UK centre of Islamist terror in Europe: Europol

Economic times 

LONDON: Britain has emerged  as the focal point of Islamist terror in Europe, according to Europol, the European police force. A report on terrorism by Europol has claimed that the UK reported a 30 per cent increase in arrest of terror suspects last year.

Out of 203 persons arrested in 2007 in the UK, a majority were related to Islamist terrorism. In contrast, 201 were detained in the rest of Europe. French police made 91 arrests.

The number of suspects under investigation in Britain has risen from 500 in 2004 to 2,000 last year.

What is worrying is that the number of arrests involved young, radicalised British muslims, sparking fears that the threat of an attack is growing.

The terrorist plots also linked to groups in Pakistan. The report comes following disclosure last week that 15 plots to attack British targets have been foiled in three years since the London bombings in which 56 people died and over 700 were injured.

At the time of their arrest, all Islamist terrorism suspects were between 17 and 72 years of age. The average age was 35 years, with two-thirds of the arrested being between 23 and 43 years of age.

Over the last five years, much of the command, control and inspiration for planning attacks came from Al Qaeda's remaining core leadership in the tribal areas of Pakistan, the report said.

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