The EU has said ‘lone wolf terrorism’ may need greater attention after last week’s twin attacks in Norway, but has admitted the strikes were almost impossible to predict.
Anders Behring Breivik has told police he worked alone.
Some experts say counter terrorism strategy has been too focused on Islamic extremism.
“We all have to deal with far right extremist opinion. We have to deal with it and we have to produce counter-narratives. I think one thing that perhaps we in Europe did which was perhaps slightly short-sighted, is since 9-11, since the terrorist attacks, we focused very much on al-Qaeda and its affiliates. We really looked for Islamist terrorism.”
But officials meeting in Brussels to discuss how to respond to the tragic events in Norway denied they had taken their eye off right-wing groups.
Timothy Jones, an adviser to the EU Council on counter terrorism said: “A lot of the processes are the same regardless of the ideology chosen by the terrorists. So, it is not a simple question of concentrating on one form of terrorism and not on another. There is actually a great deal of commonality between these.”
The fear is Breivik may typify a new kind of far-right extremist who are becoming increasingly active on the internet. EU authorities are considering better ways of increasing cooperation to counter such threats.
For the moment, however, as our reporter Audrey Tilve explained: ‘‘No announcements and no promises. For European terrorism experts the most important thing today, is to learn lessons from the events in Norway, which was a brutal reminder that terrorism comes in many forms.’‘