Answer – 173 IS suicide bombers ready for attacks in Europe – E-005072/2017

Interpol has informed the Commission that a list of foreign terrorist fighters is being circulated and confirmed that Europol have also been made aware. Member States are responsible for domestic security, and while the Commission provides support it does not have any operational competence nor access to personal data to identify and locate suspects listed.

Europol receives data from Interpol and third countries and can provide analytical support but Member States are responsible for ensuring the necessary operational measures are in place to aid the detection of suspected terrorists (e.g. the creation of alerts in the Schengen Information System) and appropriate follow-up actions.

As highlighted in the 2015 European Agenda on Security(1) the Commission considers improving information exchange a priority, most notably with the establishment of the European Counter Terrorism Centre, the adoption of the new Europol regulation(2), the reinforcement of the Schengen Information System (SIS)(3) and with upcoming proposals to ensure the interoperability of EU information systems as outlined in the Eighth Progress Report towards an effective and genuine Security Union(4).

Through major initiatives border security is being enhanced, notably the revision of the Schengen Border Code(5), the adoption of the Passenger Name Record Directive(6), the establishment of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency(7) and the proposed Entry-Exit System(8) and European Travel Information and Authorisation System(9).

The Commission remains committed to support Member States in addressing the risk posed by returning foreign terrorist fighters. With the support of the Radicalisation Awareness Network, the Commission is promoting a tailored response to each individual case, building on risk assessment and multi-agency cooperation, criminal justice, resocialisation and rehabilitation where appropriate.(10)

(1) COM(2015) 185 final, 28.4.2015.
(2) Regulation (EU) 2016/794 of 11 May 2016 on the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol).
(3) COM(2016) 882 and 883, 21.12.2016.
(4) COM(2017) 354, 29.6.2017.
(5) Regulation (EU) 2017/458 of 15 March 2017 amending Regulation (EU) 2016/399 as regards the reinforcement of checks against relevant databases at external borders.
(6) Directive (EU) 2016/681 of 27 April 2016 on the use of Passenger name record (PNR) data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime.
(7) Regulation (EU) 2016/1624 of 14 September 2016 on the European Border and Coast Guard
(8) COM(2016) 194 final, 6.4.2016.
(9) COM(2016) 731 final, 16.11.2016.
(10) https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/sites/homeaffairs/files/ran_br_a4_m10_en.pdf
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