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  Terror in Europe

  48 Debates

Two Swedish football fans were shot dead by a suspected radical Islamist attacker in Brussels on Monday. The perpetrator fled from the scene but was later shot dead by police. According to the Belgian authorities, he was a rejected asylum seeker who had been in the country illegally since 2020. In a video released shortly after the attack, the perpetrator declared his allegiance to the Islamic State. Europe's press is appalled.

In the wake of several Koran burnings in Stockholm, angry protests have broken out in Muslim-majority countries. The terrorist organisation Al-Qaeda has now called for attacks on Sweden, which raised its terror threat level to high yesterday. Commentators are at odds over the measure.

Nearly six years after the terrorist attacks of November 2015 in which more than 130 people were killed, the trial of the suspected attackers began in Paris on Wednesday. The hearings will be recorded on video and made public. Commentators praise the legal process yet are concerned that other things have been overlooked.

Norway is commemorating the victims of the attack on 22 July 2011 today. The right-wing extremist Anders Breivik killed eight people with a car bomb in the government district of Oslo and then shot 69 people on the island of Utøya, most of them youths at a Norwegian Labour Party Youth summer camp. Breivik was sentenced in 2012 to 21 years in prison followed by preventive detention.

Several events were held in Brussels on Monday to commemorate the victims of the terrorist attacks of 22 March 2016. The suicide bombings at Brussels airport and the Maelbeek metro station, which IS admitted to carrying out, killed 32 people and injured 340. The trials of the suspects who survived are scheduled to begin in September.

Fourteen defendants have been sentenced in the trial over the 2015 attacks on the editorial offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket in Paris. The main defendant has been given a 30-year jail sentence. He is deemed to have been the right-hand man of one of the three attackers shot dead by security forces. Almost six years on, can France put the attacks behind it?

Following the terrorist attack in Halle the suspected perpetrator is in police custody. On Wednesday he shot dead a woman passing by and a man in a kebab shop after failing to force his way into the nearby synagogue where the Yom Kippur festival was being celebrated. Commentators discuss the reasons for the attack and formulate the conclusions that should be drawn by politicians.

A long-time employee at the police headquarters in Paris killed four colleagues on Thursday before he was shot and killed by a police officer. The murderer had become radicalised since converting to Islam ten years ago, according to investigators. He had been in contact with Salafists but continued to work as an IT specialist in the police's counter-terrorism division. Commentators are dumbfounded.

Syrian Kurds transferred almost 30 children of former IS fighters to France and the Netherlands last week. Commentators in several European countries discuss whether the children of dead or imprisoned IS fighters should be repatriated to their parents' homeland.

After US President Trump demanded on Twitter that Europe take back roughly 800 European citizens who fought with the IS terrorist organisation, the debate about allowing the return of jihadists is in full swing. The UK has withdrawn the citizenship of 19-year-old IS supporter Shamima Begum. Tensions are running high on the issue.

After the fatal attack on a Christmas market in Strasbourg in which two people were killed and several more wounded, investigators continue to search for the chief suspect, a 29-year-old who had previously been identified as a threat to public safety. The investigators suspect it was a terrorist attack driven by Islamist motives. What repercussions will it have for the already divided country?

Ten days after the attack in Barcelona around half a million people have demonstrated against terror and violence and for solidarity. A number of people in the crowds could be heard booing King Felipe and Prime Minister Rajoy, who also attended the demonstration - provoking the ire of some commentators. Others, however, praise the Spaniards' show of unity.

After a knife attack in the Finnish city of Turku in which two women were killed and six other people injured, investigators are working on the assumption that the motive was terrorism. Now a majority of the parties are calling for the national intelligence service's powers to be rapidly expanded. Does a new intelligence service law make sense?

After the terrorist attacks in Catalonia that left 15 people dead, security services have shot the prime suspect. Both Spain and Finland, where another attacker killed two people on Friday, are still reeling from the shock. Europe's media have very different answers to the question of how to deal with terror and whether it can be prevented at all.

After last week's attack in Barcelona which left 13 dead and roughly 120 wounded, the police have shot several suspected terrorists and arrested others, while still others are on the run. Commentators look into the background of the terror and suggest measures for preventing such attacks in the future.

An attack at Brussels Central Station failed on Tuesday evening. A man set off a bomb but the explosion was so weak that no one was hurt. The suspect, said to come from the Molenbeek district, was shot dead by security forces. The incident is further proof of how difficult it is to fight terror, Belgium's press comments.

After the third attack in the UK within three months, Prime Minister May has announced a hard line against radical Islam and new laws on Internet surveillance. Coming two days before the early elections, the action plan fails to convince the press.

Just two and a half weeks before the parliamentary elections Britain has been rocked by the attack in Manchester. Campaign appearances have been cancelled while Prime Minister Theresa May and her rival Jeremy Corbyn have refrained from drawing any political conclusions about the attack. Commentators disagree about whether the decision to temporarily suspend the campaign was right.

Thousands of people demonstrated to show solidarity with the victims of Friday's truck attack on Sunday in Stockholm. The police are searching for accomplices of the suspect - an Uzbek asylum seeker who had evaded attempts to deport him. Sweden needs tighter security measures, some media outlets demand. For others, the limited scale of the attack is proof of how successful counterterrorism measures already are.

Following the attack on a nightclub in Istanbul many see Turkey's pluralist society under pressure. President Erdoğan warned in a speech about divisions in the country and promised that all citizens would retain their personal freedom. Meanwhile, hateful comments have appeared on the web criticising victims of the attack for their lifestyle. Commentators warn that the rifts in Turkish society must not be allowed to deepen.

The hunt for the perpetrator of the attack on a nightclub in Istanbul continues. The Turkish police have released a photo of the man suspected of killing 39 people on New Year's Eve. IS has claimed responsibility for the attack. Commentators see not just Erdoğan's Syria policy but also the wave of arrests in the aftermath of the failed coup as causes for the terrorism in Turkey.

Brussels in the spring, Nice on the French national day, Berlin shortly before Christmas, and Turkey repeatedly: in 2016 bloody attacks shook many people in Europe leaving feelings of sorrow, powerlessness and fear in their wake. How has terrorism changed the continent and why are politicians and society apparently able to do so little to counter it?

Police across Europe are searching for a Tunisian man suspected of driving a lorry into a crowded Christmas market in Berlin on Monday night. The man was known to German security agencies as an Islamist and "dangerous individual". While some journalists call for a tougher stance on Islamists, others see tolerance and openness as the only effective way of countering terrorism.

France's highest administrative court, the Council of State, has suspended the burkini ban, declaring it illegal in a ruling that sets a precedent for the entire country. Around 30 French towns and cities had banned the full-body swimsuit on their beaches. Commentators praise the court's decision.

At least 51 people died in a suicide bombing at a Kurdish wedding in the south-eastern Turkish city of Gaziantep on Saturday night. The Turkish government suspects the IS was behind the attack, which according to preliminary investigation results was carried out by a boy aged between 12 and 14 years. Pinning the blame on a child is too simple, commentators write and argue that the government also bears part of the responsibility for the attack.

Two men forced their way into a church in Normandy last week and killed a priest celebrating mass there. The IS has claimed responsibility. The attack prompts the press to discuss the potential threat of religious war in Europe.

After the most recent terrorist attacks in France and Germany the debate about how to combat the IS continues apace. Commentators focus on the radicalisation of Muslim youths and discuss how it can be prevented.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel made it clear at a press conference that she will stick to her open-door refugee policy. In response to the attacks of the last two weeks she presented a nine-point plan against terror. Some commentators praise Merkel's stance as courageous and reassuring. Others criticise her obvious lack of a plan.

News coverage of the recent wave of attacks in Europe and the US has been tainted by rumour and speculation. Following one another in such rapid succession, the events have left the media with too little time for proper research and reflection, some commentators complain. Others worry that news items are being played down or even censored for political reasons.

France's security forces and politicians are under fire after the Nice attack in which a lorry drove into a crowd killing 84 people. What lessons must the country learn from the attack?

A Syrian man blew himself up and injured 15 others outside a music festival in Ansbach on Sunday. The authorities suspect the blast was Islamist motivated. After the axe attack in a regional train and the killing spree in Munich this latest attack has only compounded the state of shock in Germany. Commentators ask what impact all this will have on the country's attitude to refugees.

Three suicide bombers killed more than 40 people at Istanbul's Ataturk airport on Tuesday evening. The Turkish authorities blame the IS for the attack. What goals are the jihadists pursuing with their terrorist attacks in Turkey?

At least eleven people were killed on Tuesday in the third major terrorist attack to hit Istanbul within the last six months. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has blamed the PKK for the bombing but ultimately it is he who is responsible for the wave of terror in Turkey, commentators point out.

There are increasing indications that IS fighters are behind the suicide bomb attack in Suruç, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said on Tuesday. Ankara must finally join forces with the Kurds against the IS, some commentators urge. Others praise the AKP government's efforts against IS terror.

A day after the fatal hostage taking in Istanbul, armed assailants attacked the city's police headquarters on Wednesday. One attacker was killed, while her accomplice gave himself up. Some commentators put the blame for the supposed far-left terrorism on President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his authoritarian style of governing. For others it's less clear just who pulled the strings behind the attacks.

At least ten people, most of them tourists, died in a suicide attack near Istanbul's Hagia Sophia museum on Tuesday. The Turkish government has blamed the IS for the bombing. Europe's press discusses the causes and potential consequences of the attack.

Turkish investigators are working on the assumption that the Ankara attack was carried out by two suicide bombers belonging to the terrorist Islamic State organisation, Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said on Monday. No one should be surprised at the presence of jihadists in Turkey, some commentators write. Others fear more acts of violence before the election on the basis that they could help the ruling AKP to win.

Terrorists have targeted Turkey for the second time within a few days: a suicide bomber killed himself and at least four others when he set off a bomb in a pedestrian zone in Istanbul on Saturday. According to Ankara he was an IS supporter. How can the situation in Turkey be defused?

In the aftermath of the Paris and Brussels attacks commentators examine the so-called problem neighbourhoods inhabited by socially marginalised people with a migrant background. What is going wrong in neighbourhoods like Molenbeek where terrorists were able to plan their attacks without security services getting wind of them?

A series of attacks in Brussels at the end of March left at least 34 people dead and 230 injured. The IS terrorist organisation has assumed responsibility for the attacks at Brussels Airport and in a metro station. A majority of commentators call for a calm response to the attacks and stress that terrorism must be fought at its root.

After the Brussels attacks Europe's politicians and security experts are discussing how to respond to the terrorist threat. The exchange of information among EU member states must finally be improved, some commentators urge. Others fear that the data could end up in the wrong hands.

In view of the tougher security measures in Europe after the Paris terror attacks, the press asks how much freedom states can sacrifice in the name of security? While some commentators warn against tighter controls, others see people's fear of surveillance as a joke.

The investigations are in full swing following the terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday. France's air force has launched large-scale attacks on Islamic State targets in Syria, where according to government sources the attacks were planned. Increased surveillance and far more resolute military intervention are called for, some commentators write. Others doubt that radical Islamist ideology can be defeated by a war.

Public life has ground to a halt in Brussels after the city was put on the highest terror alert on Saturday. Sixteen people were arrested in raids on Sunday night. The Belgian government is doing the right thing by taking no chances, some commentators write. Others lament that the terrorists have achieved their goal of spreading a climate of fear and panic.

Special units have arrested several suspects in the course of large-scale raids in the Brussels district of Molenbeek. A trail left by the Paris attackers leads to this neighbourhood which is considered a hub for Islamists. Some commentators call for a clampdown on milieus that turn young people into killing machines. Others call on Muslims to do more to distance themselves from radical ideologies.

One week after the attack on Charlie Hebdo, the new issue of the satirical weekly came out today, Wednesday, with a record run of three million copies. Some commentators praise the editors for defending freedom while sending a message of reconciliation. Others feel the magazine again failed to show due respect.

Twelve people were killed on Wednesday in Paris in a terrorist attack on the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. Four more are in critical condition. The attack, which is presumed to have Islamist motives, will fuel hatred against European Muslims, some commentators fear. Others urge Europe to maintain a critical - and satirical - view of Islam.