In an interview with the Spanish newspaper El Mundo, Gilles de Kerchove d’Ousselghem, EU Co-ordinator of the fight against terrorism, reveals that his services think that there would actually be at least 50,000 radicalized individuals in the Union.

Kerchove stresses that while pinning the label of “being radicalized” is a political decision, only individuals capable of perpetrating terrorist acts can be labelled as radicalized.

The number 50,000 may well be less than the actual figure. This is because not all EU member states classify terrorist suspects in the same way.

This is how Kerchove explains it: “The United Kingdom has identified 20,000 to 35,000 radicalized individuals. Of these, the MI5 considers 3,000 to give some cause for concern, and subjects 500 of them to 24/7 individual monitoring. As for the French secret service, using its own set of criteria and standards, it lists 17,000 radicals”.

These figures only take account of individuals with a physical presence on Union territory. So to this figure, we should also add EU nationals that have left for the Levant ad jihad gerendum [NDT: to wage jihad] and who may therefore return to their homes in the EU. Despite declarations from a few politicians, there is no reliable statistic for this class of individuals.

At this stage, it is clearly impossible for every single radicalized individual in the EU to be surveyed; neither is it possible to anticipate all possible attacks.

Anoosha Boralessa

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