The rise of right-wing extremism is the single largest threat in the European Union, an EU commissioner contends. Cecelia Malmstrom said some of that threat could come from Europeans returning to their home countries after fighting in Syria and adopting extremist ideologies, TheLocal.se reported Tuesday.
"Of course not all of them," she said. "But some do and they pose a security risk."
About 1,500 Europeans are known to have interest in fighting in Syria.
The European Commission is urging member states to create programs to coax extremists out of their ideological environments. The EU will allocate funds to train police and social workers to recognize and help young people who may be under extremist influences.
"The terrorist threat has somewhat shifted away from organized groups to individuals or loose and small cells, who are harder to detect and whose actions are harder to predict," Malmstrom wrote in October. "To prevent further tragedies, we must adapt our counter-terrorism capabilities to these new challenges."
A report by the European Humanist Federation published last year noted that right-wing movements had been successful in influencing EU policy by finishing second and third in elections, and even becoming part of political coalitions.
Voice of Russia, UPI