that his thoughts are with the victims of this “horrible act”.

Belgium King, Prime minister, and the other officials are in Liège.

Brisard: monitoring radicalised is not a solution

Between 60 000 and 70 000 radicalised individuals are detected by the relevant authorities in the EU, according to the report presented to the Members of the European Parliament (MEP) by Jean-Charles Brisard, the head of the Centre the Analysis of Terrorism (CAT).

At heart of problem of defeating of radicalisation in Europe  is an  absence of unified approach towards terrorism, while some member-states say they don’t see it as priority, but it is wrong, their countries can be used by terrorists, even if the problem does not manifest itself – Brisard said. However he warned against a simplistic approach to radical Islam: it is easy to throw everyone in one port, but reality is complex, for example salafites reject jihadism, these factors should not be omitted, Brisard continued. The other difficulty in defeating of radicalisation is its method: the terrorist organisations promote a model that can be joined in many ways, and places – nowadays it is not necessary to come to Caliphate, one can serve ISIS  in Afghanistan, Libya, Tunisia, or in Europe. Reaching Europe was not an original purpose of ISIS, initially they invited all the good Mahomedans to come to construct the Caliphate, but later they saw an opportunity to infiltrate with migrant flows, although it was not their initial strategy. Brisard also warned against demonisation of Islam, claiming that the radicals are marginal cases, while the overwhelming majority of Muslims are living their lives aligned with democratic values in European societies.

During Q&A session the MEPs focused on the ways, and methods the radicalisation can be defeated, and the possibility of contribution on the EU level, they also reflected on the huge figures of already detected individuals under surveillance, expressing concerns about their chances to switch to actions.  Former MEP, and leader of group France Insoumise in Assemblée Nationale Jean-Luc Mélenchon pointed out that there are already more jihadists in Europe, than military in Belgium army, the situation representing grave security concerns.

In his intervention MEP Geoffrey van Orden (UK, ECR) underlined that there is a cleavage between left and right in perspectives of dealing with Islam and its radical form, the obvious difference in political concepts does not allow to build common EU approach to radicalisation.

Responding to MEPs Brisard clarified that monitoring of the radicals in the EU is not a solution, because half of the individuals who committed terrorist acts were unknown to police, and had ‘virgin’ record. However there are local communities, who can play a crucial role in defeating radicalisation.

The counterterrorism can’t be limited to running dossiers on radicals, Brisard underscored, the dossiers and monitoring do not prevent the terrorist acts, they are just markers, the ‘tools’ for the services, ‘nothing more than that’. The essential fight against terrorism and radicalisation lies close to the threat in analysing the situations in proximity. Brisard also added that local communities are crucial allies in prevention of radicalisation of youth.

 

 

 

EU mobilises €25 million to defeat radicalisation in prisons

Attending the the Conference on Radicalisation in Prisons  Commissioner Vera Jourová in charge of Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality put forward proposals to minimise the risk of terrorist attacks, tackling  the “root of the problem” – the radical extremist political ideology, but the same time to distinguish it from Islam as religion.

“Radicalisation can take many forms and nobody has a “monopoly on it”, whether it is Islamist extremists, or Right-wing extremists or others” – Vera Vera Jourová said, adding that she does not believe that getting to the bottom of the problem can be done by governments alone. “The response needs to come from all levels, national and local. Teachers, social services, prison staff, local communities can do a lot to prevent spreading the poison of radicalisation” – Jourová continued.

However the EU can help to step in where the EU-wide response can be effective, and mobilise the practitioners, exchange of best practices and ideas and mobilise funds.

The first, and utmost the improving the exchange of information sharing about those Europeans who are coming back from fighting in conflict areas are of particular importance and the reform of the Schengen Information System will help EU government to exchange the information faster and better.

The Internet which is used by dangerous extremists to identify vulnerable men and spread the venom of radicalisation. The Orlando attacker is the case in point, as the evidence suggests he was radicalised over the Internet and was acting alone, Jourová reminded.

To address this problem the Commission will propose further recommendations on what is expected from the Internet companies in terms of removing terrorist content in social media.

 

Secondly, to tackle radicalisation more widely, the EU can help to mobilise practitioners, create platforms for exchange and mobilise funds. That is why the Commission is supporting the Radicalisation Awareness Network Centre of Excellence, where expertise of local practitioners is connected to each other.

The Commission has mobilised €25 million for the next 4 years to help this Network to fulfil its mission. Overall in the EU budget  €314 million are dedicated to anti-radicalisation projects until 2020.

EU encourages Bosnia and Herzegovina to fight radicalization

The Stabilisation and Association Council (SA Council) between Bosnia and Herzegovina and the European Union held its second meeting on 10 July 2017. The SA Council welcomed Bosnia and Herzegovina’s EU perspective as a single, united and sovereign country. It noted the progress of Bosnia and Herzegovina in its EU integration process following the country’s application for EU membership of February 2016 and the Council conclusions of September 2016 inviting the European Commission to submit an opinion on the merits of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s application.

The SA Council welcomed the adoption of a strategy on integrated border management (IBM) and a new legislative framework on migration and asylum. The SA Council recalled that Bosnia and Herzegovina urgently needs to meet international standards on anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism. With regard to counter-terrorism, the SA Council noted with concern that Bosnia and Herzegovina has been affected by the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters and radicalisation. In this respect, the SA Council welcomed the important measures taken by the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina over the past year. The SA Council called on the country’s authorities to take further steps in this regard, notably to prevent and fight radicalisation.