EUROPE: A DANGEROUS PLACE TO LIVE
Analyses of the new security situation in Europe
By Inna Rogatchi
More than one and a half years since the September 11 attack on the United States, the security situation in Europe has not yet calmed down. On the contrary, the situation is increasingly tense, and concerns everyone in any of the European cities on a daily basis.
WORST DREAM COMES TRUE
Picture: S.Tulenev, Chas
Never in its modern history, has Europe experienced such a bad dream of having one of its biggest and most central countries, Germany, included in the same warning list of the US Department of State with Iraq, Iran and Libya, – as happened in mid-February 2003 when the Department of State issued warning for American citizens of places they are not recommended to visit for security reasons. Never after World War II, has the British government needed to issue the order for its army to take control over Heathrow airport, but since mid-February 2003, a 500-strong military personnel, with tanks and full military equipment, patrols one of the world’s biggest airports day and night out of very serious security alert which includes the threat of rocket attacks on passenger trains to the Heathrow terminals. Every single day, we read and hear news of terrorist-related arrests in the United Kingdom, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, etc.
“Several hundreds of hard-core Islamic militants have been arrested all over Europe. All of them have got here as asylum seekers, all of them have been living solely on European tax-payers money with their families for years, as hardly any of them are working. Once a 20 or 30 year old militant has got into the good old liberal Europe, he then started to get his “family” using the right of political refugees. What is interesting is that for some funny reason, this family, as a rule, never consist of his parents, or any other elderly people. They normally come as visitors. But “family” a refugee claims is usually his 20 or 30 something “brothers, cousins, nephews, etc.” whose real relationship to the person is unverifiable by European authorities; back home, from Algeria and Morocco to Pakistan and Iraq, there are plenty of ways to produce the documents “confirming” this”, - said a top-expert on security, also a member of the low-profile European counter-terrorist panel formed last year.
It had been established by the counter-terrorist agencies that there is a motto for the militants to enroot in European countries: “most commonly, they are married to European women, converting them to Islam, and quite often, the radical form of the religion; they start really big families, and benefit even more on social , medical, educational and all kinds of aid, - doing nothing for the society they are milking, but being dangerous “sleepers” in the mighty pan-European terrorist network. The smartest ones with special missions, such as Mohammed Atta and his companions, get into universities studying architecture, construction, communications. Now we know why they were studying exactly these disciplines – it gave then detailed knowledge on the infrastructure of European cities, with the possibility of identifying weak or vulnerable places”, – analyzed the European counter-terrorist agency representative.
It was also pointed out that recently counter-terrorist organizations in Europe have noticed a rise of even younger “asylum-seekers” from countries with a strong position of extreme Islamic organizations : “It looks to us that responding to international alarm over their activities, extremist and terrorist Islamic organizations have decided to send hundreds or even thousands of their youth to Europe now. They hope that the European authorities would be deceived by the youngsters’ age (15-17), they would not be regarded as a security threat, and they would get asylum easier. We are talking to our colleagues in asylum bodies trying to explain to them that the innocently looking youth who is 15 today is going to be 18 in just three years’ time, and that they are just as motivated, and even more intensively indoctrinated and trained in their communities on European soil, – as we all witnessed in the case of the London Feensbury Mosque, and many other places in Bristol, Paris, Marseilles , or Milan; that this youth in just a couple of years will be even more fit to conduct acts of violence than their 40-year old “brothers and cousins”. And we should not forget also those youngsters who were born in Europe after their parents were granted asylum here. We are certainly facing the renewal of presence by militant Islamic extremists in Europe”, - urged one of the leaders of the European security organizations.
If the plans of the several hundred arrested terrorists and their associates were fulfilled, Europe would live in the war by now : ricin and other gas attacks in the London subway (millions of passengers daily), poisoning the water reservoirs of London and other big British cities; explosions of US Embassies and other major buildings in London, Paris, Rome and Berlin (buildings situated at central and populated areas of the biggest European capitals); poison attacks in the Paris subway, one of the busiest in Europe; explosions at the European Central Bank in Frankfurt; an assassination plot on the life of Admiral Michael Boyle, the highest military official of Great Britain; the assassination was planned to take place at the NATO military base in the Naples, Italy, in mid-February 2003. Many of these carefully planned and fully prepared attacks were prevented literally in the last minutes, as in the case with the planned exploit of the US Embassy in Rome where arrests were made just two hours prior to the attack; prior to that terrorists had dug a fully equipped tunnel leading to the Embassy in the very heart of Rome. The planned ricin gas attack in London was also prevented just hours before the terrorists planned to go through with it. Similarly, arrests in Naples were made just a few days before the assassination plot on the life of the British military commander-in-chief.
There are many more surprises prepared and being prepared for all of us by the international radical Islamic terrorist “boutique” spread over the biggest part of Europe by its broad and solid network. Two explosions on Italian Catholic churches in February 2003, with casualties, were conducted in the very same manner (a bomb was attached to the church’s door), in the same day, in two different Italian regions. How has this living yet very real nightmare become possible? This is the question asked by many justly worried European citizens.
NAIVETY OR IGNORANCE?
Former US Foreign Secretary Madeleine Albright in her February 2003 Meet the Press interview to CNBS tried to justify the passive and appeasing policy that the Clinton Administration practiced towards real treats of Islamic terrorism by exclaiming : “Oh, you don’t understand: life was very, very different before September 11th!..” . Many experts on security have pointed out, however, that the fact of the matter is that the lives of hundreds of millions of people have become dramatically different, now being in permanent jeopardy precisely because before these devastating acts of terror, the real threats were not recognized by the authorities, and neither were the threats named by their proper names, nor was sufficient action taken in order to prevent or stop it. As for Europe, its’ too liberal and too left-wing leadership in the previous decade, coinciding with the years of rule by the Clinton Administration, also created an easy and favorable climate for establishing a huge terrorist network in almost all European countries, according to a majority of experts on terrorism.
Today, British Prime Minister Tony Blair has realized the consequences, and has announced that Britain will cut in two the number of asylum seekers effective immediately. But is not this much-needed measure being taken too late? For years now Britain has become the place where mosques are the places for terrorist recruitment and training, as well as centers for propagating open and active racial hatred not just against all non-Muslims, but against non-radical Muslims as well. A world–known expert on Islamic terrorism, Robert Baer, described recently that even years ago he had been shocked by finding the utmost open terrorist propaganda lying on shelves of many Islamic book-stores in London and other British cities. “The open and seemingly easy dissimilation of such open racial hatred, repeated appeals to carry on violence, with full militant instructions on top of it, should have been an immediate reason for a security alarm. Still, in London “business was as usual”still only a decade ago. But when I tried to ask my colleagues in London about it, nobody cared, or could not do much about it. Now we are all paying for it”, - said Robert Baer in one of his recent speeches.
France, on its behalf, has according to various estimates, between 5 and 7 million refugees from northern Africa, with up to 3 million more illegal ones, making at least 10% of the country’s population. According to the French police and counter-intelligence authorities, “all people arrested in connection with terrorist threats in the country are of the North-African origin, and they belong to the radical Islamic organizations”. But yet in the last year, during all electoral campaigns, both the French president Jacquec Chirac and the former prime-minister Lionel Jospin in a quite calculative way relied heavily on this electorate, and were still over-cheerful with these groups playing not just “cat and mouse”- , but a “hen and chicken” game with them. At the same time, judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere , the leading French anti-terror official, underlined in his recent interview the new and far-stretching strategy of Islamic terrorism : “Their new strategy is to utilize the media to transmit messages of fear, of terror, that can weigh directly on the global economy, on the markets, on confidence. This amplifies the effects of classic terrorism, the violence itself. We are talking now about their ‘management’ of terror.”
The same goes for Germany, having become a true haven for the Islamic terrorist and his associates. With the very same motto as in France, German left-wing politicians and parties used the sharply increasing amount of Muslim voters to ensure their own elections results. Now they are facing a tough challenge: to try “to correct” the inevitable consequence of their political ignorance. German counter-terrorist authorities had no other choice but to confirm the facts coming from many other sources: Hamburg has become the center of a European radical Islamic terrorist network, with many other German cities, especially Frankfurt and Berlin, deeply inflicted with the same deadly dangerous people and their activities.
A similarly alarming situation is in Belgium where entire districts of central cities, such as Antwerp, the fourth harbor in the world, have become totally Muslim territories under the control of immigrant Islamic “councils”. The pattern developed to such an extreme extent that local Islamic “militia” of Moroccan origin followed each step of the regular Belgium police and threatened them daily, that recent article in the Russian Izvestiya newspaper has described the situation as “seemingly soon becoming the Belgian Halifat. It seems that in Belgium the European leftists played their game of nonsense-like attempts to change the cultural and ethnic landscape of Europe until it has reached the level of a true catastrophe”, - writes observer Elmar Gusseinov. The recent report of the Belgium parliament Intelligence Committee (December 2002) stated that “at least 30 mosques are involved in activities of radical terrorist organizations in Brussels and Antwerp. There is serious and direct threat to the constitutional order and survival of the democratic system in Belgium.”
The same is true for the Netherlands where an 850,000 strong Muslim immigrant community, with 300,000 in Amsterdam alone is terrorizing authorities and manifesting support to their terrorist brothers in quite a violent way. In the beginning of 2003, the director of the Netherlands intelligence, Sibrand van Hulst, issued a rare warning regarding the threat of Islamic terrorists: “The aggressive kind of radical Islamic movement has been enrooted deeply into the Dutch society. They are working very actively inside Muslim communities all over the Netherlands, recruiting terrorists who would be ready to commit terrorist attacks inside Holland, as well as outside it. They are most active among immigrants of the second generation ,- those who were born in the Netherlands, or who have moved to the country in their young age. The Moroccan community is a subject of special concern to us,” - said the director of the Netherlands intelligence service.
Italy, which along with Spain is doing its best to fight terror actively and persistently, has also inherited a very disturbing presence of Islamic militants in its country as a result of the short-sighted policy of the previous left-wing government. According to the Italian police, “the Prosecutor Office of Northern Italy (Milan) has opened the investigation of a mysterious Islamic organization that has created a network of a Shariah courts in Europe. The nuclear of this organization is situated and operates in Milan, and we have a reason to believe that the Islamic Center of Milan has a direct link to the so-called court. The problem is serious, as illegally operating “courts” regularly authorize the stoning of women and the mutilating of men. The same Islamic Center in Milan has direct links to terrorists and their financing,” - stated the Prosecutor Office of Milan in the beginning of January this year.
TIME TO ACT SWIFTLY
Islamic militia on the streets of Antwerp; Islamic Shariah courts all over northern Italy; Islamic terrorist recruitment centers in London, Manchester, Amsterdam, Brussels; terrorist financial networks in Switzerland and Liechtenstein; Islamic terror propaganda centers in Berlin and Paris. What awaits the citizens of Europe next?..
“A fundamental mistake is to think that these attacks are against Americans or Israelis, or their interests; or that as long as you are anti-American or anti-Israeli, or pretend to be, thus trying to escape the fury of Islamic extremists as many people in Europe are today following the utterly wrong policy of leaders like German chancellor Gerhard Shroeder, you would be safe. Wrong. It is deeply and utterly wrong. The fact is that starting with September 11, which was not only the date for an attack on the United States, but also a signal for the ready-to-go Islamic terrorist network in Europe for “show time”, we are facing a deeply rooted, ideologically and meticulously planned, tactically conscious and persistent attack on the non-Islamic and “wrong-Islamic” (from a terrorists’ point of view) values, order, system, and people. And no appeasement attempt would save anyone any longer,” – as concluded by the European panel of counter-terrorism experts in London recently.
Heads of security agencies in the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, and France were also clear in their recent appeals to act immediately: “The threat demands global response, and it has to be better than it has been”, - summarized leading anti-terror authority in France, judge Jean-Louis Bruguire.
Watching the pictures from Heathrow when thousands of passengers carry their luggage in front of tanks full of soldiers with loaded gun-machines, one cannot help itself but feel how the breath of war is again becoming a daily routine for Europeans. When carrying out their next “surprise”, terrorists based in Europe, will not check their victims’ passport or political preferences. Terror kills indiscriminately. And Europe, after putting itself very much in the corner, has simply no other option left to win this undeclared war, than being concentrated, focused and decisive.
Residents of London to be warned of terrorism by SMS
"AIR-RAID WARNING - KEEP CALM." Inhabitants of London who have
subscribed for a new SMS service may at some point receive a similar SMS message.
Messages like this will be dispatched by the City Alert Texting System (CATS) in case of threats of terrorist attacks.
Besides, addresses of the nearest hospitals, emergency centres and instructions on evacuation will also be included in the SMS.
"During an extreme situation people panic, because they do not know how to
operate in such cases, - said the founder of CATS, David Peters. – We can dispatch SMS messages to a broad audience of subscribers and do so quickly. And as we know where our SMS service subscriber lives or works, he will get SMS instructions relevant to him."
The CATS service was created in cooperation with the company
Eazytext that specializes on commercial delivery of text messages. This system
started work on February 13. Two weeks later the number of subscribers reached several thousands. It has cost them only half a pound (2.4 USD) for annual
The SMS text warning system is used in Great Britain rather
widely, because almost each resident of the country owns a mobile phone. Residents of London already receive SMS messages on delays for bus services. Drivers from Wales get information on any accidents on teh M4 motorway. Similar SMS services are also used in the USA.
The advantage of CATS is its advanced algorithm of dispatching the SMS messages. The city is divided into zones, which are appropriate to the subscriber's postal indexes. Therefore this system is capable to dispatch millions of SMS messages within five minutes and this will out-distance any shaft of calls that will load cellular operators to the full in case of any extreme situation, as happened in New York on September 11. David Peters believes that ideally the emergency services should dispatch such SMS messages themselves. CATS has already been demonstrated at the Emergency Situations Centre of London, and David Peters is negotiating with authorities of Manchester and Edinburgh.