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EU UNICRI meeting on terrorism

Hybrid EU-UNICRI Joint Meeting: New Challenges and Frontiers in Countering Terrorism

How the threat has changed in Europe since 9/11

Brussels (and online via Zoom) -


Brussels (venue tbc) 29 November 2021, 9:30-12:30 CET


The global threat posed by terrorism has continued to evolve since 9/11. The last 20 years have been characterized by, among other things, the gradual transformation of Al-Qaida in a covert network; the rise and fall of Da’esh; a new wave of Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTFs); the misuse of social media to incite, radicalize and recruit; the spread of lone wolves; and the ability to conduct “successful” attacks with unsophisticated methods. The rise of multifaceted forms of violent extremism linked to far-right and left-wing terrorism has further exacerbated this already precarious security context. The COVID-19 pandemic, the gradual lift of restrictions and the current situation in Afghanistan, represent additional challenges. As other regions in the world, Europe has not been immune to all these scenarios and related threats.

UNICRI’s report and research initiative

Following concerns raised by some Member States, UNICRI launched in April 2021 a research initiative aimed at exploring the potential interplay between movements of people and the threat stemming from jihadist terrorism in Europe, including the risk posed by returning and/or relocating FTFs. Although not new, the issue has gained new momentum particularly in the aftermath of the spate of attacks occurred throughout 2020. In fact, these events have raised the attention of security services and law enforcement vis-à-vis individuals crossing external borders, either regularly and irregularly, which might pose a threat to national security.

The event

In this context UNICRI, with the support of the European Commission, Directorate General for Home Affairs and Migration, will hold a joint hybrid meeting where experts from the UN, EU and selected think-thanks will provide an overview/update on:

  • The evolution of the terrorist threat in Europe over the last 20 years;
  • New trends in counter-terrorism;
  • Global conflicts and, notably, the crisis in Afghanistan, with their implications for Europe;
  • The findings and recommendations of UNICRI’s report on the impact of regular and irregular movements of people on the threat stemming from jihadist terrorism;
  • Initiatives undertaken by UNICRI and other entities to successfully address the identified priority challenges and emerging vulnerabilities.
Practical details

The event will take place in Brussels for a limited number of people and in respect of the applicable Belgian anti-covid regulation. A Covid Safe Ticket (CST) will be required for those attending in person. For those who are not able to join in person – or in the event seats will not be available anymore – the meeting will also be web streamed on Zoom.

To participate please register here:

Download the concept note and the agenda