In 2011, it was registered an increase of terrorist attacks made by solo actors in the EU

Europol presented the “EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report: TE-SAT 2012” which highlights the increasing prominence of lone and solo actor plots. Nevertheless, also in 2011, the total number of terrorist attacks and terrorism-related arrests in the EU continued to decrease, according to the report.

The “EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report: TE-SAT 2012” public report produced by Europol, the European law enforcement agency, on the basis of information provided and verified by the competent law enforcement authorities in the Member States of the EU, shows that 2011 presented a highly diverse terrorism picture in which the most notable trend was the increasing prominence of lone and solo actor plots.

The report informs that 174 terrorist attacks occurred in EU Member States (in 2010, there were a total of 249 terrorist attacks in the EU), 484 individuals arrested in the EU for terrorist-related offences, lone actors were responsible for the killing of 2 persons in Germany, and 77 persons in the non-EU country Norway, and 316 individuals in concluded court proceedings for terrorism charges. According to Europol, the bomb attack and killing spree in Norway in July 2011, and the arrests of individuals in a number of Member States for the preparation of terrorist attacks, are proof of the continuing need for vigilance, despite the decease of the figures.

In addition, the death of Osama Bin Laden has not removed the threat of al Qaeda-inspired terrorism. Instead, the threat has evolved and lone actors, or small EU-based groups, are becoming increasingly prominent, as is the Internet as a key facilitator for terrorism-related activities. The report also shows related to Internet as a tool that terrorist and extremist groups have a substantial online presence, and the Internet has become the principal means of communication for terrorist and violent extremist individuals and groups.