Security Situation in Croatia Stable, Says SOA

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, June 4, 2019 – The security situation in Croatia is stable and there are currently no indications or visible potential for its more significant destabilisation, the Security-Intelligence Agency (SOA) says in a public report on its activities in 2018, posted on its website.

The threat of terrorism in Croatia is small, however, considering the nature of modern terrorist threats, Croatia’s membership of Euro-Atlantic associations and belonging to western democratic value system, and its developed tourism sector and visibility in global media, there is a potential risk of terrorist threats, SOA says, noting that there is also a constant risk of lone wolves who carry out terrorist attacks on their own, encouraged by public calls from terrorist organisations.

SOA says that one of the security challenges for Croatia is the transit of foreign nationals believed to support terrorist activities, in the context of migration trends.

“To reduce the risks of this challenge, SOA has been taking appropriate preventive action with the aim of protecting the Republic of Croatia as well as other European countries,” says the report.

SOA also says that seven persons who (also) have Croatian citizenship – two men and five women – have stayed in the territory controlled by the Islamic State terrorist organisation. None of those people were radicalised in Croatia nor did they join ISIL from Croatia, SOA says.

According to available unconfirmed information, the two men were killed while fighting on the side of ISIL while some of the women have been staying in civilian camps in Syria that are controlled by the Kurdish-Arab Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

The women followed their jihadist husbands into ISIL and some of them have had children during their stay in Syria and Iraq, but their exact location and fate need confirmation due to the chaotic situation after ISIL’s defeat, says the report.

SOA also notes that no extremism, regardless of its ideological, religious or ethnic grounds, enjoys broader public support in Croatia, a significant number of followers or significant motivating potential.

Members of extremist groups have very small potential for causing violence, incidents or large-scale conflicts and their activities do not pose a more significant threat to national security, SOA says, noting that there is also no serious anti-immigration extremism but adding that the growing anti-immigration trends in Europe could in the medium term lead to the strengthening of such groups in Croatia.

SOA also notes that unlike western EU countries and countries in Croatia’s southeast neighbourhood, Islamic radicalism has not managed to mobilise a more significant number of followers, which it attributes to the local Islamic community’s good status, reputation and integration in the Croatian society.

Analysing security trends in the neighbourhood, SOA says that Croatia’s southeast neighbourhood is still unstable and not entirely consolidated politically and security-wise. “The complexity of the current security and political situation in the southeast neighbourhood is evidenced by the fact that some of those countries continue to function with active involvement by the international community and that situation is not likely to change soon.”

SOA also notes that Croatia was a target of a number of cyber-attacks in recent years and warns that considering the country’s presidency of the EU in 2020 there is an increased risk of cyber-attacks against state institutions’ information and communication systems. “In cooperation with other relevant agencies, SOA is working to enhance the capability of defence against such threats to national security.”

The security-intelligence agency also reports about attempts by criminal groups from neighbouring countries to smuggle narcotics, illegal migrants and high-profit goods in Croatia, in cooperation with local criminal groups and individuals, and to hide in Croatia from criminal prosecution in their home countries or from rival criminal groups.

More national security news can be found in the Politics section.


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