BRUSSELS, April 29 (RIA Novosti) – The number of terrorist attacks and related arrests in EU countries significantly increased in 2012 compared to previous years, Europol’s press service told RIA Novosti on Monday.
“The threat of terrorism in Europe remains strong and varied,” a representative of the European police office said.
According to the 2013 EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report, the threat “continues to evolve from one posed by structured groups and networks to smaller EU-based groups and solo terrorists, while the Internet remains a key facilitator for terrorism-related activities.”
There were a total of 219 terrorist attacks in EU member states in 2012, up from 174 the year before. A total of 537 individuals were arrested in the EU for terrorism-related offenses (up from 484 in 2011), and 17 people died as a result of terrorist attacks in the EU, the report said.
The Internet remains “an essential communication platform for terrorist organizations and their sympathizers,” enabling increasingly widespread access, anonymity and connection to a global audience that can be addressed in a targeted way, it said.
“The fight against terrorism remains a top priority for the European Union and for Europol,” the report said.