The thesis analyzes and problematizes the motivations of radical Islamists with alleged ties to al-Qaida, who conspired to launch terrorist attacks on multiple targets in Europe, post-millennium. Islamist terrorism in Europe in the past was mainly motivated by political developments in the Middle East and North Africa (e.g. the GIA s terrorist campaign in France and Belgium 1994-1996). The findings of this study indicate that the motivations for the planned operations in Europe were more complex . They involved both social and political grievances, and were drawn from the terrorists countries of origin, the Muslim diaspora in Europe, and from the conflict at the global level (al-Qaida vs the U.S.A.), simultaneously. The importance of the three contexts seemed to vary from one case to another, but the findings strongly suggest that perceptions of a global jihad , mainly targeting the United states and its close allies, is increasingly important as motivation for Islamist terrorism in Europe. The thesis analyzes in depth the four best-documented terrorist conspiracies revealed in Europe after 2000, which were attributed to Salafi-Jihadi Islamists. The analysis is mainly based on the press-coverage of the investigations and trials of these four cases. Sources for the thesis have been gathered, categorized and systematized at the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment(FFI), within the framework of its terrorism project TERRA II. Based on these sources, the study also offers an overview of the terrorist activity of Salafi-Jihadi movements with a known presence in Europe, from 1998-2003.