Governments exposed over need for 'war on terror'

New figures from the European police agency (Europol) reveal that Islamist terror attacks make up less than one per cent of terrorism throughout the continent.

Unsurprisingly, there has been little in the news media about the embarrassing fact for the Bush and Blair warmongers that bombings and other terror actions by Muslims amounted to just 0.2 per cent of all 'terrorism' in Europe. In their first report of this nature - European Terrorism Situation and Trend Report 2007 - Europol reports that across the EU there were 498 terrorist attacks in 2006. These include:

  • 424 'ethno-nationalist and separatist' (mostly in France and Spain)
  • 55 'left-wing and anarchist' (mainly Greece , Italy, Spain and Germany)
  • One failed Islamist terrorist attack (in Germany, plus two more attempts allegedly foiled in Denmark and the UK)
  • One right-wing terrorist attack (in Poland)

The figures appear to over report left and anarchist 'terror' by categorising some political demonstrations which result in damage to property as 'terrorism'. On Germany it reports that 'the G8 Summit 2007 that still has to be held has already been the target of left-wing and anarchist terrorists.' The report also appears to under report 'right wing' and neo-fascist violence since this is as the report states: 'mainly investigated as right-wing extremism and not as right-wing terrorism'. The report only includes right-wing and animal rights political violence as terrorism if reported as such by member states.

The report does also note that the 0.2 per cent of attacks undertaken by Islamists resulted in fully half the 706 arrests in the EU being of Muslims. The UK itself has seen hundreds of arrests on trumped up charges which are later shown to be false and often propagandist. Indeed one of the two alleged 'foiled' attacks in the figures is the much heralded transatlantic bomb plot in the UK which has certainly adversely affected millions of air passengers. However, it does appear that this plot existed much more in the minds of the security establishment than in reality.

I wondered how well the pattern of media reporting conformed to the pattern of offences or the pattern of arrests. In 2006 the National press in the UK carried 26, 577 reports which mentioned the word 'terrorist' or 'terrorism'. Of these 7,620 also referred to 'Islam', 'Islamist' or 'Muslim'. In other words the media reported Islamist violence out of all proportion to the number of attacks. This is hardly helpful to those trying to resist the wave of islamophobia emanating from sections of the police and from the intelligence agencies and politicians. Nor does it give much hope for Muslims under attack throughout the UK.