Terrorism is not a new phenomenon, nor is it likely to disappear anytime soon. It is not the exclusive domain of any single religion or ideology, nor do all terrorists come from the same socioeconomic class or share the same mental pathologies.1 In part, the diversity within contemporary terrorism is what makes it so great a challenge. This report describes, in great detail, the state of terrorism in Western countries over the course of 2008.
Before turning to terrorism events in the West during 2008 and key developments within Western countries’ legal systems, we are going to pinpoint a few broad trends—a few currents that run through the various incidents and cases that follow. As this report will show, concerns about the contemporary connection between criminal activities and terrorism are clear in Bulgaria, a country rife with organized crime. An April 2008 parliamentary report charged that profits from the country’s drug trade were channeled to Middle Eastern terrorist groups.