In the wake of the past year’s brutal terror attacks occurring in Paris, Brussels, Nice, Munich and most recently, Berlin, leaders of the European Union state that they have removed barriers between security agencies to assist in protecting against this new wave of terror and they have heightened security at the borders of neighboring nations.
Officials of European nations are now facing great challenges and a future that seems to point to continued terrorist attacks. Once a freak occurrence, leaders of such nations and of counterterrorist units across the continent are now prepared for such attacks to become the norm.
Tactics used by ISIS in the latest attacks that involve individuals carrying out independent strikes against Europe, makes it a difficult task for officials who are constantly monitoring a widening group of suspicious individuals and possible attackers.
These recent attacks lead many to question whether there is enough being done by authorities and officials to protect Europe against more future acts of terror.
— OnuItalia (@Onuitalia) December 22, 2016
Mohammad-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou, deputy director of the Geneva Center for Security Policy, spoke on the matter of terrorism across Europe.
“We see how the terrorism networks have much more difficulty in planning operations on a large scale. It is not necessarily an intelligence failure, because unless you start surveilling everyone, then these cases can happen everywhere.”
Attacks such as those seen in Berlin and Nice require only one individual to act and have little planning in advance. This keeps authorities from having the opportunity to zero in on possible perpetrators prior to the assault, even if the individuals involved have previously been flagged on suspicion of terrorist activity.
German authorities had been monitoring 24-year-old Anis Amri, the Tunisian responsible for the Berlin attack. They concluded they did not have enough evidence to press charges. The attacker’s connections to the Islamic State are still unclear, although he did pledge allegiance to ISIS in a recently revealed video clip. This suggests Amri had some level of contact with leaders of the militants prior to his attack.
Amri was shot and killed in Italy on Friday after leaving Germany for France, then easily arriving in Milan. This has raised criticism of the cherished E.U. open borders, as The Washington Post notes, seeing as the assailant was able to move so freely between nations of Europe before being approached in Italy.
Europe’s open borders…also make potential attackers more mobile than security authorities, a fact underlined by Amri’s apparently successful escape by train from Germany after the attack, making it more than 500 miles despite being Europe’s most-wanted man before his death in a shootout in Milan early Friday. Some European countries have temporarily closed their borders this year because of migration and terrorism, only to quickly reopen them because of the economic and logistical demands involved.”
Security authorities of European nations have begun warning their citizens that Europe will always be at risk to terror attacks. However, attention has been drawn to the diligence authorities have sought to dispel any large scale attacks that could potentially have been even more catastrophic to the continent and its citizens.
Top E.U. official, Julian King, who focuses on security matters, spoke with reporters this week while sharing measures that are hoped to cut off terrorist financing, stating, “We can’t ignore the risk that exists. There can never be ‘zero risk. ‘We can and must continue to reduce the risk of attacks as far as we possibly can.”
— European Commission (@EU_Commission) December 22, 2016
[Feature Image by Sean Gallup/Getty Images]