After witnessing acute violence and terror during World War I and World War II, the west changed its policies towards peace and harmony, a mindset towards development and strength. Today, the scenario has changed.
Today, Europe stands challenged, again, by not nations with different ideology but a certain group of radical jihadi factions…
European policy of peace and harmony is being threatened which has made EU member nations at home, vulnerable. According to a popular think tank, over 388 people have become victims of terror attacks, with 2017 in the midway, many foreign experts predicts current year to be the most violent. With few large-scale incidents, such as the 7/7 bombings in London, the 2004 train bombings in Madrid, the frequency of terror strikes continues to escalate.
With a phenomenal rise in terror incidents, there is an exponential rise in casualties. Besides few “lone wolf” attacks, Europe has witnessed coordinated incidents by militant groups, beginning with the shooting at Charlie Hebdo in 2015. Europe is again threatened, this time by Islamic fundamentalism; although militant acts such as these can only be stopped by concrete domestic counter terror policies and strong political leadership reinforced by their determination to do so.
It is important to understand that, Europe has previously been witnessing incidents from both the right and the far-left groups motivated politically, however, militant incidents, coordinated across Europe is a different game altogether. Motivated and inspired through videos, turning literally anything into a killing machine has proved that non-traditional warfare is the new battle field. “Shocked and awe” are intelligence agencies calling this a “step too far”, tightening their screws in the subject of “gathering intelligence”.
Radical Islam has proved to be a status quo for violent militant incidents, as terrorism threatens the very nations who took the task to combat it…
What we saw in London was repeated in France. Radical Islam has proved to be a status quo for violent militant incidents, as terrorism threatens the very nations who took the task to combat it, NATO and their allies. In previous years, terror factions, lone wolf jihadists have demanded the release of their “brothers” held by the West; however, despite the acts, NATOs response seems to be the same “We don’t negotiate with terrorists,” It is important for policy makers of NATO to “adapt, evolve and improvise” in their fight against terror actors (domestic) as these “lone wolf” fighters, are ready to die for their cause.
Today, Europe stands challenged, again, by not nations with different ideology but a certain group of radical jihadi factions, threatening its security from within its walls, and, radical to strike fear in the hearts of people.
The agenda today is not to discuss “what went wrong” but to understand and assess “how these incidents took place” and measures to strengthen counter terror agencies tasked to combat it, not to mention effectively. Moreover, terrorism related incidents are becoming so common, especially the presence of every detail on it is accessible through the internet. Policy leaders should view these incidents not as meagre acts of terrorism, but terrorism itself. Policy makers have a variety of issues “on their boards” to make a safer Europe.
Europe being hit by many small and large scale attacks, the sole principle for establishing institutions such as the NATO or the EU is frequently questioned. When it comes to security, both the citizens, and the governments have their own concern. This fear as resulted in an rapid voice towards a concrete and effective anti-terror policy. This has resulted in response both from the domestic and the international world.
As free speech is a fundamental right for EU member nations, radical speeches groom extensively under in the name of freedom.
To apprehend the perpetrators of Charlie Hebdo, Belgium had closed its borders, followed by active air raids by French air and naval forces in Syria. Steps such as these have consequences on the economic front too. First by Brexit and now rapid terror incidents, institutions such as EU and NATO are facing multiple issues at the same time. Many member nations of the EU make profit from tourism, with terror factions increasingly gripping Europe, the former continues to suffer. If the situation further escalates, EU will be forced to face a “cold winter”, and becoming a living evidence to the extent of impacts of terrorism, a perpetual response to those who limited the “extent of terrorism” to “security”.
The way forward
Western nations have been combatting against terrorism for decades now, it is imperative for policy makers to reinforce their policy with conventional solutions for unconventional issues.
There is a direct relation with growing radical islamists attacks inside Europe and export of fighters to the conflict zones of Middle East and Africa. Radical Islam being the centre of our hypothesis today, law enforcement agencies keep vigil for zones “vulnerable for Islamic radicalisation”. There are various ways to achieve this although, law enforcement agencies should no stick to a “one size fits for all” approach.
When religion comes in violent contact with tradition, young misguided youths “knowingly or not” encounter a source who then preaches them radical version of Islam. Most of these dilusional youths in the beginning are not religious, but they undergo a sense of brotherhood, desire, promise, or religious fulfilment. These radical youths are then given a choice, continue jihad against the infidels at home or with their brothers in Al Qaeda, ISIL and related organizations abroad. One way to counter radical teaching is through education.
Maintain a vigil on radicalisation is a big challenge for intelligence and law enforcement agencies, but it is one way to address the mass audience, without using force.
As free speech is a fundamental right for EU member nations, radical speeches groom extensively under in the name of freedom. While military organization such as the NATO is not equipped to social-engineer, but providing extensive counselling sessions to those who feel that religion is their purpose to achieve virtue, would be benefitted, disfranchising these youths from committing acts of terror. Maintain a vigil on radicalisation is a big challenge for intelligence and law enforcement agencies, but it is one way to address the mass audience, without using force.
Inter-agency cooperation between Intelligence and Law Enforcement
One of the most effective way in countering terrorism is sharing of intelligence with tasked agencies. Fortunately these practices does takes place, but the entire process is armed with flaws; With some of the best Intelligence agencies operating in EU, sharing intelligence requires a “proper channel”, which is time taking yet conducive. Intelligence agencies will be able to cooperate and coordinate properly with each other only when the process of sharing is to and fro.The tasked agencies then will be able to track developing risks which will then reinforce their efforts in combatting radicalisation.
It is important for policy makers to identify effective ways to share intelligence, as agencies intend to keep the information with themselves, no matter how important it is to the ally. This “process” must change. There is an absolutely need to change the culture within intelligence communities, as terrorism is fought best with multiple “trusted” partners.