The last year has seen a marked increase in the number of deaths caused by terrorism in Western Europe. The last spike was in 2004, when the commuter network in Spain was attacked which resulted in Spain withdrawing from the coalition invading Iraq and Afghanistan. Since the end of World War II, Europe has had a fair share of terrorist attacks. Between 1970 and 1994 terrorist attacks in Europe were more commonplace. Organisations such as the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) to Spain’s Basque separatists and other extremist political groups would regularly conduct attacks, resulting in numerous deaths and injuries; some carefully targeted, others more opportunistic. The one thing they had in common was that the ‘terrorist’ would try to remain undiscovered and definitely more alive.
However, now there is one striking difference. The current threat posed by Islamic extremism, be it Al-Qaeda (AQ) or the self styled Islamic State (ISIS) has added a new dimension to terrorism within Europe. One that may have significant consequences to the relative peace that has endured for so long.
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