Post-«Caliphate». Terror Threats in Europe

Novikova O.N.


After the military defeat of the Islamic State, its branches and grassroots supporters attempt to conduct operations beyond Syria and Iraq. Al Qaeda, for its part, is resilient and remains a serious threat to the European countries, especially to their interests overseas. Massive counterterrorism operations in Europe curbed large-scale attacks but suicide bombings and armed assaults against soft, civilian targets, inspired or organized by IS are likely to continue. The terrorists changed the tactics. Now they use knives, small arms, rudimentary improvised explosive devices, trucks to kill pedestrians. The IS also drew in foreign fighters, including some from Europe and they will still pose a significant threat on the continent. Alarmingly large number of citizens and residents of the European states have traveled to Syria and Iraq. Later there has been a wave of return of the foreign fighters, some disillusioned, others – with plans to carry out attacks in Europe. The article draws our attention to the policy approaches of France, Germany and Great Britain towards returnees from Syria and Iraq. It is specially noted, that the potential threat posed by returning FFs should not be overly exaggerated. The returning FFs has encouraged a reactive securitization of the problem. It is reported in the article that the IS possesses an ideology that still has followers and inspired individuals in Europe. The development of technology will likely help terrorists to distribute propaganda, raise funds, recruit new members, conduct disinformation campaigns, plan and orchestrate attacks. Lone-wolf terrorists are likely to continue perpetrating sporadic attacks. It is shown in the article that transnational diaspora communities ambiguously affect the affiliated terrorists. The article goes on to say that that terrorist attacks in Europe were inspired by military campaigns abroad, led by the European states.


IS; foreign fighters; transnational diaspora communities; lone-wolf terrorists; returnees.

DOI: 10.31249/rsm/2020.03.09

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