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a wreath of flowers that highlight many other gifts of flowers and candles outside a short metal fence around the area of investigation

Memorial to the people killed in the January 2015 Île-de-France attacks

Islamic terrorism in Europe has been carried out by the Islamic State (ISIL) or Al-Qaeda as well as Islamist lone wolves since the late 20th century. Europol, which releases the annual EU Terrorism Situation and Trend report (TE-SAT), used the term "Islamist terrorism" in the years 2006–2010, "religiously inspired terrorism" 2011–2014, and has used "jihadist terrorism" since 2015.[1][lower-alpha 1] The 2020 TE-SAT outlines their definition of jihadism as a violent sub-current of Salafism, which rejects democracy and elected government in favour of "a violent ideology exploiting traditional Islamic concepts". According to TE-SAT, jihadists aim to create an Islamic state governed exclusively by Islamic law, as interpreted by them.[2]

In the early 2000s, most of the Islamic terrorist activity was linked to Al-Qaeda and the plots tended to involve groups carrying out co-ordinated bombings. The deadliest attacks of this period were the 2004 Madrid train bombings, which killed 193 civilians (the deadliest Islamist attack in Europe), and the 7 July 2005 London bombings, which killed 52.

There was a rise in Islamic terrorist incidents in Europe after 2014.[3][4][5] The years 2014–16 saw more people killed by Islamic terrorist attacks in Europe than all previous years combined, and the highest rate of attack plots per year.[6] Most of this terrorist activity was inspired by ISIL,[6][7] and many European states have had some involvement in the military intervention against it. A number of plots involved people who entered or re-entered Europe as asylum seekers during the European migrant crisis,[7][8][9] and some attackers had returned to Europe after fighting in the Syrian Civil War.[7] The Jewish Museum of Belgium shooting in May 2014 was the first attack in Europe by a returnee from the Syrian war.[10]

While most earlier Islamic terrorist attacks in Europe were carried out by groups and involved bombs, most attacks since 2014 have been carried out by individuals using guns, knives and vehicles.[11] A notable exception is the Brussels cell, which carried out two of the deadliest attacks of the period.

The deadliest attacks of this period have been the November 2015 Paris attacks (130 killed), the July 2016 Nice truck attack (86 killed), the June 2016 Atatürk Airport attack (45 killed), the March 2016 Brussels bombings (32 killed), and the May 2017 Manchester Arena bombing (22 killed). These attacks and threats have led to major security operations and plans such as Opération Sentinelle in France, Operation Vigilant Guardian and the Brussels lockdown in Belgium, and Operation Temperer in the United Kingdom.


Islamist terrorism in the European Union[12]
Year Attacks[lower-alpha 2] Deaths[lower-alpha 3]
2006 1 Not reported
2007 4 Not reported
2008 0 Not reported
2009 1 Not reported
2010 3 Not reported
2011 0 Not reported
2012 6 8
2013 0 1
2014 2 4
2015 17 150
2016 13 135
2017 33 62
2018 24 13

The first incidents of Islamic terrorism occurred in France in 1995 when a network with ties to Algeria carried out a string of bombings in Paris in retaliation for French involvement in the Algerian Civil War.[13]

In the early 2000s, most of the Islamic terrorist activity was linked to Al-Qaeda and the plots tended to involve groups carrying out co-ordinated bombings. The deadliest attacks of this period were the 2004 Madrid train bombings, which killed 193 civilians (the deadliest Islamist attack in Europe), and the 7 July 2005 London bombings, which killed 52.

Although militants in Syria had started to organize attacks in Europe by sending terrorist operatives to carry out attacks as early as 2012, security services in the European countries they sought to attack did not see the arrested individuals as part of a network with a cohesive strategy. Instead the general consensus saw them as radicalized individuals. Many of these operatives were arrested, while others carried out unsophisticated attacks which caused little damage but still served to overload security services.[13]

Since 2014, more than 20 fatal attacks have been carried out in Europe. France saw eight attacks between January 2015 and July 2016;[14] this included the January 2015 Île-de-France attacks, the November 2015 Paris attacks, and the July 2016 Nice truck attack. The United Kingdom saw three major attacks carried out in a span of four months in early 2017 (Westminster attack, Manchester Arena bombing, and London Bridge attack). Other targets in Europe have included Belgium, Germany, Russia, and Spain. The transcontinental city of Istanbul also saw both bombings and shootings, including in January 2016, June 2016 and January 2017.

In 2015, the Islamic State, which in 2014 had claimed that all Muslims were under a religious obligation to join it, declared that the only excuse for Muslims to not join the group in territories under its control was to perpetrate terrorist attacks in their current place of residence. According to Europol's annual report released in 2017, the Islamic State exploited the flow of refugees and migrants to commit acts of terrorism, which was a feature of the 2015 Paris attacks. In 2016 attack planning against Western countries took place in Syria and Iraq. Groups such as al-Qaeda and ISIL had the intent and capabilities to mount mass casualty attacks with volunteers.[15]

According to a review by Swedish news agency Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå, about two thirds of attackers in Western Europe (44 out of the 68 individuals involved in the total of 37 attacks between 2014 and August 2017) had been influenced by Islamic hate preachers and became radicalised as a result of personal contact, rather than online.[16]

In 2017, the EU Counter-terrorism Coordinator Gilles de Kerchove stated in an interview that there were more than 50,000 radicals and jihadists in Europe.[17] In 2016, French authorities stated that 15,000 of the 20,000 individuals on the list of security threats belong to Islamist movements.[18] After the Manchester Arena bombing in May 2017, British authorities and MI5 estimated they had 500 ongoing investigations into 3,000 jihadist extremists as potential terrorist attackers, with a further 20,000 having been "subjects of interest" in the past, including the Manchester and Westminster attackers.[19]

According to a 2017 interview with Islamism expert Lorenzo G. Vidino in the aftermath of the 2017 Barcelona attacks, jihadi terrorists in Europe mobilized by ISIL have tended to be second-generation immigrant Muslims.[20] Consequently, countries such as Italy and Spain with a smaller demographic in this category have experienced fewer attacks than countries in Central and Northern Europe such as France, the United Kingdom, Germany and Belgium.[20]

According to the British think tank[21] ICSR, up to 40% of terrorist plots in Europe are part-financed through petty crime such as drug-dealing, theft, robberies, loan fraud and burglaries. Jihadists use ordinary crime as a way to finance their activity and have also argued this to be the "ideologically correct" way to wage jihad in non-Muslim lands.[22]

According to German anthropologist Susanne Schröter, attacks in European countries in 2017 showed that the military defeat of the Islamic State did not mean the end of Islamist violence. Schröter also compared the events in Europe to a jihadist strategy formulated in 2005 by Abu Musab al-Suri, where an intensification of terror would destabilise societies and encourage Muslim youth to revolt. The expected civil war never materialised in Europe, but did occur in other regions such as Libya, Syria, Iraq and the Philippines (Battle of Marawi).[23]

Launched attacks and foiled Jihadist terror plots in Europe
Source: Petter Nesser, a researcher at Norwegian Defence Research Establishment writing for Politico. Numbers for 2017 and 2018 are preliminary.[24]

List of attacks[]



Date Location Article Details Deaths Injuries
11 March 2004 Spain Madrid, Spain Madrid train bombings Ten bombs exploded almost simultaneously aboard four commuter trains in Madrid during rush hour, killing 193 civilians and injuring about 2,000. The bombs had been hidden in backpacks by a group of Islamists linked to Al-Qaeda. On 3 April, five suspects blew themselves up as police raided a flat in which they were hiding, killing themselves and a police officer. 193 2,000
2 November 2004 Netherlands Amsterdam, Netherlands Murder of Theo van Gogh Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was shot dead on a street in Amsterdam by Islamist Mohammed Bouyeri, a member of the 'Hofstad Network'. Van Gogh had received death threats for producing the film Submission with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, which criticises the treatment of women in Islam. Bouyeri also attempted to behead Van Gogh and pinned a threatening letter to his body. He was arrested after a shootout with police.[citation needed] In July 2005, he was sentenced to life in prison for murder with terrorist intent.[25][attribution needed] 1 2
7 July 2005 United Kingdom London, United Kingdom 7 July 2005 London bombings There were four co-ordinated suicide bombings in London during rush hour. Three Islamists blew themselves up aboard London Underground trains and another aboard a bus. Fifty-two civilians were killed and more than 700 were injured.[citation needed] A 2019 article in the Journal of Security and Sustainability Issues described it as the first Islamic terrorist attack in the city.[26][better source needed]

On 21 July, another group of Islamists attempted a similar attack, but their bombs failed to detonate.

52 (+4 attackers) 784
30 June 2007 United Kingdom Glasgow, United Kingdom Glasgow Airport attack Two Islamists attempted to drive a jeep, loaded with propane tanks, into the main entrance of Glasgow Airport, Scotland. The jeep struck bollards and caught fire. One of the men threw petrol bombs while the other attempted to take out the propane tanks. They fought police and bystanders but were eventually subdued. The driver died of burns on 2 August. A day before the attack, the men had planted car bombs in London which failed to detonate. Europol classified the attacks as Islamist terrorism.[27] 0 (+1 attacker) 5
12 October 2009 Italy Milan, Italy
A Libyan man detonated an explosive device at the entrance to Santa Barbara military barracks in Milan, after being stopped by guards. The attacker was badly burned and a guard was injured. Europol classified the attack as Islamist terrorism.[28][29] 0 2
27 June 2010 Bosnia and Herzegovina Bugojno, Bosnia and Herzegovina Template:Interlanguage link On 27 June 2010, a bomb attack on a police station in Bugojno in which a police officer was killed several more were wounded. A suspect was caught while fleeing the scene. He was sentenced to 45 years in jail,[30] a sentence which was later overturned. A second trial resulted in a prison sentence of 35 years.[31][attribution needed] 1 several
1 January 2010 Denmark Denmark Kurt Westergaard A 28-year-old Somali made an attempt to murder the Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, who managed to evade his attacker. As police arrived, the man attacked the officer's patrol vehicle with an axe. The first patrol car reversed away with the perpetrator following and an officer in a second patrol car shot and wounded the perpetrator in the arms and legs. Westergaard has been living under police protection since the publication of his caricature of the Prophet Muhammad. The perpetrator was found to have links to the radical Islamist organisation Al-Shabaab and in February 2011 he was sentenced to nine years in prison. Europol classified the attack as Islamist terrorism.[32][33] (1)
11 December 2010 Sweden Stockholm, Sweden 2010 Stockholm bombings There were two blasts in central Stockholm. A car bomb partly detonated, injuring two bystanders, and shortly after a suicide bomber blew himself up nearby. Only one of the pipe bombs he carried detonated and no bystanders were hurt. Europol classified the attack as Islamist terrorism.[32] 0 (+1 attacker) 2
2 March 2011 GermanyFrankfurt Airport, Germany 2011 Frankfurt Airport shooting On 2 March 2011, in a bus at Frankfurt Airport, a Kosovan employee of the airport opened fire on unarmed US soldiers. Two soldiers were killed and two others seriously wounded. According to the court judge at Oberlandesgericht Frankfurt, this was the first terrorist attack in Germany in which the perpetrator had an Islamist motive.[34] 2 2
11–22 March 2012 France Toulouse and Montauban, France Toulouse and Montauban shootings An Islamist, Mohammed Merah, carried out a string of gun attacks on French soldiers and civilians. On 11 March he shot dead an off-duty soldier in Toulouse. On 15 March he shot three off-duty soldiers in Montauban, killing two. On 19 March, he opened fire at a Jewish school in Toulouse, killing a rabbi and three children. On 22 March, he was shot dead by police at his apartment after a lengthy standoff. Europol classified the attacks as religiously inspired terrorism.[35] 7 (+1 attacker) 5
19 September 2012 France Sarcelles near Paris, France Cannes-Torcy cell In 2012 two assailants threw a grenade at a kosher market in Sarcelles, Paris which wounding one person.[36] One of the grenade throwers and the leader of the cell, rapper Jérémie Louis-Sidney, was shot and killed during 6 October 2012 by BRI police from Strasbourg during his arrest.[37][38] In June 2017 Jérémy Bailly, the other grenade thrower, was sentenced to 28 years in prison for the grenade attacks, planning other jihadist attacks and for planning to join the conflict in Syria.[39] In total 18 cell members originating in Algeria, Laos and France were convicted in the trial and two were acquitted.[40] Seven of the convicted were associated with the Torcy mosque which was closed for promoting jihadism.[39] Europol classified the attack as religiously inspired terrorism.[35] 0 (+1 attacker) 1
22 May 2013 United Kingdom London, United Kingdom Murder of Lee Rigby An off-duty British soldier, Lee Rigby, was killed by two Islamists outside his barracks in London. The men ran him down with a car, then stabbed and hacked him to death with knives and a cleaver. They stood over the body and spoke to bystanders until police arrived. They charged at police and were shot and arrested. Europol classified the attack as religiously inspired terrorism.[41] 1 0
25 May 2013 France La Défense, France 2013 La Défense attack A French soldier on patrol was stabbed in the neck by a man in La Défense, near Paris. The attacker fled but was arrested four days later. Europol classified the attack as religiously inspired terrorism.[41] In November 2015, the court declared the attacker not criminally responsible for psychiatric reasons.[42] 0 1


Date Location Article Details Deaths Injuries
24 May 2014 Belgium Brussels, Belgium Jewish Museum of Belgium shooting An attacker opened fire in the Jewish Museum in Brussels, leaving four people dead. On 30 May, a man who in 2013 had fought for Islamists in the Syrian Civil War, was arrested in Marseille and admitted to the shooting.[10][43][44] The trial began in January 2019.[45][needs update] Europol classified the attack as religiously inspired terrorism, and noted that the attack was the first by a returnee from the Syrian Civil War.[10] 4 0
20 December 2014 France Joué-lès-Tours, France 2014 Tours police station stabbing An attacker entered a police station shouting the Islamic takbir Allahu Akbar ("God is Great"), and attacked officers with a knife, injuring three before he was shot dead.[10][46][47] Europol classified the attack as religiously inspired terrorism.[10] 0 (+1 attacker) 3
21 December 2014 France Dijon, France 2014 Dijon attack An attacker deliberately drove a van into several groups of pedestrians, injuring 11 before being arrested. He shouted Allahu akbar during the attack and stated he was a "warrior for Islam". According to Europol, the attacker may have been only partly motivated by ideology and suffered from schizophrenia, but was nonetheless inspired by the modus operandi recommended in terrorist propaganda.[10] 0 11


According to Europol, terrorist attacks attributed to jihadists in the European Union increased from four in 2014 to seventeen in 2015, while the number of people killed increased from four to 150. Non-EU areas of Europe are not included in the Europol figures.[48]

In 2015, the terrorist threat level was zero in Poland, on its scale which has four levels plus the "zero level". About 20-40 Polish nationals had travelled to the conflict zone in Syria-Iraq.[49]

Date Location Article Details Deaths Injuries
7–9 January 2015 Turkey Istanbul, Turkey 2015 Istanbul suicide bombing A Dagestani wife of a Norwegian-Chechen IS fighter has detonated a bomb vest underneath a niqab she has worn at an Istanbul police station killing 1 officer.[citation needed] 1 (+1 attacker) 1
7–9 January 2015 France Île-de-France, France January 2015 Île-de-France attacks From 7 January 2015 to 9 January 2015, terrorist attacks occurred across the Île-de-France region, particularly in Paris. Three attackers killed a total of 17 in four shooting attacks, and police then killed the three assailants.[48][50][51] The main attacks were the Charlie Hebdo shooting and the Porte de Vincennes siege. The organization Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility and said that the coordinated attacks had been planned for years.[52] Europol classified the attacks as jihadist terrorism.[48] 17 (+3 attackers) 22
3 February 2015 France Nice, France 2015 Nice stabbing Three soldiers, guarding a Jewish community center in Nice, were attacked by a man with a knife. The attacker was arrested by police.[48][53][needs update] Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[48] 0 3
14–15 February 2015 Denmark Copenhagen, Denmark 2015 Copenhagen shootings A man opened fire at an event at Krudttønden organized by Lars Vilks, known for his controversial drawings of Muhammad. Later, a Jewish man was shot outside the Great Synagogue. The attacker was later shot dead by police.[48][54] Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[48] 2 (+1 attacker) 6
26 June 2015 France Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, France Saint-Quentin-Fallavier attack An attacker beheaded his employer, impaled his head on a fence, and then blew up gas cylinders at a factory by ramming his van into them. The attacker was arrested, but committed suicide by hanging himself in his cell later the same year.[48][53] Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[48] 1 2
21 August 2015 France Oignies, France 2015 Thalys train attack A man threatened passengers with an assault rifle on a Thalys train between Amsterdam and Paris. One passenger was shot in the neck with a pistol when the rifle jammed.[48][55] Two United States military personnel and their civilian friend overcame the attacker.[56][needs update] Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[48] 0 3 (+1 attacker)
17 September 2015 Germany Berlin, Germany Rafik Yousef An Iraqi citizen stabbed a German policewoman in the neck. He was then shot dead by another officer.[48][57] Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[48] 0 (+1 attacker) 1
13–14 November 2015 France Paris and Saint-Denis, France November 2015 Paris attacks A series of co-ordinated attacks began over about 35 minutes at six locations in central Paris.[48] The first shooting attack occurred in a restaurant and a bar in the 10th arrondissement of Paris. There was shooting and a bomb detonated at Bataclan theatre in the 11th arrondissement during a concert by the Eagles of Death Metal. Approximately 100 hostages were then taken and overall 89 were killed there. Other bombings took place outside the Stade de France stadium in the suburb of Saint-Denis during a football match between France and Germany.[58] Europol classified the attacks as jihadist terrorism.[48] 130 (+7 attackers) 413


In 2016, a total of 133 people were killed in ten completed jihadist attacks in the European Union, according to Europol figures, while 62 others were killed in Turkey and one in Russia. Thirteen attacks were attempted. The number of arrests increased on the previous year, to 718. In France, the number of arrests increased from 377 in 2015 to 429 in 2016. One in four (26%) of those arrested in 2016 were women, an increase from 18% the previous year.[15] The threat in 2016 consisted of remotely directed individuals operating alone or in small groups. In addition to these, there were those that were inspired by propaganda but not instructed or directed.[15]

Date Location Article Details Deaths Injuries
7 January 2016 France Paris, France January 2016 Paris police station attack An asylum seeker wielding a knife and a fake bomb vest shouted "Allahu Akbar" outside a police station. He was shot dead by police as he tried to force his way in.[15][53] Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[15] 0 (+1 attacker) 1
11 January 2016 France Marseille, France
A 15-year-old Turkish boy, claiming to be "acting in the name of ISIL," attempted to behead a teacher from a Jewish school with a machete.[15][59][60] Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[15] 0 1
12 January 2016 Turkey Istanbul, Turkey January 2016 Istanbul bombing A suicide bomber blew himself up near Hippodrome of Constantinople near the Sultan Ahmed Mosque in Istanbul, killing 13 people and wounding another 9, most of whom were foreign tourists. No group claimed responsibility, but Turkish authorities suspected ISIL.[61] Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[15] 13 (+1 attacker) 9
26 February 2016 Germany Hanover, Germany Hanover stabbing A police officer was critically injured in a stabbing attack by a 15-year-old girl. Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[15] 0 1
19 March 2016 Turkey Istanbul, Turkey March 2016 Istanbul bombing A suicide bombing took place in Istanbul's Beyoğlu district in front of the district governor's office. The attack occurred at 10:55 (EET) at the intersection of Balo Street with İstiklal Avenue, a central shopping street.[62] Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[15] 4 (+1 attacker) 36
22 March 2016 Belgium Brussels and Zaventem, Belgium 2016 Brussels bombings Suicide bombers detonated three bombs in Brussels: two at Brussels Airport in Zaventem, and one at Maalbeek metro station. In these attacks, 32 people and the three bombers were killed, and 340 people were injured.[15][63] Europol classified the attacks as jihadist terrorism.[15] 32 (+3 attackers) 340
13 June 2016 France Magnanville, France 2016 Magnanville stabbing An attacker stabbed and killed a police officer in his home, before taking the officer's wife and son hostage. Police raided the house and killed the attacker and found the officer's wife dead but his son alive. ISIL claimed responsibility. Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[15] 2 (+1 attacker) 0
28 June 2016 Turkey Istanbul, Turkey 2016 Atatürk Airport attack A terrorist attack, consisting of shootings and suicide bombings, occurred on 28 June 2016 at Atatürk Airport in Istanbul, Turkey. Gunmen armed with automatic weapons and explosive belts staged a simultaneous attack at the international terminal of Terminal 2. Forty-five people were killed,[64] in addition to the three attackers, and more than 230 people were injured.[65] Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[15] 45 (+3 attackers) 230
14 July 2016 France Nice, France 2016 Nice truck attack A Tunisian man, Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, drove a cargo truck into crowds celebrating Bastille Day on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, resulting in the death of 86 people and injuring 458. The driver was shot dead by police. ISIL claimed the responsibility for the attack.[15][53][66] Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[15] 86 (+1 attacker) 458
18 July 2016 Germany Würzburg, Germany Würzburg train attack A 17-year-old Afghan asylum seeker attacked passengers on a train with an axe and a knife. The attacker was killed by police.[15][67] Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[15] 0 (+1 attacker) 5
24 July 2016 Germany Ansbach, Germany 2016 Ansbach bombing A 27-year-old Syrian refugee detonated a bomb at a wine bar after being denied entry to a nearby music festival, killing himself and wounding 15 civilians. Authorities found a recorded video message on the attacker's phone, pledging his allegiance to ISIL.[15][68] Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[15] The Ansbach bombing was the first suicide bombing in Germany by Islamist terrorists.[69][70] 0 (+1 attacker) 15
26 July 2016 France Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, France 2016 Normandy church attack Two assailants took hostages at a church, killing a priest and seriously wounding another man. The attackers were killed by French Special Forces. ISIL claimed responsibility for the attack.[15][71][72] Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[15] 1 (+2 attackers) 1
6 August 2016 Belgium Charleroi, Belgium 2016 stabbing of Charleroi police officers An Algerian man a wielding a machete and shouting "Allahu Akbar" attacked two policewomen. The assailant was shot and killed by a third officer.[15][73][74] Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[15] 0 (+1 attacker) 2
17 August 2016 Russia Moscow Oblast, Russia 2016 Shchelkovo Highway police station attack Two men with firearms and axes attacked the police station on the Shchelkovo Highway near Moscow. Two traffic police officers were seriously wounded, one fatally.[75] The attackers, natives of the Chechen Republic, were killed by police during the attack. ISIL claimed responsibility.[76] Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[15] 1 (+2 attackers) 1
5 October 2016 Belgium Brussels, Belgium 2016 stabbing of Brussels police officers Three police officers were attacked by a man wielding a machete in the Schaerbeek neighborhood of Brussels. Two of them suffered stab wounds, while the third was physically assaulted but otherwise uninjured.[15][77] Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[15] 0 3 (+1 attacker)
19 December 2016 Germany Berlin, Germany 2016 Berlin attack A Tunisian man drove a truck into a Christmas market in Berlin killing twelve people and wounding 56 others. Days later, having fled to Italy, the attacker shot an Italian police officer doing a routine check, before being killed by police.[15][78] ISIL claimed responsibility for the attack.[79] Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[15] 12 56


In 2017, a total of 62 people were killed in ten completed jihadist attacks in the European Union, according to Europol figures. The number of attempted jihadist attacks reached 33 in 2017, double that of the previous year. Most of the deaths were in the UK (35), Spain (16), Sweden (5) and France (3). In addition to those killed, a total of 819 people were injured in 14 attacks. The pattern of jihadist attacks in 2017 led Europol to conclude that terrorists preferred to attack ordinary people rather than causing property damage or loss of capital.[80]

According to Europol's annual report on terrorism in the European Union, the jihadist attacks in 2017 had three patterns: indiscriminate killings (London attacks in March and June and Barcelona attacks), attacks on Western lifestyle (the Manchester bombing in May 2017, 2017 Istanbul nightclub shooting), and attacks on symbols of authority (Paris attacks in February, June and August). The agency's report also noted that jihadist attacks had caused more deaths and casualties than any other type of terrorist attack, that such attacks had become more frequent, and that there had been a decrease in the sophistication and preparation of the attacks.[80]

In 2017, a total of 705 individuals were arrested in 18 EU Member states, 373 of those in France. Most arrests were on suspicion of membership in a terrorist organisation (354), suspicion of planning (120), or of preparing (112) a terrorist attack.[80]

Date Location Article Details Deaths Injuries
1 January 2017 Turkey Istanbul, Turkey 2017 Istanbul nightclub shooting A mass shooting occurred at a nightclub in the Beşiktaş district of Istanbul, Turkey, on 1 January 2017. The attack occurred at about 01:15 FET (UTC+3) at the Reina nightclub in Ortaköy, where hundreds of people were celebrating the New Year. At least 39 people were killed and at least 70 were injured in the incident. The gunman was arrested in the city on 17 January 2017, and ISIL claimed credit for his actions.[81][needs update] Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[80] 39 70
22 March 2017 United Kingdom London, United Kingdom 2017 Westminster attack A 52-year-old Muslim convert drove a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, killing four and injuring over 40 others. He then crashed his car into the fence of the Palace of Westminster and fatally stabbed an unarmed policeman before being shot dead by other officers.[82][83] Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[80] 5 (+1 attacker) 50
3 April 2017 Russia Saint Petersburg, Russia 2017 Saint Petersburg Metro bombing A suicide bomber blew himself up on the St Petersburg Metro, on the day Vladimir Putin was due to visit the city. Sixteen people[84] were killed, including the bomber, and 64 others were injured. Imam Shamil Battalion, an Al-Qaeda affiliate, claimed responsibility,[85] but according to the FSB, the attacker acted on the orders of a field commander from ISIL.[86] Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[80] 15 (+1 attacker) 64
7 April 2017 Sweden Stockholm, Sweden 2017 Stockholm attack An attacker used a truck to run over pedestrians along a shopping street before crashing into a department store. Five people were killed and 14 others wounded. Police said the attacker, an Uzbek immigrant, had shown sympathies for extremist organizations including ISIL.[87] He was sentenced to life in prison and lifetime expulsion from Sweden in June 2018.[88] Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[80] 5 14
20 April 2017 France Paris, France April 2017 Champs-Élysées attack Three police officers and a bystander were shot by an attacker wielding an AK-47 rifle on the Champs-Élysées, a shopping boulevard in Paris. One of the policeman was killed. The attacker was shot dead during the incident. He had a note defending ISIL, and had previously attempted to communicate with ISIL fighters in Iraq and Syria.[53][89] Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[80] 1 (+ 1 attacker) 3
22 May 2017 United Kingdom Manchester, United Kingdom Manchester Arena bombing A suicide bombing was carried out by Salman Ramadan Abedi, a 22-year-old British Muslim of Libyan ancestry, at Manchester Arena after a concert by American singer Ariana Grande, killing 22 civilians.[90] Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[80] 22 (+1 attacker) 512[91][92]
3 June 2017 United Kingdom London, United Kingdom 2017 London Bridge attack Three assailants used a van to ram pedestrians on London Bridge and then drove to Borough Market, where the three attacked people with knives before being shot by police. Eight people were killed and 48 were injured.[93] The injured included four unarmed police officers.[94][95] Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[80] 8 (+3 attackers) 48
6 June 2017 France Paris, France 2017 Notre Dame attack An Algerian PhD student, who prosecutors allege had pledged allegiance to ISIL in a video, was arrested for using a hammer to attack an officer guarding Notre Dame de Paris. Knives were later found in his rucksack.[96][needs update] Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[80] 0 1 (+1 attacker)
19 June 2017 France Paris, France June 2017 Champs-Élysées car ramming attack An attacker used a car loaded with guns and explosives to ram a Gendarmerie vehicle on the Champs-Élysées in Paris, France. The attacker was shot and killed by police. He had pledged his allegiance to ISIL and stated the attack should be treated as a "martyrdom operation."[97] Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[80] 0 (+ 1 attacker) 0
20 June 2017 Belgium Brussels, Belgium June 2017 Brussels attack A Moroccan immigrant ran into the Brussels Central Station where he detonated a small bomb which caused no injuries. The perpetrator then ran towards soldiers in another part of the station, and was shot and killed. The attack failed.[98][99] Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[80] 0 (+1 attacker) 0
28 July 2017 Germany Hamburg, Germany 2017 Hamburg attack A failed 26-year-old Palestinian asylum seeker[80][100] stabbed seven people with a 20 cm-long kitchen knife: one was killed and the other six were injured. In March 2018, he was sentenced to life in prison. The attacker said that "he would die as a martyr" and that "his aim was to kill as many Germans as possible to avenge Muslim suffering worldwide".[101] Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[80] 1 6 (+1 attacker)
9 August 2017 France Levallois-Perret, France Levallois-Perret attack An attacker drove a car into a group of around dozen soldiers taking part in Opération Sentinelle, injuring six.[102] The prosecutor said the suspect had showed interest in ISIL.[103][needs update] Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[80] 0 6 (+1 attacker)
16–21 August 2017 SpainBarcelona

and Cambril,

Catalonia, Spain

2017 Barcelona attacks On 16 August 2017 two suspects were killed in an initial accidental explosion during the preparation of explosives that were to be used in the attack in Alcanar. 16 were injured when another bomb accidentally exploded during the excavation of the site.[104] On 17 August 2018, a van was driven into pedestrians in Las Ramblas, Barcelona, killing 14 and injuring at least 130. Two suspects then fled on foot, stabbing another civilian to death in the process. The following day, a woman was killed in a related attack in Cambrils when a car tried to run into pedestrians and attackers stabbed people. A policeman shot and killed four of the five attackers while the fifth died later of his injuries.[105] On 21 August, the suspected driver of the Ramblas van attack was shot and killed by police in Subirats.[106]

ISIL claimed responsibility for the Ramblas attack.[107] Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[80]

16 (+8 attackers) 152
18 August 2017 Finland Turku, Finland 2017 Turku stabbing Two civilians were killed and eight others where injured by a man inspired by ISIL. The attacker said during interrogation that he started having an interest in ISIL propaganda three months prior to the attack. Police believed he acted alone and there was no evidence of contact with any terrorist organization. The attacker possessed ISIL photos and videos on his mobile phone and his computer. He said a motive for his attack was airstrikes by the Western Coalition during the 2017 Battle of Raqqa in Syria. According to the NBI, his vision was that he would die in the attack as a martyr.[108][109][110] In June 2018, the attacker was convicted of two counts of murder with terrorist intent and eight counts of attempted murder with terrorist intent and sentenced to life in prison.[111] Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[80] 2 8 (+1 attacker)
25 August 2017 Belgium Brussels, Belgium August 2017 Brussels attack On 25 August 2017 in Brussels on Boulevard Emile Jacqmain, a machete-wielding Somali man was shot dead after attacking two soldiers. One soldier was wounded. Europol classified the incident as jihadist terrorism.[80][112][113] 0 (+1 attacker) 1
15 September 2017 United Kingdom London, United Kingdom Parsons Green bombing An attacker placed a bomb containing TATP on a District line train at Parsons Green tube station, it detonated with thirty people treated for injuries.[114][115] The main suspect arrested was an 18-year old Iraqi refugee.[116][117][118] In March 2018, he was convicted of attempted murder and sentenced to life in prison.[119] Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[80] 0 30
1 October 2017 France Marseille, France Marseille stabbing Two women, 20 and 21-year-old cousins, were attacked by an illegal immigrant[120] from Tunisia using a knife. Patrolling soldiers shot him dead at the scene. French police were cautious as to whether it was a terrorist attack.[121] ISIL later claimed responsibility, a claim which French intelligence services described as "opportunistic". The prosecutor opened an investigation for "murder in connection with a terrorist enterprise".[122] Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[80] 2 (+1 attacker) 0


In 2018, a total of 13 people were killed and 46 were injured in seven completed jihadist attacks in the European Union, according to Europol figures. The number of attempted jihadist attacks was 24, down from 33 the previous year. All attacks were carried out by perpetrators acting alone. Europol noted in its 2019 report that generally, individuals who act alone seldom do so in total isolation as attackers often maintain relations in small or loosely defined networks and may receive moral or material support from individuals sharing their ideas. A number of the stopped attacks involved groups of perpetrators. The year saw equal numbers of EU citizens and non-EU citizens carrying out attacks. All attackers were male and their average age was 26.[123]

Date Location Article Details Deaths Injuries
23 March 2018 France Carcassonne and Trèbes, France Carcassonne and Trèbes attack A 26-year-old Moroccan man who pledged allegiance to ISIL made an attack in the French towns of Carcassonne and Trèbes: he attacked and stole a car, killing a passenger and wounding the driver, in Carcassonne. Later he arrived in Trèbes where a police officer was injured when he was shot by the attacker. Then, he attacked a supermarket, where two civilians and a policeman were killed and several people were injured. The attacker was later killed by the police.[124] Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[125] 4 (+1 attacker) 15
5 May 2018 Netherlands The Hague, Netherlands
A 31-year-old man from The Hague stabbed and seriously hurt three people near train station Hollands Spoor in the city on Saturday afternoon. The police shot the suspect in the leg before arresting him. Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[123] 0 3 (+1 attacker)
12 May 2018 France Paris, France 2018 Paris knife attack A 21-year-old Franco-Chechen man stabbed one pedestrian to death and injured four others in Paris, France. The attacker was later killed by police.[126] The suspect had been on a counter-terrorism watchlist since 2016. Amaq News Agency posted a video of a hooded figure pledging allegiance to ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Amaq claimed this figure was the attacker.[127] Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[125] 1 (+1 attacker) 4
29 May 2018 Belgium Liège, Belgium 2018 Liège attack A man on temporary leave from prison stabbed and then shot two police officers, killing them. He then shot dead a civilian. The gunman took a woman hostage and wounded four others before he was killed by police. He is also believed to have killed a man the day before the attack.[128] Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[125] 4 (+1 attacker) 4
31 August 2018 Netherlands Amsterdam, Netherlands 2018 Amsterdam stabbing attack A 19-year-old Afghan man stabbed and injured two Americans in Amsterdam Centraal station. The attacker was then shot by a police officer.[129] Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[123] 0 2 (+1 attacker)
11 December 2018 France Strasbourg, France 2018 Strasbourg attack A French citizen with Algerian ancestry attacked people at a Christmas market in Strasbourg with a gun and a knife, killing five civilians and wounding eleven others. The man was killed two days later by police.[130] Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[123] 5 11
31 December 2018 United Kingdom Manchester, United Kingdom Manchester Victoria stabbing attack A 25-year-old man with Somali ancestry stabbed three people at Manchester Victoria station before being arrested. Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[123] 0 3


In 2019, a total of ten people were killed in three completed jihadist attacks in the European Union, according to Europol figures. An additional four attacks failed and 14 were foiled. All completed and failed attacks except for one were carried out by perpetrators acting alone, whereas most of the foiled plots involved more than one person.[2]

Date Location Article Details Deaths Injuries
18 March 2019 Netherlands Utrecht, Netherlands Utrecht tram shooting A 37-year-old man shot passengers aboard a tram, killing four and seriously wounding two. He was convicted of murder with a terrorist motive in March 2020 and sentenced to life imprisonment. Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[2] 4 2
24 May 2019 France Lyon, France 2019 Lyon bombing A 23-year-old man detonated an explosive device in a pedestrian zone, injuring thirteen people. Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[2] 0 13
17 September 2019 Italy Milan, Italy A 23-year-old man stabbed an Italian soldier in the neck and in the back with a pair of scissors. The soldier survived the attack.[131] Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[2] 0 1
3 October 2019 France Paris, France Paris police headquarters stabbing A police employee stabbed six of his coworkers, killing four of them, before being shot dead.[2][132] Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[2] 4 (+1 attacker) 2
29 November 2019 United Kingdom London, United Kingdom 2019 London Bridge stabbing A 28-year-old man who had previously been convicted of terrorist crimes stabbed people in central London, killing two and wounding three others, before being shot dead by police.[2][133] Europol classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.[2] 2 (+1 attacker) 3

Terrorist plots[]

Template:BroaderTemplate:Inc-up This is a list of plots which have been classified as terrorism by a law enforcement agency and/or for which at least one person has been convicted of planning one or more terrorist crimes with Islamist motives.

Article [Clarification needed (see talk)] Location Details
1998 World Cup terror plot June 1998 France France More than 100 suspected members of the Armed Islamic Group of Algeria (GIA) were arrested across several European nations ahead of the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France.[134][needs update] The details of the plot were not disclosed by the law enforcement agencies.[135]
Strasbourg Cathedral bombing plot 31 December 2000 France Strasbourg, France A group Algerian and French-Algerian men planned to attack Strasbourg Cathedral and the nearby Christmas market on New Year's Eve. They were convicted by a court in Frankfurt for a criminal association with a terrorist enterprise which had links to Islamic networks in Britain, Italy and Spain.[136]
2001 bomb plot in Europe September 2001
An international network of terrorist cells with links to al-Qaeda and plans to bomb one or more U.S.-associated targets in Western Europe was disrupted in 2001.[137][138][139]
April 2002 Germany Ruhr In April authorities stopped a cell of the Islamist El-Tawhid movement in the Ruhr area. The cell planned an attack on Jewish community centres in Berlin and Düsseldorf. In 2003 the Jordanian Shadi A. was sentenced to four years in prison.[140]
2002 Strait of Gibraltar terror plot June 2002 Gibraltar Gibraltar A number of Saudi nationals were sentenced in 2003 by a Moroccan court for attempting to attack warships in Gibraltar in a plot connected to al Qaeda.[141]
Wood Green ricin plot 2002 United Kingdom London, United Kingdom In January 2003, a counter-terrorism operation was launched against an al-Qaeda cell planning to use poison for an attack on U.K. streets. An Algerian man was sentenced to 17 years in prison for the plot along with life imprisonment for stabbing a detective to death during his arrest in Manchester.[142]
2006 German train bombing attempts 31 July 2006 Germany Germany On 31 July 2006, two improvised explosive devices packed in suitcases were placed aboard regional trains. Had the devices functioned as intended, they could have killed around 70 people. The suspects, two Lebanese nationals studying in Germany, were motivated by Jyllands-Posten's publication of Muhammad cartoons and they were caught on CCTV cameras.[143][144] One of the attackers fled to Lebanon after the attack and the other was sentenced to life in prison by the court in Düsseldorf.[143] Europol classified the plot as Islamist terrorism.[144]
2006 transatlantic aircraft plot 10 August 2006 United Kingdom United Kingdom 10 August 2006 a number of men, predominantly British Pakistanis, were planning to smuggle bomb components aboard transatlantic airliners to assemnble and detonate the bombs while the aircraft were in flight.[144]
Vollsmose terrorist trial 5 September 2006  Denmark [144]
2007 bomb plot in Germany 4 September 2007 Germany Germany In March 2010, four men, two German converts to Islam, one Turk and one Turk-German[Clarification needed] were sentenced for having planned bomb attacks against US soldiers. According to the judge, "the four Islamists wanted to create a bloodbath due to religious blindness".[145]
2007 bomb plot in Copenhagen 2007 Denmark Copenhagen, Denmark Two men, one a Danish citizen born in Pakistan and the other an Afghan citizen living in Denmark were sentenced to twelve and seven years in prison, respectively, for planning a terrorist attack. The prosecution alleged that the men had been in contact with al-Qaeda and that one of them had been at a training camp in Waziristan.[27][146]
2007 plot to behead a British Muslim soldier 2007 United Kingdom Birmingham, United Kingdom In February 2008, a man with extreme Islamist views was jailed for life along with four other members of the terrorist cell, The plot involved beheading a British soldier with the help of drug dealers in Birmingham.[147]
2008 Barcelona terror plot 2008 Spain Barcelona, Spain In October 2009, ten Pakistanis and one Indian, a group adhering to extemist Islamist ideology, were convicted by the Audiencia Nacional for possessing explosives and belonging to a terrorist group. Having connections to al-Qaeda and the Taliban, they had intended to plant explosives on the Barcelona Metro as the first of a series of attacks.[148]
2010 European terror plot 2010 United Kingdom France Germany [149][attribution needed]
2010 Norway terror plot 2010 Norway Norway Oslo District Court convicted two men for plotting an attack against Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten offices in Aarhus and Copenhagen with support from al-Qaeda.[150]
2010 Copenhagen terror plot 2010 Denmark Copenhagen, Denmark Lebanese-born Swedish citizen Munir Awad, a Swedish-Egyptian and two Tunisian citizens were arrested when plotting to commit a Mumbai-style attack at the Jyllands-Posten office because of the Muhammad cartoons. The head of the Danish Security and Intelligence Service said that some of those arrested were militant islamists.[151] They received 12-year prison sentences for terrorist offences in 2012.[152]
Hotel Jørgensen explosion 10 September 2010 Denmark Copenhagen, Denmark On 10 September 2010, a small explosion took place at Hotel Jørgensen in Copenhagen, Denmark. The only injured person was the one-legged bomber Chechnyan-Belgian Lors Doukaiev who was caught nearby. Investigations showed that Doukaiev had hidden bomb manuals and jihad videos at the home of an acquaintance. The court found that he had planned to attack the newspaper which had published the Muhammad cartoons.[153][attribution needed]
December 2010 United KingdomLondon, United Kingdom Mohammed Chowdhury, Shah Rahman, Gurukanth Desai and Abdul Miah, inspired by al-Qaeda, were arrested in December 2010 for plotting to place a bomb in the London Stock Exchange. The men also planned sending letter bombs and conducting a Mumbai-style attack.[154] In the trial, the four and a further five, all of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin, were described as Islamist fundamentalists.[155]
2014 Norway terror threat 24–31 July 2014 Norway Norway The Norwegian Police Security Service said on 24 July 2014 that there was an imminent threat of an attack by people linked to Islamists in Syria.[156] Security measures were introduced for a week until the threat was deemed reduced.[157][attribution needed]
October 2014 United Kingdom London, United Kingdom A man of Moroccan origin was arrested in October 2014, North Kensington.[158] On 24 March 2016 he and his childhood friend were convicted at the Old Bailey of conspiracy to murder and preparation of acts of terrorism. The pair had planned to carry out shootings of police, soldiers and civilians. A further two suspects were cleared of terrorism charges but convicted for supplying a gun.[158][159]
2015 Kundby bomb plot 2015 DenmarkKundby, Denmark A 17-year-old girl planned to attack a school in Fårevejle Stationsby and a private Jewish school in Copenhagen, the attack was scheduled to take place in early 2016, using home-made bombs. In May 2017, she was tried and found guilty in the district court (Danish: byret) of Holbæk and was sentenced to six years in jail. She appealed the verdict and was tried by the Østre Landsret which found her guilty of planning to carry out terrorism with jihadist motive.[160]
May 2015 United Kingdom London, United Kingdom In May 2015, a married couple were arrested for planning an attack on the Westfield London shopping centre to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the 7 July 2005 London bombings. On 30 December 2015 they were found guilty of preparing an act of terrorism by the Old Bailey court; the man was sentenced to 27 years in prison and the woman 25 years in prison.[161]
Rawti Shax Autumn 2015 Italy Italy In autumn 2015 securiy police in Italy dismantled a terrorist cell in Trento. Its spiritual leader was Mullah Krekar who was later extradited from Norway. Following appeal, Rahim Karim Twana and Hamasalih Wahab Awat were each sentenced to nine years in prison. Abdul Rahman Rahim Zana, Jalal Fatah Kamil and Hamad Bakr were sentenced to seven and a half years each in prison. Krekar was sentenced to 12 years in prison.[162][163][164]
17 November 2015 Germany Hannover, Germany A football friendly between Germany and the Netherlands and labelled a "symbol of freedom" in the aftermath of the Paris attacks was cancelled and the spectators evacuated shortly before the match, due to a bomb threat.[165] A German newspaper later claimed that a French intelligence dossier, detailing plans to carry out five bombings, had prompted the Germans to order the evacuation.[166][attribution needed]
2016 NetherlandsLeeuwarden Volkel, Netherlands A man was arrested in 2016 as he was driving around in Eindhoven wearing a balaclava. Maps of Volkel and Leeuwarden air bases were found on his computer.[167] The Gerechtshof Den Haag found that the suspect was under the influence of Islamic State ideology, that he had terrorist motives and that he had prepared attacks on military targets and prime minister Rutte.[168][169]
February 2016 SwedenSweden 20-year-old Sevigin was detained in February 2016 for attempting to construct a splinter bomb. He was sentenced to five years in prison by Attunda district court for breaching the terrorist laws. The psychiatric evaluation concluded that he was acting from his religious conviction.[170][171][172] Previously he had travelled to Turkey in an attempt to join the Islamic State.[170]
26 March 2016 United Kingdom Birmingham, United Kingdom A man was arrested on 26 March 2016 by MI5 when a handgun, a pipe bomb and a cleaver inscribed with the word "kafir" (English: unbeliever) was found in his car. His neighbour in the Sparkhill area was arrested as were two others. A sword was found in one of the men's car. Two of them had previously been arrested and jailed in 2013 for going to an al-Qaeda training camp in Pakistan.[173] All four were convicted of preparation of an act of terrorism in August 2017.[173][attribution needed]
2016 Düsseldorf terrorism plot 2 June 2016 Germany Düsseldorf, Germany Four migrants were arrested on suspicions of being part of a cell of up to ten ISIL terrorists from Syria who had planned to launch attacks in Düsseldorf similar to the November 2015 Paris attack.[15][174][175][needs update] Europol classified the plot as jihadist terrorism.[15]
13 September 2016 Germany Schleswig-Holstein, Germany In mid September 2016 three Syrian refugees, 17–26 years old were apprehended by special forces in Germany in different locations in Schleswig-Holstein.[176][177] This was one of the two terrorist cells the Islamic State sent to Europe in 2015 to carry out attacks in Europe, the other carried out the November 2015 Paris attacks.[178] In March 2018 a court in Hamburg (German: Hanseatische Oberlandesgericht) were sentenced in a 30-day trial for being members of the Islamic State terror organisation. The eldest of the three was sentenced to six and a half years in prison, the other two received three years and six months respectively.[178]
2016 Balkans terrorism plot 17 November 2016  Kosovo, Republic of Macedonia Macedonia and  Albania 18 people were arrested over ten days across Kosovo, Macedonia and Albania, after a suspected plot to attack the Israeli national football team and Israeli supporters during an Albania-Israel match.[179][180][needs update] Kosovo police said the attack was planned by Islamic terrorists.[180]
2016 Ludwigshafen bombing plot 26 November 2016

5 December 2016

Germany Ludwigshafen, Germany A 12-year-old German-Iraqi boy was directed by a 19-year-old ISIL supporter to build nail bombs.[181][182] One bomb was planted at the local Christmas market on 26 November and another near a shopping centre on 5 December; both failed to detonate. The 19-year-old along with a 15-year-old girl to whom he was married according to Islamic law also planned an attack against USAF Ramstein Air Base. The 19-year-old was declared guilty of membership in a terrorist organisation and directing a terrorist attack and sentenced to 9 years in prison by a court in Vienna.[183][184][185]
2016 Copenhagen terror plot November 2016 Denmark Copenhagen, Denmark A 19-year-old Syrian refugee who had arrived in Germany in 2015 and had subsequently been radicalized took part in plans to plant bombs in Copenhagen. In November 2016 he was apprehended while attempting to enter Denmark with matches, batteries and radios under instruction from an accomplice.[186][187] In court he maintained he was only a courier to deliver materials to his accomplice in Denmark, while authorities said that the facts that he had not bought a return ticket and had written what were interpreted as farewell letters in his phone pointed towards him having planned to participate in the attacks. He was found to be an IS-sympathizer and to have planned mass murder as part of political violence (German: "schwerer staatsgefährdender Gewalt").[188][189][190][191] The accused, by then 21 years old, was sentenced by Ravensburger Landgericht in June 2017 to more than six years in prison.[192] In April 2019, his accomplice, a 32-year-old Syrian refugee living in Malmö, Sweden, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for having planned to plant bombs and to attack people with knives in Copenhagen on behalf of the Islamic State.[193][194][195][196]
December 2016 Netherlands Netherlands A 31-year-old man was sentenced to four years for planning a terrorist attack. The court also found him guilty of possessing and distributing jihadist propaganda.[197][attribution needed]
December 2016 GermanyBerlin, Germany A man who arrived in 2011 from Dagenstan and a close acquaintance of the 2016 Berlin truck attack, tunisian Anis Amri, planned an attack against a target in Berlin using explosives. The court found that he supported radical islamism and was found guilty of preparing a terrorist attack.[198][199]
27 April 2017 United Kingdom London, United Kingdom A man armed with knives was arrested on 27 April 2017 near Parliament Square in London.[200] He was found to have planned a knife attack. He declared himself to investigators to be an Islamic warrior (mujahid) and that he was engaged in jihad.[201] In July 2018, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison for preparing terrorist acts in Britain and a minimum of 40 years for previously having made explosives for the Taliban in Afghanistan.[202]
July 2017 United Kingdom Redhill, Surrey, United Kingdom A 17-year-old boy was arrested in July 2017. He pleaded guilty to disseminating violent Islamic State propaganda prior to the trial. On his mobile phone, police found chat conversations where he discussed stabbing attacks and suicide attacks. In March 2019 he was convicted of planning a terror attack.[203]
2017 United Kingdom London, United Kingdom Four women were arrested in 2017 for planning attacks, including one on the British Museum. In 2018 they were convicted on terrorist charges, with one of the women becoming the youngest female terrorist linked to the Islamic State.[204] Three of the four were found guilty of involvement in planning attacks,[205][206] while the fourth was found guilty of failing to disclose information about the plots.[207]
26 April 2018 Italy Naples, Italy A car ramming was thwarted by police in Naples after the arrest of a man of Gambian origins. He pledged allegiance to the Islamic State leader.[208][attribution needed]
30 April 2018 SwedenSweden On 30 April 2018, 46-year-old man who had arrived as a refugee from Uzbekistan was arrested when police searched and found explosives on his property. In March 2019 he was sentenced to 7 years in prison for planning a terrorist attack in Sweden in the name of the Islamic State and financing serious crime. He was also given a deportation order and a ban from returning to Sweden again.[209][210] Four other men were sentenced for falsifying documents or financing serious crime and received prison sentences ranging from 1 to 6 months in prison.[210]
2018 Cologne terrorist plot 13 June 2018 Germany Germany A Tunisian man was convicted for attempting to use a biochemical weapon to conduct a terrorist attack in the name of the Islamic State. He had previously twice tried to join the Islamic State unsuccessfully. In March 2020 he was sentenced to 10 years in prison.[211][212][213][214]

In June 2020, Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf found the man's wife guilty of preparing a bombing alongside her husband in order to kill "infidels".[213]

2018  Kosovo A group in Kosovo with plans to attack multiple targets including NATO soldiers and orthodox churches were arrested in 2018. Three men and one woman with connections to the Islamic State were convicted of planning terrorist attacks and sentenced to between 1 and 10 years in prison. An additional two people were convicted of failing to report the plans.[215][216][217]
August 2019 Germany Schleswig-Holstein, Germany Three Iraqi refugees were apprehended in Dithmarschen by special police units, among the latter a GSG 9 unit. They came under suspicion after having accessed bomb making instructions, made bomb tests, attempted to acquire bomb fuses and a handgun and taken driving lessons in order to do a vehicle ramming attack.[218] The trial concluded in November 2019. According to the Hamburg Oberlandesgreicht, it was proven two of the accused, cousins who arrived in 2016 in Germany, wanted to kill as many "infidels" as possible in a bomb attack motivated by Islamism and they were sentenced to almost five years in prison.[219] The third accused was found guilty of trying to procure the handgun and sentenced to one year and nine months in prison.[220]

Response to terrorism[]

Template:Vertical bar chart

According to Europol, the number of people arrested on suspicion of jihadist-related terrorist offences in the European Union increased from 395 in 2014 to 687 in 2015.[48]

In 2015, most arrests were made in France (377), followed by Spain (75) and Belgium (60); statistics for the United Kingdom were not available.[48] During 2015, jihadist terrorism related verdicts were 198 out of a total of 527 terrorism related verdicts.[48] The average sentence for jihadist terrorism increased from 4 years in 2014 to 6 years.[48] In Austria, Belgium, Denmark and Sweden, all terrorism verdicts concerned jihadist terrorism.[48]

In 2016, a total of 718 people were arrested on suspicion of jihadist-related terrorist offences in the European Union.[15] During 2016, 358 verdicts on jihadi terrorism were delivered by courts in the EU, the vast majority of all terrorism verdicts. Belgium had the highest number of such verdicts at 138. All terrorism verdicts in Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Finland, France, Italy, Portugal and Sweden related to jihadist terrorism. Of those convicted for jihadist terrorist offences, 22 were women, such offences were punished with an average sentence of 5 years in prison.[15]

After the vehicle-ramming attack,[which?] European countries began equipping pedestrian areas with barriers.[20]

In 2017, the total number of arrests was 705.[80] During 2017, 352 verdicts on jihadi terrorism were delivered by courts in the EU, this was the vast majority of all terrorist convictions (569). The average sentence remained at 5 years in prison. The country with the highest number of jihadist convictions was France with 114.[221]

In 2017, according to Gilles de Kerchove, the European Union's Counter-terrorism Coordinator, the United Kingdom had the highest number of known Islamist radicals of any European country at around 20 to 25 thousand. de Kerchove said that three thousand of those were considered a direct threat by MI5 and 500 were under constant surveillance.[222]

A number of European countries—Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom—made legal changes which enable deprivation of citizenship of individuals engaged in terrorism if they have dual citizenship.[223][Clarification needed]

Article Date Location
Opération Sentinelle 12 January 2015 – ongoing France France
2015 anti-terrorism operations in Belgium 15 January 2015 Belgium Verviers, Belgium[224]
Operation Ruben 6–7 May 2015 Bosnia and Herzegovina Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina
2015 Saint-Denis raid 17–18 November 2015 France Saint-Denis, France[225]
2016 Brussels police raids 15–18 March 2016 Belgium Brussels, Belgium[226]
2016 Balkans terrorism plot 4–16 November 2016  Kosovo,  Macedonia,  Albania
2017 St. Petersburg raid 13–14 December 2017 Russia Saint Petersburg, Russia[227]

See also[]


  1. This corresponds to the reports released in 2007–2011, 2012–2015, and 2016 and onwards, respectively. The year in the TE-SAT title is the year it was released, which is the year after the year the events it deals with occurred.
  2. failed, foiled, and completed
  3. not including attackers


  1. "EU Terrorism Situation & Trend Report (Te-Sat)" (in en). 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 "European Union Terrorism Situation and Trend report (TE-SAT) 2020" (in en). pp. 33, 35–36. 
  3. Emmanuel Guerisoli. "The New-Old Terror Wave in Europe". Public Seminar. 13 September 2017. Quote: "Europe is currently in a new expansionist phase of this latest cycle of terror. [...] The Brussels Jewish Museum attack in May 2014 is the first incident of this new expansive phase".
  4. Maria do Céu Pinto Arena. Islamic Terrorism in the West and International Migrations: The 'Far' or 'Near' Enemy Within?. Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, May 2017. p.15.
  5. "Deaths from terrorism in Europe have spiked since 2014". The Irish Times. 16 June 2017.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Petter Nesser, Anne Stenersen and Emilie Oftedal. "Jihadi Terrorism in Europe: The IS-Effect". Perspectives on Terrorism, volume 10, issue 6. December 2016. pp.3–4
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Seamus Hughes. "Allies Under Attack: The Terrorist Threat to Europe". Program on Extremism – George Washington University. 27 June 2017.
  8. Maria do Céu Pinto Arena. Islamic Terrorism in the West and International Migrations: The 'Far' or 'Near' Enemy Within?. Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, May 2017. pp.15, 20
  9. "Vurdering af terrortruslen mod Danmark". Danish Security and Intelligence Service. January 2018. p. 5. "Gerningsmændene til angreb i Europa har i mange tilfælde været kendt af sikkerhedsmyndighederne i forvejen for at nære sympati for militant islamisme. Der har også været tilfælde, hvor personer gennemgik en meget hurtig radikalisering eller har haft psykiske eller andre personlige problemer. Siden efteråret 2015 har en række personer indrejst med flygtningestrømmen været involveret i angreb, herunder afviste asylansøgere." 
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report (TE-SAT) 2015. Europol. 2015. 18–19. ISBN 978-92-95200-56-2. 
  11. Petter Nesser, Anne Stenersen and Emilie Oftedal. "Jihadi Terrorism in Europe: The IS-Effect". Perspectives on Terrorism, volume 10, issue 6. December 2016. pp.12–13
  12. "EU Terrorism Situation & Trend Report (Te-Sat)". Europol. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 Lorenzo, Vidino (2017). Fear thy neighbor : radicalization and jihadist attacks in the West. Marone, Francesco,, Entenmann, Eva,, International Centre for Counter-Terrorism,, George Washington University. Program on Extremism,, Istituto per gli studi di politica internazionale (Milan, Italy) (First ed.). Milano, Italy. pp. 21, 34–35. ISBN 9788867056217. OCLC 990195278. 
  14. Hussey, Andrew (30 July 2016). "France church attack: Even if you are not a Catholic, this feels like a new and deeper wound". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 August 2016. 
  15. 15.00 15.01 15.02 15.03 15.04 15.05 15.06 15.07 15.08 15.09 15.10 15.11 15.12 15.13 15.14 15.15 15.16 15.17 15.18 15.19 15.20 15.21 15.22 15.23 15.24 15.25 15.26 15.27 15.28 15.29 15.30 15.31 15.32 EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report (TE-SAT) 2017. Europol. 2017. 6, 22–28, 33–35, 52. ISBN 978-92-95200-79-1. 
  16. "Religiösa hatpredikanter styr islamistisk terror i Europa" (in sv). Göteborgs-Posten. "Av de inblandade individerna i terrordåden går det, av polisens och åklagarnas utredningar att döma, att koppla minst två tredjedelar, 44 av 68, till någon eller några religiösa ledare. Det visar rapporter från Europol, amerikanska UD, och analyser i internationella medier. [Of the individuals involved in the terror attacks it is possible, according to the police's and prosecutors' investigations, to link at least two thirds, 44 out of 68, to one or several religious leaders. This is shown by reports from Europol, the American DOS, and analyses in international media.]" 
  17. "El coordinador antiterrorista de la UE: "Lo de Barcelona volverá a pasar, hay 50.000 radicales en Europa"" (in es). ELMUNDO. 
  18. "Qui sont les 15 000 personnes " suivies pour radicalisation " ?" (in fr-FR). Le 
  19. "Huge scale of terror threat revealed: UK home to 23,000 jihadists". The Times. 27 May 2017. 
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 "Barcelona tourist area targeted in deadly vehicle attack". 17 August 2017. 
  21. Archetti, Cristina (2012-10-29). Understanding Terrorism in the Age of Global Media: A Communication Approach. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 103. ISBN 9780230360495. "The London think tank, International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence (ICSR) [...]" 
  22. "Criminal Pasts, Terrorist Futures: European Jihadists and the New Crime-Terror Nexus / ICSR". The International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence. 2016-10-11. 
  23. Storm, Linde. "Dschihadisten als Elitetruppe des Islams. Eine klare Ablehnung dieser Position durch islamische Verbände in Deutschland fehlt / Von Susanne Schröter" (in de-de). 
  24. Nesser, Petter (2018-12-05). "Europe hasn't won the war on terror". 
  25. Stephen Castle (September 2014). "Life in jail for brutal killer of Dutch film-maker Van Gogh". The Independent. 
  26. Roško, Marko; Musladin, Marijana; Kazanský, Rastislav (2019-12-30). "Counter-Terrorism in the United Kingdom: Sustainable Measure or Violation of Human Rights". pp. 608. Digital object identifier:10.9770/jssi.2019.9.2(19). ISSN 2029-7025. "On the 7th of July 2005, London experienced its first Islamic terrorist attack." 
  27. 27.0 27.1 TE-SAT 2008 : EU terrorism situation and trend report. Europol.. The Hague: Europol. 2008. pp. 17–18, 51. ISBN 9789295018730. OCLC 937975895. 
  28. EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report (TE-SAT) 2010. Europol. 2010. 20–21, 51. ISBN 9789295018808. 
  29. "The October 2009 Terrorist Attack in Italy and its Wider Implications". 2009-10-03. 
  30. "Bosnian court jails Islamist for 45 years over bomb attack" (in en). Reuters. 2013-12-20. 
  31. "Haris Čaušević osuđen na 35 godina zatvora" (in bs). 2015-07-15. 
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  33. "Kurt Westergaard udsat for drabsforsøg" (in da-DK). 
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