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The early release of hundreds of radicalized detainees is a serious threat to Europe

By jolienvandegriendt (Prison 15H, France) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

We cannot deny that a few dozen terrorists have taken advantage of the large migration flows to enter the european territory. However, it is a small part of the overall picture. Indeed, the terrorist threat is already for several years on our soil. Security and intelligence services have identified thousands of individuals closely linked with the terrorist networks or at least sharing their ideology. This is particularly the case in France, the UK, Belgium and Germany. Yet, the tracking and monitoring of these people is an extremely difficult task for security services that are already oveburdened. Attacks conducted by jihadist groups doubled in Europe in 2017 (Fig. Europol). But the worst may be yet to come. In the next few months, hundreds of other individuals linked to radical islamist terrorism will be released from prison. They have served their sentences. For the most part, these people are determined to continue their fight, with a specific objective: the destabilization of the societies in which they live. Two types of measures need to be supported. First, the judicial authorities must urgently adapt to the changing nature of the terrorist threat. And we need tougher penalties for the perpetrators of terrorist acts and their accomplices. Then we must formally remind States of their obligations to readmit their nationals. And that should seem obvious if these persons are involved in terrorism. There is no time to waste if we are to be able to effectively fight against a serious direct threat to the whole of Europe.

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