Terror attacks this week in Barcelona, Finland, and Russia have European security agencies openly expressing their concerns. And it’s not about “right-wing” terrorism.
Europol chief Robert Wainwright warned on Twitter yesterday that terrorism is the “highest threat in Europe for a generation.”
— Sir Rob Wainwright (@rwainwright67) August 18, 2017
That warning was in response to Thursday’s car-ramming attack in the popular Las Ramblas tourist area in Barcelona.
So far, 14 people are reported dead from that attack, including American Jared Tucker from California, who was on on his honeymoon.
— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) August 18, 2017
The Barcelona attack could have been even worse. The terror cell had apparently intended to commit a dual vehicle-borne IED (VBIED) attack, but an explosion Wednesday at the safe house where they were building the bombs forced them to scale back their plans.
Following the Europol chief’s warning yesterday, there was a stabbing terror attack in Turku, Finland, that killed two.
And today, there was an attack in Surgut, Russia, that killed eight.
After initial denials Finnish police say deadly knife attack was terrorism. https://t.co/7arrUb5vMI
— Rita Panahi (@RitaPanahi) August 19, 2017
Islamic State says it carried out the knife attack in Surgut in Russia that injured eight people this morning
— Sky News Breaking (@SkyNewsBreak) August 19, 2017
From 2014 to 2016, jihadist terror attacks in Europe increased from 2 to 30, and the pace of attacks this year is becoming unrelenting.
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) August 18, 2017
— Patrick Poole (@pspoole) June 16, 2017
— Reuters Graphics (@ReutersGraphics) July 12, 2017
— Irish Examiner (@irishexaminer) August 17, 2017
Now European security officials are describing the escalating terror threat as “the new normal”:
— The Local Sweden (@TheLocalSweden) August 18, 2017
Terror attacks are part of living in big city, says Sadiq Khan https://t.co/j9IDbkM5Jb
— The Independent (@Independent) September 22, 2016
— Islamism Map (@IslamismMap) April 18, 2017
— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) July 6, 2017
The fact is that the scope of the jihadist terror threat in Europe is now entirely unmanageable.
"Germany’s domestic intelligence service estimates there are about 10,000 radical Islamists in the country." https://t.co/ZnKIzGTuf6
— Max Abrahms (@MaxAbrahms) July 28, 2017
— Patrick Poole (@pspoole) July 4, 2017
— The Times (@thetimes) May 27, 2017
— BBC Newsnight (@BBCNewsnight) June 26, 2017
— DW News (@dwnews) August 18, 2017
The preferred method of attack in Europe over the past year has been car-ramming, encouraged by ISIS and al-Qaeda:
— AFP news agency (@AFP) August 18, 2017
And now, #Barcelona.
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) August 18, 2017
In an attempt to address the problem, a whole new art form has been developed — “crisis architecture”:
One of my favorite examples of crisis architecture. The Arsenal letters look nice, and they'll stop a car attack. pic.twitter.com/uA5KhCBd2Q
— Daveed Gartenstein-Ross (@DaveedGR) August 17, 2017
And the targeting of popular tourist landmarks is literally changing the face of Europe:
— Ashr (@Ashmyr613) June 25, 2017
London: Build bridges not walls.
Also London pic.twitter.com/I86M7IoGx5
— The Self Provisioner – Neil M White (@ThisDadDoes) July 4, 2017
— The Sunday Times (@thesundaytimes) June 25, 2017
One of the prime targets for jihadist attacks so far this year has been France.
— Nick Short 🇺🇸 (@PoliticalShort) August 9, 2017
If attack on soldiers outside Paris is confirmed to be terrorism, this would be 8th terror event in France this year https://t.co/RRGXrgwWbw
— Patrick Poole (@pspoole) August 9, 2017
— Terror Events (@TerrorEvents) July 6, 2017
#France has now upped the # of potential jihadists on its terror watch list to 18,500 from 16,000 6 months ago. Mind boggling Figure.
— Olivier Guitta (@OlivierGuitta) August 6, 2017
As they saw in Paris in 2015 with the Charlie Hebdo and the Bataclan terror attacks, one of the contributing factors to Europe’s terrorism problem is foreign fighters who fought with ISIS and other terror groups in Syria and Iraq:
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) August 7, 2017
France has seen 271 jihadi militants return: minister https://t.co/HPudKcVGLq
— Reuters Iran (@ReutersIran) August 6, 2017
And it’s not just France confronting a problem of returning foreign fighters.
— AFP news agency (@AFP) June 16, 2017
— Amor Shabbi عمر شابي (@AmorShabbi) July 14, 2017
One approach that France has tried is to hunt them down in Syria and Iraq before they return:
France is ‘hunting down its citizens who joined Isis’ without trial in Iraq https://t.co/6oPH9ydlES
— The Independent (@Independent) May 30, 2017
Other countries are not so proactive in dealing with the returning foreign fighter threat.
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) June 6, 2017
As I’ve reported here at PJ Media, U.S. authorities are actively warning their counterparts about the scope of the foreign fighter threat.
— Patrick Poole (@pspoole) August 1, 2017
— Patrick Poole (@pspoole) July 30, 2017
How are these terrorist transiting? In many cases, along established refugee routes into Europe.
In both the Barcelona and Turku attacks this week, the terrorists were Moroccan immigrants.
Earlier this month I chronicled the immigration-driven terror problem underway in Germany, which in the lead-up to parliamentary elections is being blamed on Frau Merkel’s open immigration policies.
— Patrick Poole (@pspoole) July 31, 2017
— PJ Media (@PJMedia_com) September 11, 2016
Despite the fact that the U.S. is geographically separated from many of these problems by two vast oceans, we are hardly immune from the threat of jihadist terrorism.
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) November 14, 2015
— Free Beacon (@FreeBeacon) August 29, 2015
As recent U.S. ISIS-related cases reveal.
— Patrick Poole (@pspoole) July 11, 2017
— Patrick Poole (@pspoole) July 25, 2017
I warned back in April that we may be facing yet another “Summer of Terror,” and the attacks this wee indicate that it may be far from over.
— Patrick Poole (@pspoole) June 6, 2017
— PJ Media (@PJMedia_com) October 12, 2016