For immediate release | Monday, February 10, 2020

Terrorism In 2019 Analyzed: Prison Radicalization And Returning Foreign Fighters Are New Threats

Press Contact:

Media at CEP

(New York, N.Y.) – Analysis of all Islamist terrorism attacks, attempted attacks and plots in the EU last year reveals trends in terrorism. The report identifies online radicalization, prison radicalization, and returning foreign fighters as the main drivers behind terror incidents last year. The report Terrorism in the EU in 2019 was published by Jean-Charles Brisard, Senior Advisor to the Counter Extremism Project (CEP) and Chairman of the Center for the Analysis of Terrorism (CAT).

The report found that online radicalization plays a huge role in terrorist actions; nearly a third of the documented terrorist actions were inspired by terrorist content available online and in 4% of the cases, the individuals were in contact with a remote planner abroad. Almost 40% of terrorist actions in France were prepared in jail and they targeted prison officers.

The report shows that the main aspects behind terrorist attacks last year, online radicalization, prison radicalization, and returning foreign fighters, are interlinked and remain to be main security threats which need to be addressed by European governments.

Jean-Charles Brisard states:

“Compared with last year, the 2019 report marks the emergence of two new trends: prison radicalization and returning foreign fighters. These trends are a major challenge for European security. The latest terrorist attack in London was by a former prisoner, and in France, the two out of 16 individuals involved in terrorist incidents last year were returnees from the Syrian-Iraqi area. Governments need to take concrete steps to tackle this threat to our safety.”

To access the Terrorism in the EU in 2019 report, please click here.