Security missteps, such as authorities’ failure to share information across country borders, are undermining the EU’s ability to prevent terror attacks, a European Commission task force that analyzed recent terror attacks in Berlin, Paris and Brussels has found.
In a leaked report obtained by the Guardian, the security union task force noted that, in all three cases, the perpetrators had crossed the EU’s external border before committing attacks. Even EU citizens on the European arrest warrant list are able to travel freely “without being detected due to the non-systematic check of EU citizens.”
Authorities also can’t search cross-national databases using biometric data such as fingerprints, the task force warned.
According to the report, the attackers’ ability to move people, illegal firearms and explosives within the EU raises the question of whether the Schengen area ought to be more tightly controlled. “Many of the individuals involved in recent terrorist attacks in the EU had [mostly petty] criminal records,” the task force added.
The task force suggested the EU could consider enhanced police checks in internal border regions and along transport routes, and introduce an obligation for information sharing between all existing EU security databases.
The European Commission is currently considering whether to introduce a European-wide police record information system, the report also noted.