17 countries join forces to prevent chemical terrorism on European soil


On February 21, a large-scale Referral Action Day targeting the misuse of dangerous chemicals by terrorist groups took place at Europol’s headquarters in The Hague.

Specialised counter terrorism units from seventeen countries worked hand in hand with Europol’s European Counter Terrorism Centre to restrict access to instructions online on how to use high-risk chemical for terrorist attacks.

A number of chemicals routinely used in industrial processes or professional functions can react upon mixing, producing hazardous substances that could be used to carry out chemical terrorist attacks.
Investigators scoured the clear and dark web to identify and refer for removal propaganda and instructions on the use of high-risk chemicals, and the toxic gases they generate, in terrorist material and online fora.

As a result, over 120 individual pieces of content were referred to 21 online service providers to secure their swift removal.

The referred content covered five languages and was disseminated by terrorist supporting networks, including jihadist, right-wing and left-wing terrorist groups.

The findings of this Referral Action Day will feed into the analysis of the current threat picture on high-risk chemicals in the impact assessment produced by the European Commission.

Participating countries 

Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Colombia, Czechia, Denmark, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg, Moldova, Montenegro, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Spain, the United Kingdom

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