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Updated Europol Data: Less Than 1% of Terrorist Attacks by Muslims

(updated below)

The most popular article published on LoonWatch was released in January of 2010: that article showed that, according to the official FBI website, only 6% of terrorist attacks in the United States from 1980-2005 (the only years where data was available) were committed by Muslims.

I published a follow-up article to look at the picture across the pond: I cited official data from Europol, which releases an annual terrorism report entitled EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report (TE-SAT). The first available such report was for the year 2006.  The data from 2006, 2007, and 2008 showed that about 0.4% of terrorist attacks in the European Union were committed by Muslims–less than 1% (actually, less than half of 1%).

Today, I’d like to update our readers with new Europol data: the data for 2009 and 2010 is now available.

Once again, a minuscule percentage of terrorist attacks in Europe were committed by Muslims.  In 2009 and 2010, there were a grand total of 543 terrorist attacks, of which only 4 were committed by Muslims.  This means that only 0.7% of terrorist attacks–again, less than 1%–were committed by Muslims.

Meanwhile, in that same time frame, separatist groups in Europe committed 397 terrorist attacks, or 73% of terrorist attacks overall.  In other words, separatist groups committed 99.2 times (almost 100 times) more terrorist attacks than Muslims.

Another 85 attacks were committed by left-wing groups, accounting for about 16% of terrorist attacks overall.

Here is the data for 2009:

And for 2010:

In the 2010 report, the annex contains a summary of the results from the previous and current years:

(Due to size constraints, the table is a bit difficult to read here; you can see the actual report here.)

This “mega-table” shows that from 2007 to 2009, out of 1,317 terrorist attacks only 3 of them were committed by Muslims.  From a percentage standpoint, that means only about 0.2% of terrorist attacks in Europe were committed by Muslims in those years–again, far less than 1%.

If we combine the data from the years Europol started keeping track of terrorist attacks–including 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010–we see that out of a grand total of 2,139 terrorist attacks only 10 of them were committed by Muslims.  You can count the number of terrorist attacks by Muslims on your fingertips.  Percentage wise, this means that 0.5% of terrorist attacks in Europe–half of 1%–were committed by Muslims.

In spite of this fact, all we ever hear about in the media and national discourse is the threat of “Islamist terrorism.” The data, however, does not support such fear-mongering.   Yet, it is amazing how many people will persist in the belief that “Islamist terrorism” is an existential threat to America and Europe.

What is more amazing, however, are the Europol reports themselves.  Year after year they report the same data, with terrorist attacks by Muslims numbering anywhere from zero to four incidents, always less than 1% of the total.  For example, the 2010 EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report showed that only 1 Islamist terrorist attack took place in the entire previous year.  In that year (as in every year), separatist and leftist terrorism dwarfed Islamist terrorism by a magnitude of 237:1 and 40:1 respectively.  Nonetheless, the report notes that “Islamist terrorism is still perceived as the biggest threat to most Member States” and concludes that “the threat remains real and serious.”  No statement in the publication indicates that the perceived threat is exaggerated.

In 2010, there were 249 terrorist attacks; only 3 of these were committed by Islamists and the attacks themselves were described by the 2011 Europol report as “caus[ing] minimal damage.”  Yet, the same report ominously warns that “the threat of Islamist terrorism by Al-Qaeda inspired groups and affiliates is high.”  The report also includes xenophobic warnings about the threat of Muslim immigration to Europe, warning:

The current and future flow of immigrants originating from North Africa could have an influence on the EU’s security situation. Individuals with terrorist aims could easily enter Europe amongst the large numbers of immigrants.

So, three goons do something, and then the entire North African community is to be stigmatized?

Instead of drawing the obvious conclusion that the threat of “Islamic terrorism” is heavily exaggerated, the authors of these Europol reports continue to publish alarmist conclusions that simply do not match up with the data that they themselves provide.

*  *  *  *  *

When I published my previous article on terrorist attacks inside America and Europe, anti-Muslim critics giddily pointed out that the very same reports warned of the threat of Islamist terrorism.  The data also showed that a disproportionately large minority of suspects arrested, detained, or wanted for terrorism-related offenses were Muslims.

This is not something I dispute.  In fact, this finding supports my main argument: the FBI, CIA, Homeland Security, the United States government, and their European counterparts are wrongfully targeting the Muslim community.  The disparity between actual terrorist attacks committed by Muslims on the one hand and the number of Muslims arrested on the other speaks to this grave injustice, blatant discrimination, and misguided policy.

The 2010 Europol report notes:

Reported court decisions related to separatist and left-wing terrorism have the highest acquittal rate (15 %).

Guess who has the lowest acquittal rate?  If your name is Abdallah ibn Masood al-Tamimi, you don’t stand a chance.

Furthermore, the report goes on to say (emphasis is mine):

Suspected membership of a terrorist organisation and the financing of terrorism were the two most common reasons for arrests related to Islamist terrorism.

In fact:

The majority of arrests were made on suspicion of membership of a terrorist organisation.

In other words, the most common reasons Muslims were arrested were not for actually planning or carrying out terrorist attacks…not even for being suspected of that.  Rather, it was for suspected membership of a terrorist organization.  But, here’s the real gem:

As in 2008, two-thirds of the individuals arrested on suspicion of involvement in Islamist terrorism could not be linked to specific terrorist organisations known to the authorities.

So, let me get this straight: Muslims were arrested for suspected links to terrorist groups, except the authorities didn’t even know to which ones?  How much evidence could these authorities possibly have if they didn’t even know the names of the supposed groups that these Muslims were allegedly affiliated to were suspected to be affiliated to?

As for financing terrorism, we all know how that works: there is the famous case of the highly-esteemed Islamic intellectual Dr. Tariq Ramadan who donated money to two Palestinian charities between 1998 and 2002.  In 2003, the United States designated both of these charities as “terrorist fundraising organizations” for their alleged support of Hamas.  Dr. Ramadan did not give any more money to these charities  after that.  Even so, the United States government accused Tariq Ramadan of “providing material support to a terrorist organization.”  They argued that he “reasonably should have known” that the charities provided money to Hamas.  Ramadan naturally responded: “How should I reasonably have known of their activities before the U.S. government itself knew?”

The same situation happens with other Muslims, to the point where now Muslim communities are too scared to donate to Islamic charities or to charities located in their ancestral countries.  Even President Barack Obama seemed to appreciate this problem in a speech he gave in Cairo.

Muslims are arrested at a rate that does not correlate with the actual number of terrorist acts committed by Muslims simply because the majority of them are arrested not for actual, attempted, or even planned terrorist attacks.  Rather, they are arrested for “providing material support for terrorism”–the absolutest vaguest of charges, one that I suspect a future generation will be smart enough to prohibit by law.  Using such Gestapo style laws, Muslims can be arrested for mere suspicion of being part of an unknown terrorist organization, with little or no proof needed to levy such charges; alternatively, they can be arrested for “financing terrorism,” which often just means donating to charities that even the government hasn’t banned yet.  Other offenses for which Muslims are arrested for include producing “propaganda”, which here in the U.S. would be considered Constitutionally protected freedom of speech (but is now prosecuted due to the curtailing of freedoms of speech in the War on of Terror) or even for merely expressing unpopular political views.

*  *  *  *  *

Clearly, the data proves that Islamist terrorism is not a major threat to the United States or Europe.  Anyone who believes it to be an existential threat should be considered alarmist and even a bit insane.

We’ve all heard the oft-repeated saying of Islamophobes that “all Muslims might not be terrorists, but (almost) all terrorists are Muslims!”  Without any shadow of doubt, this mantra is patently false.  Not just that, but certainly in the case of Europe it’s completely reversed from reality: all Muslims aren’t terrorists, and almost no terrorist attacks are committed by them–less than 1%.

Danios was the Brass Crescent Award Honorary Mention for Best Writer in 2010 and the Brass Crescent Award Winner for Best Writer in 2011.  

Update I:

An anti-Muslim critic responded with the following snarky comment:

Perhaps ‘scale’ rather than ‘quantity’ is the real issue here? 😉

Several others used a similar line of argumentation.  Therefore, I have responded in full here:  Europol Reports Zero Deaths from Islamic Terrorism in Europe.  The title of that article is self-explanatory.

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  • Géji

    “They just like to target Jewish communities with their outward display of anti-Semitism in their Sharia controlled zones.”

    Nonsensical @Skeptic, are you a semite?? And by that I mean a real descendant of middle eastern ancient Hebrews(and please don’t even bother giving me the laughable “ethnic genetic” Jew card, used for propaganda purposes ) or are you a middle eastern Arab? If neither, and you call yourself a “semite” simply by being a Jew because you practice the religion of Judaism who by the way is open for conversions and always has, if that is your sole reason to claim you’re a “semite”, then in that case bare in mind since Islam also is a semitic religion, and Shariah is a semitic set of laws, that Muslims are also “semites” in the sense that they practice Islam, and so are all Christians for that matter. Therefore if you cannot answer to those two questions, do not use the ugly baseless slur that non-semitic zionists are so fond of to use as hateful propaganda for their unholy behaviours.

  • Saladin

    ^^^^meant to write by not and

  • Saladin

    Hey LoonWatch do a article comparing the media coverage of Jose Pimentel vs Oscar Ortega (He believed Obama was the Anti-Christ and attempted to assassinate him and firing rounds in the white house )
    but they only talked about Jose in the national security debate

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2011/11/oscar-ortega-hernandez-charged-with-trying-to-kill-president-obama/

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/22/us/suspect-in-white-house-shooting-appears-in-court.html

  • Believing Atheist (you believe you’re an atheist?) writes: … as Bernard Lewis states there are only two universal religions on earth (Christianity and Islam), which claim that only one way is the right way meaning either follow my way or suffer the consequence of eternal damnation. Non-universal religions i.e., non-proselytizing religions such as Judaism, Hinduism and Sikhism do not believe either you follow my way or suffer the consequences in this life or the next.

    Bernard Lewis is mistaken about Islam.

  • Danios

    I deleted a comment by How Islam Created the Modern World and Believing Atheist as they were off topic. Please focus on the topic of the article. Thank you.

  • Yeah, sadly he/she/it gives themselves away rather quickly… on the other hand lots of these types are so similar that its hard to tell them apart; I’m sure they are clones!

    Jack

  • lol Danios, what a scream,

    That Truthseeker is HaramPork/Cartoon, now with another monikor, he doesn’t have the imagination to give up gmail.com

  • @Defender of faith: I have read your comments.You do not have the stomach to face the naked truth.You MUSLIMS created so much RIOTS about SATANANIC VERSES by Sir.Salaman RUSDIE because he exposed the TRUTH about Mohammad.Without BLASPHEMY LAWS, ISLAM has no leg to stand on.Watch the video about SEX in ISLAM on faith freedom.org and come back with your comments.

  • Skeptic

    This report is correct.

    The Muslims in Europe are not terrorists.

    They just like to target Jewish communities with their outward display of anti-Semitism in their Sharia controlled zones.

  • Danios

    @ Truth Seeker: I’ve already published an article on that, entitled Jesus Loves His Enemies…and Then Kills Them All.

  • Faisal Rathor

    H. G. Wells commented on the teachings Muhammad conveyed as follows:

    “…they established in the world a great tradition of dignified fair dealing, they breathe a spirit of generosity, and they are human and workable. They created a society more free from widespread cruelty and social oppression than any society had ever been in the world before….It
    (i.e., Islam) was full of the spirit of kindliness, generosity, and brotherhood; it was a simple and understandable religion; it was instinct with the chivalrous sentiment of the desert; and it made its appeal straight to the commonest instincts in the composition of ordinary men….. The bulk of the people to whom the challenge of Islam came did not trouble very much whether Muhammad was lustful or not, or whether he had done some shifty and questionable things; what appealed to them was that this God, Allah, he preached, was by the test of the conscience in their hearts, a God of righteousness, and that the honest acceptance of his doctrine and method opened the door wide in a world of uncertainty, treachery, and intolerable divisions to a great and increasing brotherhood of trustworthy men on earth, and to a paradise not of perpetual exercises in praise and worship, in which saints, priests, and anointed kings were still to have the upper places, but of equal fellowship and simple and understandable delights such as their soul craved for. Without any ambiguous symbolism, without any darkening of altars or chanting of priests, Muhammad had brought home those attractive doctrines to the hearts of mankind.” [Wells, H. G. 1922. The Outline of History. Fourth Edition. Volume 2 pp 686-688]

  • @ Danious : With all your knowledge and scholarship,It will be interesting if you could highlight any violence and terrorism in the life and teacing of JESUS-THE CHRIST?Did He commit any SIN through out His life?

  • Danios

    @ Believing Atheist:

    And Bernard Lewis is wrong. He was an Orientalist and bigoted against Islam.

    Edward Said’s criticism of Bernard Lewis was spot on. Since this is just a comment, forgive me for using Wikipedia:

    [Edward] Said contended that Lewis treats Islam as a monolithic entity without the nuance of its plurality, internal dynamics, and historical complexities, and accused him of “demagogy and downright ignorance.”[22]

    Furthermore, your characterization of Christianity and Islam on the one hand, and Judaism, Hinduism, and Sikhism on the other is completely faulty. Yes, Christianity and Islam have intolerant interpretations, but so too do Judaism, Hinduism, and Sikhism. People just aren’t as familiar with them, because Judaism is the one religion nobody other than Jews can criticize or else be accused of Anti-Semitism, and meanwhile people in the West romanticize Eastern traditions such as Hinduism and Sikhism. But, if you want to take a critical look at Judaism, Hinduism, and Sikhism, you could just as easily find offensive views in their traditions.

    Bottom line is that all faith traditions have serious problems, but they shouldn’t be viewed in a monolithic fashion. Tolerant interpretations do exist, including for Christianity and Islam–as well as for Judaism, Hinduism, and Sikhism.

    You sound like an intelligent, open-minded guy. In that spirit, I think you should abstain from making sweeping statements.

  • Believing Atheist

    Danios I made a mistake. I meant to say Jainism instead of Judaism. Sorry. My earlier post has indicated that Judaism too has scriptural authority which seeks the destruction of non-Jews (but only in life not in death).

  • Believing Atheist

    You’re right Danios. However, as Bernard Lewis states there are only two universal religions on earth (Christianity and Islam), which claim that only one way is the right way meaning either follow my way or suffer the consequence of eternal damnation. Non-universal religions i.e., non-proselytizing religions such as Judaism, Hinduism and Sikhism do not believe either you follow my way or suffer the consequences in this life or the next.

    In this regard I favor religions, which uphold reincarnation over religions which believe in a heaven or a hell. At least you get multiple chances at redemption through reincarnation. The same can’t be said with the universal religions.

  • Danios

    @ Believing Atheist:

    The Bible is not solely the most dangerous book on earth.

    When you say “the most dangerous book on earth,” one can only assume you mean “the most dangerous book on earth.”

    As for the rest of your comment, I agree with you that monotheistic faiths have the potential to be more intolerant. However, this is a more nuanced statement than saying “they are intolerant,” which is too sweeping of a statement. Religions have different interpretations that can range from tolerant to intolerant. This is something that atheists need to understand, instead of speaking of a faith as if it is monolithic.

  • Farlowe

    These figures confirm that in most western countries you are more likely to be eaten by a shark or hit by lightning than die from Islamist terror attack. I know for a fact that more people in my country die from snakebite and sharks than ANY terrorist attacks.

  • Believing Atheist

    The Bible is not solely the most dangerous book on earth. All of the Abrahamic faiths advocate for death or eternal damnation of non-believers. That is why religions, which are non-theistic (such as Jainism or Buddhism) are more tolerant than the Abrahamic faiths. I personally believe the most tolerant monotheistic faith is Bahaism. If I were a believer in the divine I would be a Bahai.

  • Danios

    In my opinion, the claim that the Bible is the most dangerous book on Earth is an exaggeration, unhelpful, and as offensive as saying the same to the Quran.

    In any case, I have updated the article: Europol Reports Zero Deaths from Islamic Terrorism in Europe.

    As for Hopper’s comment, my analysis was limited to the years in which Europol published its annual reports, which started in 2006. The fact that you have to look outside that window and more than five years ago to find fatalities from Islamist terrorism underscores how few Islamist terrorist attacks result in any harm, something I analyze in Europol Reports Zero Deaths from Islamic Terrorism in Europe.

  • Black Infidel

    I’m surprised the right wing number isn’t high. 2011 one may be different.

    @Defender of Truth. Well stated, the bible is indeed the most dangerous book on Earth.

  • Mustafa

    Thanks for this report and we need to let people know jihad does not mean terrorist or terrorism. People never call freedom fighters of the French or American revolution terrorist! May Allah bless you and this ummah and make us victorious over the evil liars!

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