Terror attacks in Europe: the five danger zones

Security experts believe jihadis returning from Syria are most likely to be plotting attacks in five western European countries

Last week’s attacks in Paris and this week’s arrests in Belgium and Germany have thrown the spotlight on to jihadis returning from Syria to hatch terror plots in Europe. The five countries deemed to be at most risk of attack are Belgium, France, Germany, the UK and the Netherlands.


Nationals who have fought in Syria 250

Recent terrorist incidents and arrests

15 January 2015 Two suspected jihadists are killed by Belgian conter-terrorism police in the town of Verviers. A third is arrested. Thirteen others suspected of some involvement in terror activities are subsequently detained. Two men suspected of involvement have also been arrested in France.

24 May 2014 Mehdi Nemmouche, a suspected jihadist, kills four people at the Brussels Jewish Museum before escaping. Nemmouche, from Roubaix, France, is said to have been under surveillance by French counter-terrorism police since his return from Syria, where he is believed to have fought alongside Islamist groups.

Ongoing trials of terrorism suspects

October 2014 Members of Sharia4Belgium go on trial in Antwerp accused of “brainwashing” young Belgian Muslims to go and fight with jihadists in Syria.


Nationals who have fought in Syria 700

Recent terrorist incidents and arrests

7-9 January 2015 Two gunmen attack Charlie Hebdo magazine, killing 12. The following day, a policewoman is shot dead near Paris by a gunman linked to the Charlie Hebdo attackers. All three gunmen are killed after being cornered by police. Denouement also results in four hostages being killed at Jewish grocery store in Paris. At least 12 people have been arrested in anti-terrorism raids in the Paris area in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks.

21 December 2014 A man shouting “Allahu Akbar” (God is great) deliberately drives his car at pedestrians in Dijon, injuring 11 pepole before being arrested.

20 December 2014 Bertrand Nzohabonayo, a former rapper from Burundi who had converted to Islam, is shot dead after carrying out a knife attack in a police station near the city of Tours, injuring several officers. Nzohabonayo reportedly cried “Allahu Akbar” during the attack.

28 August 2014 Police arrest an alleged French-Algerian terrorist in Cannes after a raid uncovers almost a kilogram of the high explosive TATP in his family’s Cannes apartment building.

Ongoing trials of terrorism suspects

None reported.


Nationals who have fought in Syria 270

Recent terrorist incidents and arrests

January 16 2015 Two people detained following a raid on 12 homes and a mosque. A police spokesman says the suspects are probably part of an extremist cell that recruited fighters for Syria.

Ongoing trials of terrorism suspects

October 2014 20-year-old man confesses to fighting with IS in Syria.

November 2014 Second trial starts of a man suspected of fighting alongside Isis.


Nationals who have fought in Syria 400

Recent terrorist incidents and arrests

November 2014 Scotland Yard commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe claims that “four of five” terror attacks have been foiled in the weeks leading up to November 2014.

Ongoing trials of terrorism suspects

October 2014 Erol Incedal, accused of plotting a terror attack on the streets of the UK, may have been targeting Tony Blair and his wife. He is expected to appear in court again this year after the jury was discharged in a largely secret trial.


Nationals who have fought in Syria 400

Recent terrorist incidents and arrests

September 2014 Security levels are raised after a Dutch national fighting in Syria calls on his “brothers in the Netherlands and Belgium” to take action. Security experts claim that there could be at least 20 terror cells on standby in Europe, several of them likely to be based in Holland.

Ongoing trials of terrorist suspects

None reported.

Sources: International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence, the Economist, the Guardian


Jason Rodrigues

The GuardianTramp

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