Zed Sports acquires majority stake in FC Masr    French health minister confirms vaccination could start by end of year    Egypt establishes 32% of COMESA's projects in 7 months    Egypt condemns terrorist attack on Saudi Arabia's Shaqiq port    US will appeal order barring expulsions of migrant children    Merkel urges patience as German virus restrictions extended    Cairo, Alexandria, Gharbiya and Luxor record highest coronavirus infection rates, minister    Japan's Olympics minister: not government's role to look into bid payments    Guardiola backs Manchester City's attack to fire on all cylinders again    Ahly, Zamalek fans hold their breath as derby fever grips Cairo    2021 Grammy Awards: List of nominees in top categories    Egypt's interior ministry takes legal action against 5,226 drivers, 483 shops for violating COVID-19 preventive measures    UK cuts foreign aid spending commitment, causing outcry    Egypt establishes big new rail company to localise production of locomotives    Sisi calls on citizens to closely observe COVID-19 preventive measures    EU says Ethiopia fighting destabilising region, urges ceasefire    UAE's ADGM to sign MOU with Israel's securities authority on fintech    Akhenaten performance at the Cairo Opera House is a must go    An advisory chamber    Golden opportunities    GERD: A point of order?    Leapfrogging the transport network    Cairo International Book Fair suspended for five months over coronavirus concerns    AstraZeneca novel COVID-19 vaccine can be 90% effective, results show    Polling stations open at home for 1st stage of Egyptian parliamentary run-offs    US will reduce number of its troop in Iraq, Afghanistan    Asia forms world's biggest trade bloc, a China-backed group excluding U.S    Egypt unveils largest archaeological discovery in 2020 with over 100 intact sarcophagi    Palestinians mourn the loss their longtime spokesman, Saeb Erekat    Trump says won't blame Egypt for being ‘upset' over GERD dispute with Ethiopia    1st stage of Egypt's parliamentary elections kicks off on Saturday    Global Finance: Egypt's Tarek Amer among the world's top 20 central bank governors    Legend footballer Lionel Messi says he is forced to stay with Barcelona    Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan to resume Nile dam talks today    Iraqi conglomerate eyes developing land that housed Mubarak-era ruling party HQ    Legend Messi officially wants to leave Barcelona, hands transfer request    The Facebook Preacher's Search for Fame, and Egypt's Economy    Egypt calls on UNSC to address oil spill risks off Yemen coast    Egypt economically strong in face of COVID-19, reforms ongoing: International Cooperation Minister    Arafa Holding reports $144,000 COVID-19-related losses in April    Egypt's efforts in Libya to activate free will of Libyan people: Al-Sisi    Hyksos campaigns were internal takeover, not foreign invaders: study    COVID-19 affects Egypt sporting clubs    COVID-19 will soon turn to seasonal like swine flu: Presidential Health Advisor    ‘Egypt's Support' coalition convenes to discuss its Senate election list    Robbery attempt leads to discovery of Ptolemaic monuments in Qena    Flouting international guidance, Ethiopia unilaterally starts filling its Nile dam    Zaha speaks out after online racial abuse    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

The year of terror in Europe
Ten years after the last large-scale attacks in London, Europe experienced a bad year of terrorism in 2015. Hundreds died, including many French, Turks and Russians. "War" against "Islamic State" has been the result.
Published in Daily News Egypt on 30 - 12 - 2015

Ten years after the last large-scale attacks in London, Europe experienced a bad year of terrorism in 2015. Hundreds died, including many French, Turks and Russians. "War" against "Islamic State" has been the result.
The year 2015 began as it ended: with shots ringing out in terror attacks in the heart of Paris. In January, the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket were the targets. Seventeen people died. In November, Islamist terrorists killed 130 people in Paris and at the Stade de France. France and the whole of Europe reacted with shock. In January, President Francois Hollande spoke of a monstrous barbarism; now, at the end of the year, he sees the country as being at war against the powerful "Islamic State" group, which operates in Syria, Iraq and North Africa. "What happened yesterday in Paris and the Stade de France was an act of war", said Hollande on November 14, the day after the attacks. "In war the state has to make proportionate decisions. The act of war was carried out by a terrorist organization of the Islamist ‘Daesh,' against France and against the values which we defend, in the whole world, against every free country."
Attacks on ‘IS' stepped up
European politicians, along with the leaders of the G20 states, who met for talks in Turkey shortly after the Paris terror attacks, promised solidarity and aid. Because Turkey and Russia were also victims of devastating attacks by the Islamists, the end of this year of terror saw the formation of an unlikely coalition that intends to take action against "Islamic State." But the conflict in Syria continues unabated. And though there are the first signs of a political solution being negotiated, the USA, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, France and Turkey are all – apart from the joint fight against "IS" – pursuing totally different goals in the region.
Germany participates in the war
That became dangerously apparent when a Russian fighter jet was shot down by Turkish armed forces. The two countries had got in each other's way during parallel operations against targets in Syria. Relations between Turkey and Russia are at a low ebb, but an escalation was prevented. Germany and other European allies such as Great Britain and Denmark are now intent on putting their declared solidarity into action. The states have mobilized their air forces for the war against "IS." German Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged unlimited support to France: "We will do everything to help with the hunt against the perpetrators and wage the joint fight against the terrorists." No sooner had she said it than she ordered the deployment of Tornado reconnaissance planes, a naval ship and a fueling aircraft to Syria. Security authorities have warned that Germany, too, has long been a potential target for terrorists, and more than ever at the end of the year. "We, your German friends, feel so close to you. We are crying with you," said Angela Merkel to the French in November.
Hit at the core
"Je suis Charlie." With this empathic affirmation of a belief in the freedom of opinion, people in France and many other parts of the world demonstrated their will to stand up to terrorism. The Iranian foreign minister, however, continued to condemn the publication of caricatures critical of Islam. The stage-managed solidarity march by leading politicians in a Paris side street – for "security reasons" – was rather embarrassing. At the same time, millions of people were marching right through Paris – without protection. In November, such marches had to be canceled, as the situation had grown too dangerous and threatening in the meantime. As a substitute, empty shoes were laid in the Place de la Republique. "I am Paris" was now the slogan. The French fervently sang the "Marseillaise," their martial national anthem. And just four weeks after the terror attacks, the right-wing populist "Front National" made decisive gains in regional elections.
Large number of attacks in Europe
In addition to the attacks in Paris, France was the stage for many smaller acts of terrorist violence as well. In April, a woman was shot dead by an assailant who wanted to attack a Christian church. In June, an attack on a gas factory near Lyon failed – only narrowly, as it seems. A man was decapitated there by an "IS" henchman. In August, an Islamist attacker in the high-speed Thalys train was overpowered by courageous passengers before he could strike. On November 18, a Jew was attacked with a knife in full public view.
In Denmark, two people died in February in attacks on a cultural center and a synagogue. The Danes declared war on terror. After the attack, the chief rabbi of Denmark, Jair Melchior, was stunned: "Danish Jews were part of society, and that to 100 percent. That's why we felt so special here. If someone now lays a flower outside the door, then it is not to show solidarity with Jews, but because a Dane was killed," Melchior said in an interview with Deutsche Welle. There were also attacks with a terrorist background in Berlin and London. Turkey and Russia were particularly hard-hit: hundreds of people died in attacks in Ankara and Suruc and when a Russian passenger jet went down over the Sinai. They are also thought to be probable victims of the radical Islamists.
EU to tighten security measures
The European Union is promising France military assistance according to Paragraph 42 of the Lisbon Treaty. That's never been the case before. The interior ministers are pledging better cooperation between police authorities and intelligence services. The intended result is to have more monitoring of travel and money transfers. But the wheels of bureaucracy turn slowly. The same commitments and demands were heard at the start of the year as at the end. Implementing them as practical law can take months, and sometimes years.
The open inner borders in Europe are doubly under pressure: first, because of the refugees who have been coming to the continent for months without being controlled, and secondly, because of the realization that terrorists with EU passports can obviously travel unhindered or mingle with the influx of refugees and thus arrive in France from Syria without being recognized. German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere has called for better protection of the EU's external borders. "Thousands of foreign fighters, travelling jihadists, are in Syria fighting on the side of the so-called ‘Islamic State.' From there, terror attacks are being coordinated and carried out in Europe. That's why we have to know who is flying to Europe and who is coming back to Europe, so that we can react accordingly, " said de Maiziere after one of the many extraordinary meetings on fighting terrorism. The EU intends to store and evaluate flight data in the future. A joint border guard is to be set up because countries such as Greece, Bulgaria and Italy are unable to cope.
Belgium – center for terrorists
France's northern neighbor is also overtaxed. Nearly all the traces left by the perpetrators of the Paris terror attacks lead to Belgium. The attacks were apparently prepared in the Brussels district of Molenbeek, an Islamist stronghold that has long been known to the Belgian authorities. In operations in Verviers in January and the Belgian police succeeded in apprehending some helpers and uncovering weapons depots. But one of the chief suspects managed to escape. In Brussels, subways, shops, schools and universities were shut down for a few days for security reasons. But then everyday life returned to normal. The political parties have been arguing about who is to blame for the poor integration of Muslim migrant children. Belgium is fighting against its reputation of being a "failed state" with regard to security, as the German newsmagazine "Spiegel" has described it. Soldiers are patrolling the streets at the end of the year 2015. Will that offer protection against jihadists?
Have something to say? Add your comment below. The thread to this editorial closes in 24 hours.

Clic here to read the story from its source.