Europol TE-SAT 2022
On 13 July 2022, Europol published its EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report (TE-SAT) 2022. The report gives an overview of terrorism in Europe in 2021, analyses the situation regarding Jihadist, right-wing/left-wing and anarchist terrorism as well as ethno-nationalist and separatist terrorism, and provides for an outlook on potential developments.
The year 2021 saw a total of 15 completed, failed, and foiled terrorist attacks recorded in the EU compared to 57 attacks in 2020 (→ eucrim 2/2021, 93-94). According to the TE-SAT, the difference to the previous year can be explained with a significant decrease in the number of attacks reported as left-wing terrorism. Other main results for 2021 include:
- EU law enforcement authorities arrested 388 suspects for terrorism-related offences (compared to 449 in 2020) and 423 convictions for terrorist offences were passed by the courts in the EU Member States;
- Three Jihadist terrorist attacks were reported. All completed jihadist terrorist attacks were carried out by individuals acting alone. While no failed attacks were reported, eight jihadist attacks were foiled in six EU Member States and 260 suspects arrested in 2021;
- Regarding right-wing terrorism, no right-wing terrorist attacks were completed in 2021. One failed attack was reported, and 64 arrests were made in nine EU Member States. Remarkably, the ages of the suspects continued to decrease, which may be explained by the increased time spent online and therefore being subject to right-wing terrorist and extremist propaganda during the Covid-19 pandemic;
- In the field of left-wing terrorism, one left-wing terrorist attack was completed and carried out. Nevertheless, the report finds the use of confrontational violence posing a threat to public order in the EU a key issue of left-wing and anarchist terrorism;
- No completed, failed, or foiled attack was carried out by ethno-nationalist and separatist terrorists in the EU in 2021. 26 individuals were arrested in four EU Member States. Notably, most suspects arrested for alleged ethno-nationalist and separatist terrorist offences were male, between 20 and 62 years of age, and mostly citizens of the countries where they have been arrested.
Looking at societal factors with increasing potential to spread terrorism propaganda and narratives, to polarise, mobilise, and recruit individuals, the report draws attention to the impact of (geo-)political instability in and outside the EU, the uncertain socio-economic situation in the EU, developments in the digital society and advanced technologies, the lasting impact of COVID-19, and environmental developments within the climate change. These factors can influence the terrorism landscape in the EU.