EU admits: Jihadist terrorism has cost economy hundreds of billions

In a new report prepared by the RAND Corporation for the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), the European Union (E.U.) acknowledges what many national security experts have been arguing for years:

This Cost of Non-Europe report argues that since 2004, terrorism has cost the EU about €185 billion in lost Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and around €5.6 billion in lost lives, injuries, and damage to infrastructure.  It is argued that terrorism also harms trade, foreign direct investment and tourism (with immediate but often short-lived consequences in this latter respect), as well as transport[.] ...

In most Member States, law enforcement activities have clearly focused on jihadist groups and individuals, as illustrated by 718 of 1002 arrests for terrorist offences across the EU in 2016 related to jihadist violent extremism.  According to Europol, in the same year, jihadist attacks accounted for almost all reported terrorism-related fatalities and most of the casualties.

Jihadist terrorism is defined specifically by the EPRS and Europol as being conducted by Muslims in the name of Islam.  Consequently, the report inevitably concludes that almost all terrorism-related deaths and injuries within the E.U. in recent years derive from Muslims practicing the Islamic faith.  Because the overwhelming majority of direct and indirect economic costs due to terrorism arose from events that killed or injured people, the resulting math is simple: over the past 15 years, jihadist terrorism has cost E.U. member-states almost €200 billion (or U.S. $230 billion).

The increasing costs of terrorism in the E.U. are directly linked by the report to Muslim immigration, which has skyrocketed over the past decade:

Whereas the terrorism threat as such is not new to the EU, it has evolved over recent decades.  The emergence of jihadism as a major security concern marks a shift from essentially non-religious terrorism, mostly restricted to specific Member States, which defined the security landscape of the EU for many decades, towards one that instrumentalises religion and often has a cross-border dimension.

About half of the total economic damage from terrorism that took place between 2004 and 2016 occurred during the past few years (2013 to 2016), consistent with growth trends in the E.U.'s Muslim population.

The report also cites Europol's conclusion from last year that "a range of terrorist threats of a violent jihadist nature [pose] the key terrorist threat to the EU" and that such threats are "continuing to rise," consistent with the increasing contribution of Muslims to the overall E.U. demographic.  Far from being vague or politically correct on this issue, Europol is unequivocally clear regarding the security threat from unrestricted Muslim immigration: "Migration flows are relevant to the terrorist threat, with irregular migrant flows having been 'exploited in order to dispatch terrorist operatives clandestinely to Europe.'"

Around 30% of all foreign terrorist fighters who went to fight with ISIS in Iraq and Syria have already returned to their countries of departure – posing a particular threat to the E.U., the report goes on to note.

Unfortunately for the E.U., its lax immigration policies and enforcement of political correctness doctrines within and outside its national security apparatus created and reinforced this problem and precluded timely and effective responses being taken at an early stage.  The warning lights have been flashing red over the E.U.'s dangerous immigration policies for well over a decade.  Unless more serious efforts are undertaken to fully acknowledge the scope of the problem, and the necessary steps are taken to deal with it – such as a complete moratorium on further immigration from the geographies and ideologies of concern that Europol and other agencies have already identified as the source of almost all terrorism – the crisis will only deepen.

Image: Raimon Ribera via Flickr.

In a new report prepared by the RAND Corporation for the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), the European Union (E.U.) acknowledges what many national security experts have been arguing for years:

This Cost of Non-Europe report argues that since 2004, terrorism has cost the EU about €185 billion in lost Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and around €5.6 billion in lost lives, injuries, and damage to infrastructure.  It is argued that terrorism also harms trade, foreign direct investment and tourism (with immediate but often short-lived consequences in this latter respect), as well as transport[.] ...

In most Member States, law enforcement activities have clearly focused on jihadist groups and individuals, as illustrated by 718 of 1002 arrests for terrorist offences across the EU in 2016 related to jihadist violent extremism.  According to Europol, in the same year, jihadist attacks accounted for almost all reported terrorism-related fatalities and most of the casualties.

Jihadist terrorism is defined specifically by the EPRS and Europol as being conducted by Muslims in the name of Islam.  Consequently, the report inevitably concludes that almost all terrorism-related deaths and injuries within the E.U. in recent years derive from Muslims practicing the Islamic faith.  Because the overwhelming majority of direct and indirect economic costs due to terrorism arose from events that killed or injured people, the resulting math is simple: over the past 15 years, jihadist terrorism has cost E.U. member-states almost €200 billion (or U.S. $230 billion).

The increasing costs of terrorism in the E.U. are directly linked by the report to Muslim immigration, which has skyrocketed over the past decade:

Whereas the terrorism threat as such is not new to the EU, it has evolved over recent decades.  The emergence of jihadism as a major security concern marks a shift from essentially non-religious terrorism, mostly restricted to specific Member States, which defined the security landscape of the EU for many decades, towards one that instrumentalises religion and often has a cross-border dimension.

About half of the total economic damage from terrorism that took place between 2004 and 2016 occurred during the past few years (2013 to 2016), consistent with growth trends in the E.U.'s Muslim population.

The report also cites Europol's conclusion from last year that "a range of terrorist threats of a violent jihadist nature [pose] the key terrorist threat to the EU" and that such threats are "continuing to rise," consistent with the increasing contribution of Muslims to the overall E.U. demographic.  Far from being vague or politically correct on this issue, Europol is unequivocally clear regarding the security threat from unrestricted Muslim immigration: "Migration flows are relevant to the terrorist threat, with irregular migrant flows having been 'exploited in order to dispatch terrorist operatives clandestinely to Europe.'"

Around 30% of all foreign terrorist fighters who went to fight with ISIS in Iraq and Syria have already returned to their countries of departure – posing a particular threat to the E.U., the report goes on to note.

Unfortunately for the E.U., its lax immigration policies and enforcement of political correctness doctrines within and outside its national security apparatus created and reinforced this problem and precluded timely and effective responses being taken at an early stage.  The warning lights have been flashing red over the E.U.'s dangerous immigration policies for well over a decade.  Unless more serious efforts are undertaken to fully acknowledge the scope of the problem, and the necessary steps are taken to deal with it – such as a complete moratorium on further immigration from the geographies and ideologies of concern that Europol and other agencies have already identified as the source of almost all terrorism – the crisis will only deepen.

Image: Raimon Ribera via Flickr.