European Counter Terrorism Challenges Faced By European Essay

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European Counter Terrorism Challenges Faced by European Counterterrorism Efforts in Tackling Transnational Terrorism.

Terrorist activities and violent extremism represents a significant threat to the European Union (EU) member states, which necessitates the need for appropriate measures for curbing the severe extent of such activities. This article briefly highlights the hurdles encountered by EU in implementing the counter terrorism strategies. The core challenge involves major threats from Al-Qaeda groups and individuals, radicalization of violent terrorist activities, the drastic growth of cyber terrorism and the challenges faced by European intelligence agencies pertaining to the cooperation among them.

Challenges Faced by European Counterterrorism Efforts in Tackling Transnational Terrorism

The growing pace of terrorist activities in EU member states compelled them to adopt a wide variety of measures in combating them. The structure of EU counterterrorism policies has changes a great deal after the 9/11 terrorist attack in U.S.. The counterterrorism policy revolves around safeguarding fundamental rights in face of the growing danger of radicalization, as regards both religiously and ideologically motivated terrorism. The following are the core challenges faced by European counterterrorism strategies in dealing with transnational terrorism:

Terrorist Activities by Home Grown Terrorist Groups

Terrorist activities affiliated to Al-Qaeda possess a great diversity in the EU member states. Al- Qaeda-directed groups, home-grown cells inspired by Al-Qaeda and self-radicalized, self-directed lone actors tend to be part of religious attacks occurring in several states. EU counterterrorism strategies widely face challenges from religiously inspired terrorist networks formed by violent individuals returning from jihadist camps abroad. Home-grown Al-Qaeda groups in based in Europe pose a dire threat to EU counterterrorism policies as they continue planning attacks despite the death of prominent Al-Qaeda figures and Osama bin Laden. Violent Jihadist groups residing at the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan interact with EU home grown networks to plan devastating...

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Some religiously inspired elements joined hands with Eastern European OCGs and got indulged in human trafficking and production of forged identity documents, which ultimately posed a major threat to terrorism in Europe (Europol, 2012).
The Challenge of Cyber Terrorism

Internet communication measures provide a safe and inconspicuous means of communicating information among the terrorist and violent extremist activities. They tend to be a major threat in promoting propaganda efforts of terrorist groups. The rise of cyber terrorism due to extensive use of criminal tools like botnets, crimeware tool kits, coding activities, phishing of emails and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS attacks) pose a dire threat to counterterrorism efforts in Europe. All these cyber-criminal tools breakdown entire computer networks, saturate servers and websites, until all of them cease to function properly. This involves the challenging feature of identifying the true cause of the attack, which gets quite difficult due to the breakdown of the entire network. Thus the counterterrorism activities are required to be focused on enforcing proper laws and regulations as a holistic response towards these electronic attacks (Europol, 2012).

Threats faced by European Intelligence Agencies

Intelligence and intelligence cooperation plays a pivotal role in the securitization process at the national and European level. The threats of international terrorism necessitate the need for cooperation among the European intelligence agencies. Information sharing and pooling of expertise among European intelligence agencies caters with an effective way of dealing with terrorist activities. Europol and SitCen are the two major European agencies which are involved in counter terrorism activities. However, they suffer a great deal from the ingrained resistance towards the centralization of cooperation of European Intelligence Agencies. The core drawback lies in the fact that the Europol is not playing a coordinating role comparable to the U.S. department of Homeland Security. The efficiency of Europol is limited by the unwillingness of national agencies…

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