Bianka Speidl - Hanga Horváth-Sántha

Jihadist attacks on Critical Infrastructure

Jihadist attacks on Critical Infrastructure


Besides its function to maintain the social and economic well-being of a nation, operating critical infrastructure serves as a proof of the ability of the state to provide protection to its citizens. Hence, a successful terrorist attack targeting critical infrastructure - in addition to generating fear and panic in the ranks of society undermines the operational character of the state. In recent years, several terrorist incidents in Europe have highlighted the vulnerability of critical infrastructure and, consequently, the importance of protecting it. Bearing this in mind, the protection of critical infrastructure has become a high priority for Western states, in parallel with the growing trend of risks, challenges and threats posed by international terrorism. Recently Europe has seen an increase in terrorist attacks against members of law enforcement as well as the armed forces. This paper argues that such attacks should also be considered as attacks on critical infrastructure, as it is ultimately the human resources being responsible for the well-functioning of those agencies. Further, the paper aims to examine the religious justification of Jihadist terrorist attacks against critical infrastructure.


Critical infrastructure, terrorist attack, Salafi-Jihadism, al-Qā‛ida, Islamic State