Sharp rise in EU terror attacks and deaths in 2012: Europol

Bomb attack in Bulgaria

From Alexandria Sage, Reuters:  The terrorism threat in Europe remains elevated, with a quarter more attacks in the European Union in 2012 than in the previous year, pan-European police force Europol said on Thursday.

The annual terrorism report published by Europe’s crime-fighting agency, coming less than two weeks after the bombings in Boston, identified 219 completed or failed attacks in 2012 in EU-member states, the majority in France and Spain.

That was a rise of 26 percent over 2011, when 174 such attacks were reported. . . .

"The threat from terrorism … remains strong in Europe. It also continues to evolve from structured groups and networks to smaller EU-based groups and solo terrorists or lone actors," the EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report found.

Seventeen people died last year in such incidents, the deadliest being a series of three attacks by a lone gunman in France and a bombing at Bulgaria’s Burgas airport, each of which killed seven.

Only two people died in such attacks in 2011. . . .

Representing less of a threat last year were left-wing and anarchist groups, which committed 18 reported attacks compared with 37 last year and 45 in 2010. The number of such attacks increased in Italy in 2012, however.

Following the killing of 77 people in Norway in 2011 by right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik, EU governments stepped up their surveillance of right-wing groups. Such groups staged two attacks in 2012, in Bulgaria and Poland.   (photo: Reuters)

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