Dans l’Union européenne, (Royaume-Uni excepté pour des raisons méthodologiques), le nombre d’actes terroristes répertoriés en 2009 s’est élevé à 294 soit une baisse de 33% par rapport à 2008 et une baisse de 50% par rapport à 2007, selon l’organisation européenne de coopération policière, EUROPOL. Ces actes ont été dans leur grande majorité le fait de groupes séparatistes, perpétrés surtout en France et en Espagne ( attentats basques ou cordes). Ce type d’attentats a néanmoins baissé de 40%. Le nombre d’attentats provenant de l’extrême gauche ou des milieux anarchiste a lui par contre augmenté de 43%. Un seul est selon Europol à mettre à l’actif d’un groupe islamiste : le 2 octobre 2009, un Libyen de 35 ans avait lancé un engin explosif sur une caserne de carabiniers en Italie. Cependant le terrorisme d’origine islamiste reste perçu comme le danger le plus menaçant. Ces bons résultats ne doivent pas nous inciter à baisser la garde a conclu de directeur de Europol, Rob Wainwright .
The Member States of the EU continue to be exposed to a serious threat from Islamist, ethno-nationalist and separatist, as well as from left–wing and anarchist terrorism. However, the overall number of terrorist attacks in all Member States in 2009, excluding the United Kingdom (UK), decreased by 33% compared to 2008 and is almost half of the number of attacks reported in 2007. (UK data is excluded because of differences between the UK and rest of the EU in the criteria applied to record terrorist incidents). Islamist terrorism is still perceived as the biggest threat to most Member States, despite the fact that only one Islamist terrorist attack – a bomb attack in Italy – took place in the EU in 2009. Islamist terrorists have threatened EU Member States with perpetrating attacks aiming at indiscriminate mass casualties. The threat emanating from Islamist terrorism inside the EU is influenced, to a certain extent, by developments in conflict zones around the world.
Separatist terrorism continues to affect the EU most in terms of the number of attacks carried out. This type includes Basque separatist terrorism in Spain and France, and Corsican separatist terrorism in France. Although, in 2009, the total number of separatist terrorist attacks decreased by 40% compared to 2008, the number of fatalities increased from four to six. The Basque separatist terrorist organisation ETA (Euskadi ta Askatasuna) killed three police officers. Ninety per cent of the 237 attacks that were claimed or attributed to separatist terrorist organisations in France (89) and Spain (148) were successfully executed. In the UK, Irish Republican and Loyalist groups in Northern Ireland, principally the RIRA (Real Irish Republican Army) and the CIRA (Continuity Irish Republican Army), increased the number of terrorist attacks and killed two soldiers and one police officer.
In 2009, the total number of left–wing and anarchist terrorist attacks in the EU increased by 43% compared to 2008 and more than doubled since 2007. Left–wing and anarchist groups were responsible for 40 attacks. In Greece, Epanastatikos Agonas continued its violent actions and claimed responsibility for an attack on police officers, which caused serious injuries to one officer. Sekta Epanastaton, a newly–active organisation in Greece, claimed another attack which killed a police officer.
Hungary reported four right–wing terrorist attacks in 2009. All other Member States reported right–wing criminal activities as extremism. Individuals motivated by extreme right–wing views who act alone continue to pose a threat.
Two single–issue terrorist attacks were reported in 2009. The illegal activities of single-issue extremism continue to be dominated by Animal Rights Extremism (ARE) activists, whose campaign has intensified with criminal acts perpetrated across Europe. Some violent ARE attacks in 2009 used modi operandi similar to those used by terrorists, e.g. improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and improvised incendiary devices (IIDs).
« While the number of terrorist incidents is declining in Europe, terrorism remains a significant security threat to our society and citizens. Islamist terrorists remain active inside and outside the EU with the intention to mount indiscriminate attacks in public. Meanwhile, separatist terrorist groups remain active, especially in France and Spain, and incidents of violent right–wing and left–wing extremism are becoming more commonplace. Despite the overall trend, therefore, we should not drop our guard in the fight against terrorism. » says Rob Wainwright, Director of Europol.