According to an annual report published by Europol, the three main countries that have served as transit countries in 2015 for European-born Islamists are Greece, Turkey and Italy.
It comes as no surprise to most as these countries are centrally located for migrants to travel through as entry points to western Europe. The Europol report found evidence that the European-born Islamists were using the three countries as re-entry points into Europe from Syria and Iraq.
This report comes at a time where Europe is re-examining its status quo on security and the ability to curtail lone-wolf attacks in all of the European countries.
With some 5,000 suspected European citizens having traveled to both Syria and Iraq in order to participate in the Jihad, the easiest route back into Europe for these trained terrorists is via Turkey and entering through the southern European countries of Greece and Italy, as they blend in with migrants seeking asylum in efforts to escape the war-torn region, the report concluded.
Europol has released statistics in their report that demonstrates the new peak of terrorist attacks in the EU in 2015.
They state that since June 2014 when the “Caliphate” was officially declared by the Jihadists, until the end of last year, in December of 2015, the so-called “Islamic State” has launched and inspired 50 attacks in 18 different countries.
The attacks are responsible for 1,100 people being killed and 1,700 injured.
Interestingly, most of the attacks did not take place in Europe, rather they took place in the Middle East and Northern Africa.
This doesn’t calm the fears of the West as the EU had a traumatizing year filled with what seemed like ongoing terrorist attacks. The fact remains that there are fragments of societies in Europe that have been radicalized and trained in Syria or Iraq before returning to Europe to lie in wait before attacking.
In its report Europol pointed out that in the Netherlands alone it is estimated that some 40 percent of Islamic State terrorists are known to be women.