Greater Cooperation Needed To Counter Greatest Threat EU Since 9/11
Ahead of this week’s talks, the European Union’s policy chief has issued a call for the recent terror attacks in Paris and the raids in Belgium underscore the need for more cooperation among nations of the EU, as well as with Muslim countries.
Federica Mogherini warned of a threat that “is also spreading in many other parts of the world, starting from Muslim countries,” as well as on the Continent.
“We need to strengthen our way of co-operating together first of all with Arab countries and then internally. We need to share information more, we need to co-operate more,” she asserted, reports BBC News.
The need for a concerted alliance was echoed by British Prime Minister David Cameron.
“We cannot do this on our own as Western countries. We need functioning government in Iraq, functioning government in Syria, to be the legitimate authorities that, with us, help to stand back this perversion of the Islamic religion,” said Cameron during an interview on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.”
“If we take the issue of Islamist extremist terrorism coming out of Iraq and Syria, it is going to take a very long time to deal with this…where we’ll have to show real perseverance,” he said.
Ireland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan also stressed a unified response was critical to combatting terrorism.
“The recent appalling terrorist attacks in France and Nigeria remind us that terrorism does not respect borders. We need strong partnership between member states as well as co-operation between the EU and third countries and organizations in the Middle East and elsewhere,” he told The Irish Times.
An estimated 3,000 EU citizens have travelled to the Middle East to fight for Islamic State and other jihadist terrorist organizations, according to Rob Wainwright, the head of Europol, who added that the threat is “the most serious terrorist threat Europe has faced since 09/11.”
Jonathan Evans, former director-general of Britain’s MI5, writes in The Telegraph that the laws governments have at their disposal lag behind the severity of the threat of Islamic radicals.
“The legal powers under which the police and security agencies access communications for intelligence or evidential purposes have become outdated; they were not designed for the current digital world. Increasing areas of digital communications are beyond the reach of law enforcement and they are being exploited by those who wish us ill and prey on the vulnerable,” Evans maintains.