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Europol warns that terrorists are exploiting coronavirus crisis

Terrorists are trying to exploit the coronavirus crisis for their own ends, according to a Europol report.

The Hague, 22 June 2021 (dpa/MIA) – Terrorists are trying to exploit the coronavirus crisis for their own ends, according to a Europol report.

“Terrorists use any opportunity to erode democratic structures, spread fear and polarize society,” Europol said its annual report on terrorism in the EU, which it presented in The Hague on Tuesday.

The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated political polarization as well as intolerance towards political opponents, and has made people more verbally or physically violent.

Terrorists are taking advantage of this to spread their violent ideologies, the report said.

“The risk of online radicalization has increased. This is particularly true for right-wing terrorism,” said Ylva Johansson, EU commissioner for home affairs.

According to the report, the greatest threat in the EU comes from Islamist terrorism. In 2020, Islamists were responsible for 10 attacks with 12 deaths.

They were mostly carried out by lone perpetrators influenced by foreign terrorist groups such as Islamic State.

In 2020, 57 terrorist attacks were registered in the EU, including planned and foiled attacks. Twenty-one people were killed and 449 suspects arrested.

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