Over the last year Europe has been attacked multiple times by so-called ‘Islamic state’ each time they have attempted to divide nations as well as the continent. Recently it seems that we wake up on a daily basis to hear that those who despises our values have either successfully attacked our allies or have had their plots foiled.
The start off Europe’s terror time line began in January 2015 with the Charlie Hebdo attack that killed 12 people during a lunchtime massacre at the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris followed by a hostage situation that killed 4 hostages at a Jewish supermarket. Without a doubt this was an attack on the freedom off the press as well as western values off freedom of speech, tolerance and western civilisation as a whole. However, what many political commentators as well as European intelligence agencies failed to notices that this was the beginning off a year off terror which would divide nations – in which changing your profile picture become an everyday occurrence.
November 2015 saw France once again attacked, with the capital city Paris being the attackers target. In a series of attacks 130 were left dead alongside hundreds of others injured; it was the deadliest assault on French soil since World War II. Once again international allies gave France a shoulder to cry on, twitter users around the world tweeted (insert hashtag icon) PrayForParis and millions more changed their Facebook picture to the French flag. Prayers are nice but they don’t combat terrorism it seemed that rather than tackling this twisted ideology international leaders were focuses on protecting their own citizens. Without a doubt this tactic didn’t tackle terrorism in Europe, rather it focused on prevention which undoubtly hasn’t succeeded.
4 months later terrorist turn’t their focus towards Brussels, with two suicide bombings at Brussels Airport and another bombing at a Metro station killing 32 people and wounding more than 300. Once again international allies reassured their citizens that those who wish to attack our values will not divide us; the reality was that this was the 3 terror attack on the continent in a year. We were already divided.
After the wave off attacks the continent had been subject too, intelligent agencies began to massively increase the police presents on the ground – they appeared to be prepared for mass casualty attacks similar to the Charlie Hebdo and Brussels bombings. A major error was they failed to recognise the development in tactics used by the terrorists to kill as many as possible this failure I believe allowed a terrorist to embark on a horrific rampage that killed 84 and injured hundreds of others on the Nice promenade in July 2016. We should never blame intelligent services for failing to prevent terrorist attacks as it appears that the terrorists are one step ahead of them. However, after the attacks in Nice international leaders must and hopefully will realises that the tactic of prevention is failing.
Most recently the attacks in Germany and France have been most worrying. The string of violent attacks started when an axeman hacked passengers on a train in Wurzbur, Germany on Monday 18th July, 4 days later a young Iranian-German gunman went on a deadly rampage in Munich that killed 10 people including the gunman and two separate attacks on 14th July, with a man blowing himself up in Ansbach and a man killing a pregnant woman during a machete attack in Reutlingen. Without a doubt the attack on an elderly priest during morning mass has been the biggest attack on western culture and religion.
After the latest horrific act of brutality to have shaken Europe we must as individuals attempt to end this cycle. A terror attack is usually followed by ‘Pray For [insert attached country’s name]’ then changing our Facebook picture to an overlay of the effected nations flag then a couple days’ later life goes back to normal.
Personally I don’t have an answer to stop these attacks happening on our continent however I have come to the conclusion that the recent wave attacks have shown that prevention is not the answer; tackling the ideology at its sources appears to be the only logical answer.