Toys, flowers and candles are placed on the avenue to mourn for victims in the terrorist attacks in the Las Ramblas area of Barcelona, Spain, Aug. 19, 2017. A total of 14 fatalities occurred in two terrorist attacks in the Spanish cities of Barcelona and Cambrils that also hurt about 126 people of 34 different nationalities. (Xinhua/Xu Jinquan)
VIENNA, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) -- The threat of terror in Europe is something that will continue to be a challenge for many years ahead, German expert Peter Neumann claimed on Friday.
Speaking at a press conference in Vienna at the presentation of a report on the subject for the OSCE, Neumann was joined by Austrian foreign affairs minister and current OSCE chair Sebastian Kurz.
The expert said even if terror militia "Islamic State" (IS) would be neutralized, this could spell more terror attacks in Europe, with other dangerous groups likely to form in its stead.
He said there are several reasons why the threat of terror is presently on the increase, including that returning IS fighters have become battle-hardened, received top training, and are now well-networked, as well as the group's promotion of attacks in Europe that are simpler, less costly, and more difficult to inhibit.
While he argued that it is important to disrupt the so-called caliphate, the security situation in Europe would not immediately be improved. In addition there is no single way to tackle the problem, the efforts from the OSCE just one of many in dealing with the issue.
The threat of terrorist attacks is haunting Europeans incessantly. Plagued by the threat, Europe is rapidly drifting away from a land of tranquility.
As of the end of August in 2017, the whole continent witnessed at least 13 terrorist attacks, leaving at least 58 people killed and over 300 injured in Belgium, Britain, Finland, France, Germany, Spain and Sweden, among others.
Unlike sophisticatedly organized attacks such as "9/11," today's terrorist activities are intertwined with "lone wolf" style attacks and organized ones.
In addition, suspects of attacks in Barcelona and Finland were ordinary people who had no criminal records before, making police investigations after the attack more difficult. And the use of social media as well as daily tools when committing crimes also makes the attacks harder to be detected and prevented.
Meanwhile, many suspects of terrorist attacks in Europe are descendants of native immigrants. For a long time, some European citizens were inspired by extremism and joined "Jihad" in the Middle East and other war-torn areas.
As terrorist groups like the Islamic State are being hit hard in the Middle East, they returned to Europe as legal residents. Europol estimates those people number over 5,000 and takes them as a serious concern.