EU ‘Road Map’ to Stop European Jihadists

Written by | Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

European ministers have developed a “road map” to deal with the mounting problem of European jihadists returning home from numerous Muslim countries. Ministers of Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden agreed on a number of measures to mitigate the consequences and side effects of the growing security threat posed by such jihadists. The details of the action plan, however, remain veiled by confidentiality. Gilles de Kerchove, EU counter-terrorism coordinator, says that the technicalities will be presented to other EU countries at the upcoming meeting of interior ministers to take place later in October. In his opinion, the latest developments in Iraq increase pressures on the EU to act swiftly. He added that the potential establishment of the Islamic republic or a pan-Islamic state could easily attract many would-be European jihadists. Brussels warned already earlier this year that the number of young European Muslims willing to fight and join extremists groups across the Muslim world is dangerously on rise. European jihadists most commonly fight in Syria, Somalia, and Sudan with Iraq being their next potential destination.
The fear is that the jihadists coming back to Europe will be more radicalized and militarized, well trained in using weapons, guerrilla tactics and thus posing security risks. This worry was substantiated by the recent attack at the Jewish museum in Brussels, which was allegedly committed by such a home-returning jihadist. The new plan to prevent similar and potentially more severe consequences of the return of Europe’s young jihadists aims to identify those who have already signed up to fight alongside extremists across the Muslim world and alert other EU countries. Thus, it will be more difficult for the suspects to leave the EU and easier for authorities to track them on their return. Moreover, the new road map should also enhance the exchange of information through the Schengen Information System (SIS) with non-Schengen countries like Great Britain.

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