A report by the European police body Europol says the PKK terror group remains operative in Europe and has strong support in France, Italy and Switzerland.

A rally in a European city attended by PKK supporters. (File photo)
A rally in a European city attended by PKK supporters. (File photo) (TRT World and Agencies)

The PKK terror group attacked Turkish institutions and private property across Europe last year, the EU's top law enforcement body said on Thursday.

"A number of incidents targeting Turkish institutions, cultural premises and properties occurred in several EU Member States," Europol said in a report.

Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Romania and Switzerland are the countries where the PKK openly conducts propaganda and fund-raising activities, according to the report titled "EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report 2017".

"Five IED attacks against Turkish government buildings and cultural associations were reported by France. Belgium also reported incidents between Turkish and Kurdish groups involving the use of arson and explosives. Germany reported various incidents," the report said.

"Turkish properties and institutions were damaged by incendiary devices. In one arson incident, the damage amounted to at least €2 million [$2.2M]," Europol said.

The PKK is designated a terror group by Turkey, the EU and the United States.

PKK collects $6 million in France

The terrorist group is well organised and has strong support in France, Italy and Switzerland, the report said.

"In France, it operated a legal front, which includes the Conseil Kurde de France (CDK-F) and the Centre d'information du Kurdistan (CIK); and a clandestine branch aimed at collecting funds, using violence in some cases," the report said.

"In France alone, the fundraising campaign is believed to have yielded €5.3 million [$6M]," it said.

Europol said that Italy reported recruitment among Kurdish migrants to join Kurdish militia in conflict zones or to become PKK activists in Europe.

Switzerland told Europol that the PKK were maybe running a number of ideological training camps for its youth during the second half of 2016.

Revolutionary network

The report said the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C), a Marxist-Leninist terror group in Turkey, has a broad network in several EU member states and "provides financial and logistical support to operatives in Turkey."

Though the group has ceased its operations in the EU, it "remained active in Turkey and carried out five attacks, targeting police, judicial and government employees," the report added.

"The DHKP/C has never conducted attacks in the EU but retains a network in several EU Member States that provides financial and logistical support to operatives in Turkey. Its structures in the EU operate partially under the cover of legally established associations. In 2016, one Dutch citizen was arrested in Germany on charges of terrorism financing connected to the DHKP/C," the report said.

Terror kills 142 Europeans in 2016

Europol noted other terrorist activity across the 28-member block, saying that 142 people were killed and 379 others wounded in terrorist attacks.

The report said almost 150 attacks were either carried out or prevented in 2016. Over 1,000 people were arrested for terrorism-related offences.

Source: AA