A Haven for Terrorism

While Europe says it wants to fight terrorism, it continues to harbor numerous terrorist groups. How will the Continent counter this scourge, and what will be the result?

The war on terrorism has focused the world’s attention primarily on the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia. Still, many are ignorant of the fact that not only Ireland, but also the mainland of Europe is a major breeding ground for terrorists and has been so for years.

Europeans intentionally overlooked the terrorists stationed on their continent during the 1970s and ’80s. According to Bruce Hoffman, director of the Washington office of the think tank rand, “Europe, fearful of potential reprisals, seemed more inclined to provide a safe haven for international terrorists than to seek their apprehension” (Foreign Policy, September-October 2001; emphasis mine throughout). Hoffman says that “during the 1970s and 1980s … it was not unusual for European governments to cut secret deals with terrorists. In exchange for the terrorists’ agreement not to strike within these countries’ borders or target their citizens, European authorities often turned a blind eye to activities that would otherwise have invited arrest and imprisonment” (ibid.).

Though Europe later took more stringent action against terrorism, its longstanding policies had already swelled the population of terrorists within Europe. The Europeans’ unwillingness to deal decisively with terrorists from the beginning created a kind of terrorist utopia. Terrorists simply took advantage of this “terror without consequence” deal by saturating Europe.

The Truth Is Revealed

The September 11, 2001, attacks uncovered the shocking truth about Europe’s terrorist breeding ground.

Just after 9/11, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft stated, “[I]t is clear that Hamburg [Germany] served as a central base of operations” for the hijackers. Those terror attacks were planned within the heart of Europe—for years, right under the noses of European governments.

This revelation led to other startling discoveries and raised concern that terrorist cells could be operating all over Europe. “It’s quite clear that the bin Laden network had developed bases in Europe some years ago and has been busy extending their work,” said Professor Paul Wilkinson, head of the Center for the Study of Terrorism at St. Andrews University. “And it’s clear from the arrests that have already taken place that we had rather underestimated the extent to which al-Qaeda and other organizations had already developed a network” (bbc News, Oct. 24, 2001).

As time passed following the September 11 attacks, further truth was revealed about the terrorist cells entrenched in Europe. The July 2002 issue of the European Terrorism Review cited proof of terrorist organizations located in such major European cities as Madrid, Amsterdam, Milan and Thessaloniki. Diana Muriel of cnn referred to evidence of terrorist cells operating in Paris and Rotterdam. She also cited information on terror connections in Brussels—headquarters of the EU. (www.cnn.com, Jan. 23, 2002).

The fact is, by turning a blind eye to the actions and operations of terrorists for decades—even buying them off—European governments fostered one of the most extensive havens for terror organizations on the planet.

A Pretense for Militancy

The Trumpet predicted six months before 9/11, “In the last few months, the EU has taken full advantage of the worldwide climate of instability, and the present concern that world leaders are showing about the facelessness, illusiveness and speedy mobility of high-tech terrorism, to increase international support for the development of a Euroforce independent of nato. … One result of all this for Europe is that the increasing threat of modern terrorism could act as a catalyst to spur the EU into forming its rapid reaction force faster than anticipated. Watch for that happening!” (March-April 2001).

Consider what has happened since that article was written: Terrorist attacks have intensified, and Europe has begun to flex its militarily muscle by sending Euroforce troops into Afghanistan, Macedonia and even Africa!

As terror continues to threaten security within Europe and worldwide, Europe will naturally react by hardening its stance against crime—not only within its borders, but also worldwide, to protect its global investments. Already, it is doing this by centralizing control of its security services (see sidebar) and by building up and integrating its military and police forces. Europe’s military is increasingly involved in world affairs. The threat of Islamic terrorism striking within the EU’s borders will spur Europe’s police force, Europol, to grow stronger.

The chilling fact is, Europe is prophesied ultimately to confront present-day Islamic terrorism head-on using an old kind of terrorism: revived Nazism! When Europe, the biblical “king of the north,” turns its hand to address the problem of Islamic terrorism, it will do so through decisive blitzkrieg warfare! (Dan. 11:40-41). At that time, Europe will not single out specific terrorists. It won’t be squeamish about civilian casualties. The king of the north will attack terrorism in a storm of fury!

In the meantime, watch for Europe to use the terrorism within its borders as a pretext for increasing its policing and military muscle. And watch—as it increasingly assumes tactics even more intrusive and ultimately terrorizing than those of the groups it is presently combating!