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Not a game; Barcelona welcomes migrants

Europol warns: 300 jihadist victims and counting

Europol chief Robert Wainwright warned on Twitter that terrorism was currently the "highest threat in Europe for a generation".

Published: August 21, 2017, 12:44 pm

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    And the latest terror attacks in Barcelona, Finland, and Russia were not acts of “right-wing” terrorism. Chances that Charlottesville driver, James Alex Fields would face a federal terrorism charge in the US is almost non-existent anyway, as US federal law doesn’t explicitly provide a domestic terrorism charge for acts not linked to Islam.

    The Barcelona terror cell had intended to commit a deadly dual vehicle-borne IED (VBIED) attack, but an explosion Wednesday at the safe house where they were building the bombs, had forced them to drop their initial plans.

    According to the Spanish interior ministry, more than 180 “jihadist terrorists” have been arrested since June 2015 when Spain raised the terror alert level to four out of a maximum of five, Yahoo News reported.

    London Bridge attacker Khuram Butt had previously been filmed for a TV documentary praying to an Islamist flag in a park, but Max Hill, the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation in Britain, told The Independent that potential jihadis can be stopped with existing “general” laws.

    Britain should consider abolishing all anti-terror laws as they are “unnecessary” in the fight against extremists. Hill is tasked with reviewing Britain’s terrorism legislation.

    The van used in the London Bridge attacks in June, was smaller, because the jihadists had unsuccessfully attempted to hire a 7.5-tonne vehicle. The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA), which handles about 75 percent of vehicle hires in the UK, are keenly aware of the risks, they say, but legal compliance and privacy issues hinder better checks.

    After several terrorists launched attacks in the UK and Europe, it was revealed that the jihadists in the Barcelona and foiled Cambrils attacks, were immigrants too who had links to criminal gangs before being radicalised.

    Right after the Europol chief’s warning, a jihadist in Turku, Finland, killed two people.

    “The most worrying thing is the radical Islamist networks that have been born in Finland in recent years and are constantly being strengthened. One can even talk about the ‘jihadist underworld’ born in Finland. These networks have links to all major terrorist organisations,” says Jyri Rantala, communications manager at SUPO’s risk assessment.

    According to an official risk assessment by SUPO, Finland’s security agency, “the threat of individual terrorist acts has also increased in Finland”. It could include single people or small groups. Finland is no longer safe, it says.

    No terrorist organisation has identified Finland as a strategic target, but Finland’s reputation in the radical Islamist circles has increased and there are many references to Finland, for example, in the propaganda of ISIS. It has also recently been published in Finnish.

    “All in all, the factors that have previously protected Finland have imploded or is imploding,” says Rantala.

    A petition to the White House to formally classify Antifa as a terrorist organisation meanwhile, hit the required 100 000 signatures, calling on the US government to formally list the leftist extremist movement, Antifa, as a terrorist organisation.

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