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Monday, February 12, 2018

European media: the terrorist Attacks in Brussels – a spit in the face of Europe

A series of bombings in Brussels caused panic among the Western media, who with one voice declared that the blow on the Belgian capital is a blow to the whole European Union. Many are encouraged to prepare for the great war and to direct all efforts to improve the functioning of intelligence agencies. Others recommend to look at the roots of the problem and start working on the bugs before it is too late.

The first reaction of Western media to the attacks in Brussels saturated with shock and horror. The Times published the headline “bloodbath in Brussels.” The Guardian front page declared: “what we feared, happened.” And German newspaper Bild said: “We are at war”. The attack on Brussels is an attack on all of Europe, emphasize the media.

“European public opinion is increasingly inclined to think that the EU leaders do not control the terrorist threat on the continent”

Black day for the EU

“The Prime Minister of Belgium Charles Michel called Tuesday a “black day” for his country. This applies to the entire EU. The explosion in the subway – it is an attack on the heart of Europe. Station “Malbec” is just a few steps from the headquarters of the European Commission and 350 metres from where last week the head of government of the EU gathered for the summit, reminded The Financial Times. – Terrorist attacks hit the arteries of the diplomatic capital of Europe, its cherished freedoms to its people. It is unlikely they could find a more vulnerable moment for a 70-year project, which is already suffering from multiple crises,” emphasized edition. It reminded that the head of EU foreign policy Federica Mogherini could not hold back the tears, and the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker wrote on Twitter that the event “will not intimidate us. We will continue our work”.

“But now security threats undermine political solidarity underpinning the major achievements of the (EU) single currency to free movement”, said The FT. “It is difficult to understand what awaits us next,” echoed the publication and a senior official of the EU.

In another article the magazine says that politicians-populists on both sides of the Atlantic quickly grasped the situation in Brussels. “Again and again I was right about terrorism. It’s time to act tough,” the newspaper quoted the presidential candidate for the Republican nomination Donald trump. In Europe the leader of the National front of France marine Le Pen has called the attacks “Islamist barbarism” and called for the immediate closure of the Franco-Belgian border. British “antiproteaznaya” party UKIP linked the terrorist attacks with the migration policy, saying that they were “the result of Schengen: free movement and weak border controls”. The situation does indeed meet the calls for “populist right-wing parties to tighter border control and more aggressive approach to Islamic communities”, stated The FT.

That the terrorist attacks in Brussels immediately began to use in fierce debates about migrants from the Middle East and North Africa, said The New York Times. “The attacks have put the issue of European solidarity and security. And they were in a period of severe uncertainty in the feasibility of the European Union: during the crisis, high unemployment, and threats of a British exit from the block, which must be decided in a referendum in June”, – said the publication. He was echoed by political analyst with the Eurasia Group Mujtaba Rahman: “European public opinion is increasingly inclined to think that the EU leaders do not control the terrorist threat on the continent, he said. – After these attacks follow an upsurge of xenophobic and anti-migrant sentiment, which is already growing on the background of the ongoing refugee crisis in the EU”.

Similar trends and sentiment in the American newspaper called desperately to resist: “Brussels, Europe and the world must prepare for a long struggle with terrorism. This means increased effort and a much higher degree of cooperation between the countries under threat. This means courage and fortitude in the face of threats that will take many years. And it is emphatically not the means of inciting hysterical fear, as voiced by politicians, like Donald trump” – said in The NYT.

“Europe has become a recruitment base for ISIS”

Technical measures to combat the threat of terrorism has developed. The European Commission intends to propose to introduce control at the entrance to airports, told German newspaper Die Welt: “This is reasonable, since all visitors will be checked before entering the terminal,” said a senior official of the European Commission. The newspaper recalled the successful introduction of gatekeeping in the Russian Domodedovo airport after the terrorist attack in 2011. This measure requires expenditure, but it will help to improve the security situation, the newspaper notes.

The NYT columnist Roger Cohen also pointed to technical deficiencies, but “Belgium is not unique in its need to improve in the fight against terror”. The coordinator of combating terrorism in the EU recently reported that several member States still do not have electronic communication with Interpol at all border crossing points. Moreover, he concluded that “the exchange of information still does not reflect the scale of the threat,” said Cohen. He noted that the European database is only 2,786 foreign fighters, although “well-founded estimates suggest about 5000 EU citizens have gone to Syria and Iraq to join the Islamic state and other extremist groups. Even worse, over 90% of the messages were from 5 member States of the EU”, concluded Cohen.

About the fact that EU leaders have adopted the wrong tactics in the fight against terror, said Le Figaro and expert on the Arab-Muslim world Mathieu Hider. He noted that the attacks in Brussels – a copy of the Paris events: “The same methods and the same goals”. Probably, operation is militants was planned long ago, but it brought the arrest of Salah Abdeslam. The attack was “an affront to France and Belgium, proudly declaring victory after his capture,” said the expert. According to him, the militants thus replied: “You have caught just a scapegoat, but you are professionals”. French and Belgian intelligence services, the policy gave too much attention to his arrest and thus missed preparing for another attack, said the source. In his opinion, traces of customers can lead to Iraq, and as performers, they probably never left France or Belgium.

Time magazine, in turn, has added: the more displace ISIS from the Middle East, the more clearly becomes the threat posed by ISIS to the whole world. Europe became a base for recruitment to IG: with 2012 and 2015, more than 400 people have gone from Belgium to Syria and Iraq to join ISIS. Another 1,200 people left during the same period from France. Thus, it is the “European capital” Paris and Brussels has delivered foreign fighters to the middle East and the immigration crisis has only exacerbated the schism between the Muslim East and the West, emphasized edition.

It is noted that a split exists within the EU itself. Turkey promise a visa-free regime for the agreement on refugees, but in the current situation many countries will likely agree to close their borders than to admit the Turks. “This could then put an end to the Schengen area and endanger the further existence of the EU,” the magazine notes.

The author even dares to imagine what would happen if on the eve of voting in Britain will be a terrorist act, because if Britain in a referendum all the same will come from the EU, it would mean the end of the join: “ISIL leaders have many opportunities to destabilize the European Union”, – concluded Time.

On the wrong tactics of EU leaders and noted Portuguese journalist Jose Milhazes in his blog. Opening the article, he noted that “it is this spitting in the face of Europe and its values”. European citizens can no longer feel safe even in your own home. It is obvious that aerial bombardment is not the best way of dealing with terrorists, said the journalist.

In addition to the need to improve intelligence, he recalled that the need to combine efforts to choke off terrorist financing. However, on a global level there are many politicians, businessmen, bankers and other corrupt officials, who, this situation is disadvantageous for millions and they are willing to jeopardize the safety of their own countrymen. “The fight against corruption should go at all levels, ranging from forgery of documents, the issuance of a residence permit, permission of movement under the guise of Visa Gold to the lowest level: the terrorists after infiltrating with bombs and weapons into airports, metro… and it’s in the city, where for several weeks as announced enhanced security mode”, – stressed Milhazes.

“Love is a powerful weapon in the fight against terrorism”

He noted that the attacks take place in countries where there are large Muslim communities. “But it was a horrible mistake to focus these communities in ghettos on the outskirts and not facilitate their integration into society. Now have a long and expensive mistakes, these citizens feel at home, not on foreign soil,” said Milhazes. In addition to heal the wound, the required minimum stability in the middle East that will stop the flow of refugees. “However, the European Union has demonstrated a complete helplessness,” said the journalist.

That fruit gave policy in the EU in relation to Muslims, said The Guardian. “About 40% of Muslim youth in Brussels are living in poverty. More than a quarter left school without a high school diploma. The unemployment rate among them is huge. Many young people have no future, suffer from low self-esteem, and only a thin line separates them from all kinds of violence,” stated the publication. Over the past five years the cases of “verbal and physical violence against immigrants in Belgium, in particular Muslims, has increased by 50%,” added the newspaper.

According to the authors, politicians and the media fall into the trap of terrorists as groups such as ISIS, have a clear goal: “to sow panic and mistrust”, the experts even call it “theatre of fear”. “But we can’t fight fear with fear, or violence with violence, we need a foreign policy that rejects militarization and war in favor of political solutions and dialogue. We need to strengthen vulnerable communities and groups. We need to invest in young people so that they feel a sense of dignity and participate in society. We must offer them a clear perspective”, said The Guardian.

The publication notes that it is “one of the most effective ways of combating terrorism”. According to the authors, “we must respond with love to those who sow fear, because love is a powerful weapon in the fight against terrorism”.

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