EU mulls new ways to counter extremism

Jan. 15, 2014 at 12:11 PM
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BRUSSELS, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- Traditional law enforcement measures aren't enough to protect European citizens from the threats of extremism, a home affairs commissioner said Wednesday.

"Traditional law enforcement techniques are insufficient to deal with these evolving trends in radicalization and violent extremism," Cecilia Malmstrom, the European Union's commissioner for home affairs, said. "A broader approach is required to prevent and counter this phenomenon."

Malmstrom said from Brussels threats from groups like al-Qaida and other extremists are taking on a new form given the advent of social media and other new technologies.

"We are currently facing a growing extremist threat which has mutated and evolved in the last few years, spreading across our continent," she said.

Several plots against Western interests were influenced by online propaganda. Malmstrom said members of the European Union would develop a "knowledge hub" to coordinate how best to tackle the evolving threat.

"To protect citizens against these threats we need to mobilize a wide range of partners at local, national and EU level," she said. "This is not only a task for security and law enforcement bodies and cannot be constrained by legislative measures alone."

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