Tuesday, 1 Dec 2020 - 15 of Kislev, 5781

The fight against the new wave of Islamist terrorism high on the EU agenda

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The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, who said Europe must fight extremist ideologies, has called for the creation of a European institute to train imams in fight radicalization, curb hate speech and prevent terrorism.

Such a school, he said, could help “to fight against extremist ideologies, violent extremism, messages of hatred, messages of rejection that feed these terrorist actions.”

Radical Islamists who carried out the attacks came to Europe as migrants.

Following last month’s terror attacks in Paris, Nice and Vienna, carried out by radical Islamists who came to Europe as migrants, the EU has put the fight against terrorism high on its agenda. An action plan against terrorism is expected to be presented on 9 December.

In the meantime, EU Interior Minister, who met last week, agreed to reinforce external borders and pledged to work towards the faster removal of terrorist content from social media networks.

In a joint statement issued on the fifth anniversary of the November 13 attacks in France, ministers said. pledged to work towards the faster removal of terrorist content from social media networks.

They agreed to finalize negotiations on regulations for removing terrorist content by the end of the year.

“The aim is to enable issuing removal orders with cross-border effect to create a new and rapid and effective instrument to counter terrorist content online within an hour or less of its being reported, while maintaining effective safeguards for the protection of fundamental rights,” the ministers said.

“We want to strengthen and further develop options for security measures within the Schengen area as well as instruments for cross-border law enforcement cooperation.”

The President of the EU Council, Charles Michel, who said Europe must fight extremist ideologies, has called for the creation of a European institute to train imams in fight radicalization, curb hate speech and prevent terrorism.

Michel said he believes a school for imams could help “to fight against extremist ideologies, violent extremism, messages of hatred, messages of rejection that feed these terrorist actions.”

He also demanded that the EU crack down on opaque foreign funding for religious organizations “that stir up hatred, disseminate problematic content, in particular Salafist content.’’

‘’There are two battles that must be fought,’’ said Michel. ‘’A battle of values, to defend and promote our freedoms: freedom of thought, freedom to believe or not to believe, freedom to practice religion with tolerance and respect for European values. And a merciless operational battle against violent extremism, whether Islamist or otherwise.’’

‘’We must also provide a better grounding in values. Particularly among young people with a migrant background and new arrivals. And when the limits of that fundamental work are reached, we must be better able to prevent radicalization,’’ he added.

”We have seen the issue of migrants raising in the field of terrorism since 2015 because of the Paris terror attacks,’’ stresses Jean-Charles Brisard, an expert of counter-terrorism who chairs the Center for the Analysis of Terrorism, a Paris-based European think-tank.

”In 2015, most of the attackers who carried out the November 2015 attacks entered Europe from Syria to Turkey and then to the migrants routes in Europe. They basically used this way to enter Europe and carry out the attacks,’’ Brisard notes.

‘’Five years later, we are still questioning the effectiveness of the border controls in the Schnengen area. This issue is still unresolved.’’ ‘’The question of reinforcing the control at EU’s external borders is also still pending as Frontex, the EU agency responsible for controlling the external borders, still needs to get more agents,’’ says Brisard.

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