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Terrorism in Europe - Statistics & Facts

In 2021, the number of terrorist attacks in the European Union fell to 15, the fewest number of attacks in years. As a consequence of this, the number of terrorist fatalities in Europe was just two in 2021. France had the highest number of terrorist attacks in Europe in 2021, at five, compared with three in Germany, and two in Sweden. To put this in a global context, the country with the most terrorist attacks, Afghanistan, suffered 1,722 attacks in 2020, followed by Syria which had 1,332. Overall, there were estimated to have been around 10,172 terrorist attacks across the world resulting in over 29,289 deaths in 2020.

Terrorism wave of the mid 2010s

In terms of fatalities, four of the ten worst terrorist attacks in Europe since 1980 took place between 2015 and 2017. The worst of these were the November Attacks in Paris in 2015, where gunmen directed by ISIS murdered 130 people at various sites throughout the French capital. This single attack had a higher death toll than the overall number of terrorist fatalities in the whole of Europe between 2010 and 2014. The Paris attacks were followed by various other atrocities in Europe that were inspired by ISIS, with the deadliest examples being Nice and Brussels in 2016, followed by the Manchester Arena bombing in 2017. The attack in Nice in particular highlighted the danger of vehicle attacks to European societies, in that they required little planning, few resources and were often undertaken by a single attacker, or lone-wolf.

Counterterrorism in Europe

The main body responsible for combatting terrorism across Europe is Europol, which has seen both it's budget, and manpower increase significantly to meet the challenge poised by recent waves of terrorism. Europol's budget reached over 193.41 million Euros in 2021, and it's workforce of almost 1,432 is almost double what it was ten years ago. Increasing counterterrorist efforts can also be seen in the number of arrests made for terrorist offences, which peaked in 2019 at over 1.3 thousand, more than double the number made in 2013. In 2019, convicted terrorists in Greece faced the longest prison sentence length in Europe at 20 years.

Interesting statistics

In the following 4 chapters, you will quickly find the 19 most important statistics relating to "Terrorism in Europe".

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