The complex nature of the EU means that the terrorist-related threats it is exposed to are not easily identifiable. In light of the Brussels attacks, this Brief seeks to define the risk profile of the EU in Europe in beyond.
Syrian passports found near the bodies of two of the perpetrators of the Paris terrorist attacks in November 2015 created speculation that terrorists were infiltrating refugee flows to the EU. The idea must be taken seriously, and reflects valid concerns about how well refugees are being identified at the EU’s external borders.
But the problem is a far broader one, and also involves EU citizens travelling to Syria and returning to carry out terrorist attacks.