The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the world-leading security organisation has warned the spectre of terrorism will continue to haunt Europe for many years to come against an increase in radicalisation in European nations.
Speaking with Austrian foreign minister at the Vienna launch of the new OCSE report Friday, academic Peter Neumann said the threat of terror “will continue to occupy us for many, many years,” as he warned of the enduring danger of hardened militants returning to Europe from the Islamic State.
Stating the trend for the coming years suggested more low-tech, easy to execute but difficult to stop attacks, Neumann said while defeating the Islamic State was an important goal it wouldn’t immediately solve the security situation as other groups would rise to take its place.
The report itself also revealed startling new figures on the extent of terror attacks in the past year. Taking in all attacks by extremists across the 57 nations that make up the OCSE area — broadly Europe, North Africa, and Russia — the body stated there had been 1,000 extremist related deaths in 2016 and “destroyed billions of Euros worth of property and infrastructure”.
Making clear how widespread a problem such attacks had become, the report stated: “There is practically no country in the OSCE that has not been affected by violent extremism.”
Hitting out at the often half-hearted approach of European governments toward fighting the causes of terrorism, which can be hobbled by concerns of racism, cultural insensitivity, and political correctness the report called for “participating states to be genuine — and forceful.”
Making clear that the work needed to defeat terrorism wouldn’t necessarily be easy, the report stated nations would have to be committed, “even if it means having to change course or re-examine their own policies and actions.”
While the report cites the many attacks and incidents in OSCE countries in 2016, it comes as Europe has experienced a major year of terror attacks in 2017 including the Manchester Arena bombing, the London Bridge attack, and the Barcelona attack.