Transatlantic Counter-Terrorism Cooperation after 11 September 2001

  • Jonathan Stevenson


When the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon were attacked on 11 September 2001, the experience of France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom with serious terrorist threats over the past 30 years ensured European empathy with the United States’ relatively fresh terrorist problem. A high level of both intra-European and transatlantic counter-terrorism cooperation immediately followed the attacks. Robust cooperation within Europe in pursuing and arresting terrorists has continued. But there has been notably less intensive cooperation among European national authorities in tightening immigration policies and border security, so as to deny terrorists access to territory, as opposed to apprehending them once they are inside it. The Madrid bombings of 11 March 2004 — ten bombs placed on commuter railway cars synchronised to detonate without warning during morning rush hour, killing 191 people — may lead to more robust European border and immigration policies.


Homeland Security Arrest Warrant European Government Terrorist Threat European Capital 
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Notes and references

  1. 18.
    See Olivier Roy, ‘EuroIslam: the jihad within?’, The National Interest, 71, (Spring 2003). 63–73.Google Scholar
  2. 20.
    See Erik van der Linde, et al., Quick Scan of Post-9/11 National Counter-terrorism Policymaking and Implementation in Selected European Countries, Research Project for the Netherlands Ministry of Justice, RAND Europe, May 2002, pp. 6, 27–9.Google Scholar
  3. 22.
    Some Americans, of course, disagree. For example, Robert Kagan, ‘America’s crisis of legitimacy’, Foreign Affairs, 83:2 (March/April 2004), 69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 31.
    There remains a significant risk, of course, that ‘old’ terrorist groups, particularly Islamic ones, confronting dim political prospects will find advantages in forging various types of relationships with al-Qa’ida. See, for example, Jonathan Stevenson, ‘Pragmatic counter-terrorism’, Survival, 43:4 (Winter 2001), 37–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 32.
    For a pre-11 September view on this difference, see Bruce Hoffman, ‘Is Europe soft on terrorism?’, Foreign Policy, 115 (Summer 1999), 62–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Jonathan Stevenson 2005

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  • Jonathan Stevenson

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