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Internal terrorism threat in Europe

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Internal terrorism threat in Europe

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Half a world away, American drones in Pakistan kill several German Islamists, Pakistani authorities have said, and ordinary people in Europe feel the tremors. It raises the alarm on this side of the world.

The EU Counter-terrorism Coordinator Gilles de Kerchove, in an interview with euronews, says terrorism is on the move, and calls for better sharing of information to stop potentially dangerous travellers.

De Kerchove: “Al Qaeda wants to attack us hard because they’re still under coalition pressure in Afghanistan, drone attacks. So, they’re looking to project a high profile image through pulling off some major action. What is worrying us the most is extremists entering Europe or the United States, people who were born here or who have one of our member states’ passports, who can therefore slip under the police and intelligence services’ radar. They travel to their holy war zones, whether that’s Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen where we saw an attack last December, or sub-Saharan Africa.”

“Since the ‘jihadists’ travel easily from one country to another, the threat is much more spread out, complex. So, we have to improve how we collect information on people. We have an agreement with the Americans for tracking financial transactions, and the question that’s come up now is whether Europe should have a system like that to collect information on passengers. It raises some questions about privacy that the European Parliament is very concerned about. But as the person in charge, along with several national people in charge, I consider that with this new threat we need new tools, and the PNR Passenger Name Record is just that. We should have it to try to follow the jihadists’ movements.”