Europol: 1% of 2014 European Terrorism by Muslims

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

The Europol* report on European terrorism for 2014 would obviously look different for the horrible year of 2015. So too was 2011 an outlier, when far right wing Islamophobe Anders Breivik killed 77 Norwegian leftists for being soft on Islam.

But it is worthwhile considering it, since you can’t judge trends on any one year, and 2014 was more typical of the past decade than 2015.

503,000,000: Population of European Union

28: number of European Union states

201: Number of terrorist attacks carried out in the European Union in 2014.

4: Number of persons killed in EU terrorism that year.

109: Number of attacks in Britain in 2014.

67: Number of terrorist attacks carried out by ethno-nationalist or separatist groups (e.g. Basque ETA, Real IRA, Corsicans, etc.)

12: Attacks by left-wing and anarchist groups

117: Single-issue or unspecified attacks

2: Number of religiously-inspired (i.e. jihadi) attacks in EU, 2014.

34: Number of arrests of extremist right wing persons for harassment of Jews, Muslims, etc. (not classified as “attacks”)


774; Number individuals arrested in the EU for terrorism related offences

444: Court proceedings for terrorism charges concluded against 444 persons

The fact is that there isn’t much terrorism in Europe for its enormous population (it is much larger than the United States). I figure about 5,500 murders a year in the EU, the equivalent of 3,400 a year in the United States given the EU population is 1.6 times that of the USA. The US rate is more like 13,000, or nearly 4 times the European rate. In any case, only 4 out of the 5,500 were killed for terrorist political motives in 2014 (though we must recognize that all life is precious and this was horrible for the relatives of the 4). In 2015 unfortunately the 4 will have become a couple hundred.

The point is that for all their artificially contrived drama, terrorist attacks are a small part of deadly violence and the number of attacks launched by far rightwing Muslim groups has been a small proportion of the whole over the past decade. We don’t know if 2015 is a turning point or an anomaly. A dispassionate review of statistics is difficult in emotional times, but necessary if we aren’t to be overwhelmed by stereotypes and media sensationalism, such that we lose our sense of proportion.


*The initial version of this posting had ‘Interpol’; it should have been ‘Europol’. The Europol website notes: “Interpol and Europol are structured differently and therefore provide different possibilities for international law enforcement co–operation. Interpol is a network of police agencies in countries worldwide, whereas Europol mainly supports the EU Member States.”

Related video:

Channel 4: Dr Sarandev Bhambra: neo-nazi attack was terrorism

3 Responses

  1. Here in the US, the primary source of terrorism is right-wing “Christian” groups: they murder doctors and bomb medical clinics, they burn crosses and attack black people for being black, they attack Hispanic people for being Hispanic, they murder groups of women for being women. Several have officially stated their intention to create a “Christian dominion” by overthrowing the US government — they want to be the Christian version of Daesh / ISIS.

    Yet the media coddles these terrorist groups while spreading hysteria about Muslims.

  2. Soooo…. Rod. Let’s unpack your liberal worehithal statement. Are we to assume the one percent Islamic extremist barbarism carries more weight than the mayhem and barbarism conducted by the remaining ninety-nine percenters? If so, then proportionality to profile places you on the wrong side of history. Liberal thought begets objective opinion not subjective diatribe. Mend your opinion or change your stripe.

Comments are closed.