Tuesday, March 29, 2016

I Spy . . . Nothing?

The recent terrorist attacks in Brussels, Belgium revealed the incompetency of the European security apparatus to handle major threats.  Anticipation had been growing that jihadists were plotting attacks in the country, yet Belgium, and the greater European Union, seemed to lack the "know-how" to combat the threat.  Security officials from the United States lambasted the Belgian security forces efforts against the infiltration of radical jihadists.  It is clear that European governments have been totally taken by surprise by the latest spate of attacks committed by the Islamic State (IS), and European intelligence agencies are confounded as to what to do.  

In fact, and paradoxically, European solidarity has proven to be detrimental in handling potential terrorist attacks.  The IS terrorist network within Europe is “taking advantage of the openness that is foundation to the European Union.”  A French security official remarked that “We are victims of solidarity with the European Union.”[1]  While Europeans are permitted to cross borders without trouble, information from individual European security agencies does not. 

 Instead, intelligence within the EU is stove piped in the absence of a centralized counterterrorism agency.  The result of disorganization has been bloodshed, and without a coherent strategy that involves all intelligence agencies throughout Europe, the streets of Europe will continue to run red. 

This disturbing fact is coupled with a report that security officials have indicated that IS has trained at least 400 militants and sent them to Europe conduct attacks against the West.  These reports demonstrate that European leaders remain out of touch with reality and continue to underestimate the scope of the threat.  These attacks are not anomalies that will simply go away with time but instead represent a systematic approach by a sophisticated terrorist network to undo Western civilization. 

The implications are clear: The European Union must engage in systemic reform of its security apparatus, or Europe will slowly disintegrate into a chaotic battlefield where no citizen remains safe.  

[1] http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/24/world/europe/as-terrorists-cross-borders-europe-sees-anew-that-its-intelligence-does-not.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

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