Yesterday, Europol’s Director, Rob Wainwright, reported on the investigations into the two attacks which took place in Norway on Friday 22 July 2011, and presented a set of recommendations to the Council of Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs (JHA).
Following these attacks, the Director of Europol activated the EU First Response Network (FRN)* and representatives from Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Poland, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Norway came together to form a First Response Team (FRT) at Europol headquarters in The Hague.
The swift and positive response of these Member States assisted Europol’s efforts to provide rapid and appropriate EU law enforcement support to the investigation team in Norway. The FRT held a series of meetings at Europol where the Norwegian incidents were assessed and the current EU situation in relation to violent extremism and terrorism was discussed.
The recommendations presented to the Council of Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs by the EU First Response Network, in the presence of the Norwegian Minister of Justice, are as follows:
- A virtual Task Force on Violent Extremism should be created, comprising relevant experts from EU Member States, tasked with researching and reporting on new initiatives to counter violent extremism.
- An EU portal should be developed for the exchange of best practice, analysis and assessments in relation to the use of the internet by individuals and groups associated with violent extremism.
- Europol should prepare, in cooperation with Member States, a full EU-wide assessment on the threat posed by individuals and/or groups associated with violent single issue extremism.
Europol will discuss the above recommendations with EU Member States in the near future.
* The FRN, established in 2007, as a result of experiences gained following the 9/11 attacks as well as those in Madrid, and London in 2004/2005 respectively, was initiated for the first time following the attacks in Norway.