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Europol in the Combat of International Terrorism (From Understanding and Responding to Terrorism, P 11-16, 2007, Huseyin Durmaz, Bilal Sevinc, et al., eds. -- See NCJ-224814)

NCJ Number
Max-Peter Ratzel
Date Published
6 pages
This paper describes the role of Europol in the European Union’s (EU’s) counterterrorism network.
Europol was established to ensure protection to EU citizens against international threats. It evolved from the Europol Drugs Unit established in 1994. Europol assumed its full functions under the mandates of the Europol Convention in 1999. The mandates included fighting international organized crime, including terrorism. Europol conducts its work by facilitating a secure information exchange among the EU’s member states (MS) and accredited third partner. This includes the monitoring of terrorism-related information, the provision of operational support, the analysis of criminal intelligence provided by MS and other sources, and threat and risk assessments. Europol established a Counter Terrorism Task Force (CTTF 1) in September 2001. This involved 20 members of MS law enforcement agencies and security services working together for the first time in the history of the EU. After some of the CTTF 1 projects were completed, it was disbanded by the end of 2002; however, ongoing projects became part of the regular operations of Europol’s Counterterrorism Unit. Since October 2004, terrorism experts from MS have been working on tasks assigned by the European Council, such as the financing of terrorism; terrorist tactics, including the use of the Internet by Islamists groups; terrorist recruitment; and the provision of threat assessments and strategic reports in these areas. Monitoring, collection, and analysis of open-source intelligence support Europol in all counterterrorism activities. Europol is currently developing the new Terrorism Situation and Trend Report, with the first issue scheduled for dissemination to the European Parliament by March 2007.