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Source - JTIC Briefing: Post-millennium patterns of jihadist terrorism in Western Europe - Part 2 By Peter Nesser
Despite massive efforts to halt the financing of terrorism globally, Europe is still a sanctuary for Islamist expatriates of various ideological shades, and it is still an area in which moderate, semi-radical and radical Islamists engage in support activity for jihadist insurgencies in North Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia. Indeed, investigation of the operative terrorist cells in European countries has revealed that the cells have gathered funds and weapons and falsified travel documents for 'brothers' operating in other regions, as well as planned and prepared terrorist attacks in Europe.
So, where does this leave Europe? Many jihadist terrorist attacks have been thwarted because of the vigilance of the European intelligence services and the good work of its police forces, while the public increasingly accepts the reality of the threat. The security services have had their budgets increased and they have improved their competence to deal with the terrorist threat. At the same time, anti-terrorism campaigns have dealt significant blows to the radical Islamist infrastructures in European countries, such as the GSPC networks.
Despite the counter-terrorism efforts, jihadist terrorist activity seems to persist; it is the several peoples belief that we will experience new Al-Qaeda-inspired attacks in Europe, probably against countries that contribute, or contributed, to the military campaign in Iraq. The symbolically important conflicts that fuel the ideological and political motivations for jihad continue (in Chechnya, Palestine, Iraq, and Kashmir, for example), while the social conditions that contribute to motivating individuals to join jihadist groups persist.
At the same time, the xenophobia, racism and 'ghettofication' that might become even more widespread as Europeans increasingly associate Islam and Muslims with terrorism could intensify feelings of alienation among Muslims, making them more likely to be drawn to terrorist organisations. It is already clear that a new generation of jihadists is being recruited. Recruits come from a number of ethnic backgrounds, and they increasingly involve Western converts to Islam. They also come from all social layers and from wealthy as well as poor families.