European dilemma - Jihadists on the move

By Ayo Johnson
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, January 8, 2017
Adjust font size:

The European Union is facing its most significant security threat in a generation. Not at any time in its history have terrorists threatened the bloc with such intensity and ferocity. Unflinching and uncompromising terrorist groups have diverted their focus, drive and attention to attack the very fabric of European society.

Islamic State has members from every corner of the world and they are currently poised to rip havoc across Europe. This group officially the most dangerous, has been branded a notorious terrorist organization by every government across the globe.

European intelligence agencies say the continent should brace itself for trouble from dedicated Jihadists trained in the world's trouble spots who have infiltrated European borders.

The war in Syria and Iraq has guaranteed a steady stream of migrants fleeing the conflict. The United Nations refugee convention asks governments to support displaced people who seek sanctuary in the first and nearest safe country. Theoretically, that should be Turkey. However, desperate refugees seeking a better life are heading further afield to create a larger presence in Western European cities.

Posing as refugees, many Jihadists have blended with the migration flows to gain entry. German Chancellor Angela Merkel's government, until now, had adopted an open-door policy to accept huge waves of migrants. However, in the wake of the recent wave of attacks across Europe, the Chancellor is having second thoughts and has become keen to strengthen immigration policies to make it harder for refugees to gain entry.

In the past 12 months, attacks in Europe have reached an alarming level. For example, 86 people were killed and over 400 injured when a truck was deliberately driven into a crowd of people in Nice, France. In Turkey, there have been a string of attacks with hundreds dead, including 38 at a New Year's Eve night club party in Istanbul.

European citizens are braced for more. Over a million refugees have entered Germany in the past few months. Undercover Islamic State combatants are forming sleeper cells, awaiting orders to strike.

In Belgium, 30 people were killed and 180 injured in twin explosions at an airport and train station terminal. In Munich, Germany's third largest city; nine people were killed and 16 injured when a gunman open fire in a shopping center.

In the wake of recent attacks across Europe; the United Kingdom, poised to leave the European Union, has toughened its immigration laws including a "managed migration" policy. The government is obviously fearful that a softer political response could arouse public anger and foster a political backlash that could enable far right groups to gain a foothold.

Sir Bernard Hogan-How, head of the [London] Metropolitan Police, has said "it is matter of when and not if" an attack will occur. Many agitated and nervous citizens believe an attack is imminent. An attack on any of the U.K.'s transportation networks would be devastating. Commuters in overcrowded stations would stand little chance.

It is not uncommon to see armed police officers and sniffer dogs on patrol. A visible police presence does offer some reassurance to an anxious public and a possible deterrent to a would-be assailant.

London is a major tourist destination and is marketed as one of the safest cities in the world, so it's an obvious target.

Security Minister Ben Wallace says Islamic State would want to carry out mass casualty attacks. The group would not hesitate to use chemical or toxic bombs in a city like London. The U.K.'s MI5 and MI6 Intelligence services are working around the clock; having foiling 12 major attacks over the past three years.

In a renewed effort to combat threats from terrorist groups like Islamic State, Scotland Yard announced a protective ring to be built around central London. This ring of steel will include bollards, crash-proof barriers and restricted access to many roads.

These new measures will provide confidence; but also put the public on notice that there could be a sudden attack fairly soon.

Ayo Johnson is a British Journalist and columnist with

Opinion articles reflect the views of their authors, not necessarily those of


Follow on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from