The number of people arrested on suspicion of jihadi activities in the European Union nearly doubled in two years, according to a new report.
Europol, the European police agency, reported Thursday 718 jihadi suspects were detained in 2016 — up from 395 in 2014. The number of overall terror offenses declined slightly from 1,077 in 2015 to 1,002 the following year.
A total of 142 failed, foiled or completed terror attacks were reported across the continent in 2016. More than half, 76, were in the United Kingdom.
More than 140 people died in terror attacks across the continent and almost 400 were injured.
Women and children are increasingly active in terrorist activities. One in four people arrested in the U.K. in 2016 were women, up from 18 percent in 2015.
“Female militant jihadists in the West perceive fewer obstacles to playing an operative role in a terrorist attack than men, and successful or prevented attacks carried out by women in Western countries may act as an inspiration to others,” Europol said in the report.
The number of known cases of people traveling to conflict zones for terrorist purposes declined from 141 in 2015 to 77 in 2016. The trend is not necessarily positive as many people return to Europe to set up new networks.
“It’s a reflection of the very serious threat that we face in Europe and a reflection of the fact that I’m afraid we can’t get that threat down to zero,” Europol’s Executive Director Rob Wainwright told the Associated Press.
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