The war against terrorism is a war with no victors. The United States has shown that even the world’s most powerful country is susceptible to terrorism, but the issue has started to spread. Europe has become the focal point of terrorism this year, and many people believe it’s becoming the melting point of global stability.
The stage for terrorism was set in May 2014 when a French fighter claiming to support ISIS opened fire in a Jewish Museum in Brussels. This led to several other attacks including attacks in Paris and London.
Terrorism in Europe is on the rise, and it’s no secret as to the key issues.
1. Europe is a Recruitment Base for Terrorism Groups
Terrorism groups are making Europe their base for recruitment. Belgium is a prime example as 400 people from the country left in a three-year period to go to Iraq and Syria to join ISIS. France had 1,200 people flee to join ISIS and their jihadist cause.
Both countries have cities that are a breeding ground for Islamic terror groups. Banlieues in Paris and Molenbeek in Brussels are home to many foreign fighters that eventually return home from Syria and Iraq to begin the recruitment process.
Recruitment bases allow ISIS and other terrorism groups to be able to recruit residents and carry out attacks in Europe.
2. The Refugee Crisis
The refugee crisis is one that is interesting. People from Syria and war-torn countries have fled to Europe who has welcomed many refugees and their families. The problem is that terrorists have mixed in with the people that actually need help to gain a foothold in Europe.
Estimates point to 1.1 million migrants entering Europe in 2015 – that’s a lot of people.
The number of refugees has not slowed in 2016. ISIS has used the refugee crisis to their advantage, too. Some countries, namely Bulgaria and Poland, have stated that they’ll only accept Christian refugees which has been used as rhetoric by extremist groups to take revenge on these countries.
3. Political Unity in Europe has Been Divided
It’s no secret that political unity among members of the European Union has been divided as a result of the migrant crisis. Angela Merkel, German Chancellor, made an agreement with Turkey that has fractured the unity of the EU.
Merkel made a deal that gave Turkish citizens visa-free travel in Europe.
Members of the EU were fearful that such an agreement with a Muslim country would allow for too much freedom within the EU.
Events reached a boiling point following the attacks in Paris in November 2015. The attacks caused many countries to slow the number of refugees entering their country. France introduced border controls which caused the slow of travel into the country as a whole.
A divided European Union is not stronger.
4. The Future of the European Union is in Question
Brexit has led to the question of the future of the European Union. Other countries have questioned if they should leave the EU, too. Sweden and Spain are two major countries that have considered leaving.
The countries as a single entity will have a harder time handling terrorism.