EU police warn of increased terror risk
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EU police warn of increased terror risk

Annual report shows heightened threat to Europe from residents who return after fighting in Syria

A Free Syrian Army fighter firing an AK-47 during a battle against the Syrian army loyal to Bashar Assad, in Aleppo, Syria, in November 2013. (Photo credit: AP/Aleppo Media Center, AMC)
A Free Syrian Army fighter firing an AK-47 during a battle against the Syrian army loyal to Bashar Assad, in Aleppo, Syria, in November 2013. (Photo credit: AP/Aleppo Media Center, AMC)

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The European Union’s police organization says the threat of terrorism across the 28-nation bloc is “acute and diverse,” despite a fall in the number of attacks last year.

In an annual report on terrorism threats and trends published Wednesday, Europol says radicals who travel to fight alongside militants in conflicts like the Syrian civil war are “posing an increased threat to all EU member states on their return.”

In the wake of Syria’s war, “the threat to the EU is likely to increase exponentially,” the report warns.

It lists seven people killed by terrorists in the EU in 2013, including a British soldier hacked to death in London by two al-Qaeda-inspired extremists.

The report is compiled annually based on statistics from EU member state police forces.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

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