Brussels Attacks Expose Weakness Of European Security, Fallacy Of Donald Trump’s Response
The shock and astonishment many expressed in the hours after Islamic terrorists attacked multiple locations in Brussels is in itself a reflection of the failure of governments across Europe to manage the threat of extremism within its cities and towns.
Despite warnings from their own intelligence services that Islamic State militants were poised to strike and knowing for months that a possible terrorist attack in Brussels, it took four months for Belgian officials to hunt down one of the remaining Paris attackers, who was hiding in the Molenbeek neighborhood, a well-known hub of radical activity.
“He was hiding in plain sight. But Belgium’s failure was cooked into the system: The jihadists move stealthily, and the Belgians didn’t collect or share enough of the intelligence that was there. Authorities had allowed Molenbeek to become a haven — more dangerous to Belgium than even the jihadists’ sanctuaries in Syria, Iraq and Libya,” notes Washington Post columnist David Ignatius in a piece outlining Europe’s failure to cooperate and communicate with global intelligence efforts.
For more on why Belgium has become a breeding ground of radical Islamic terrorists, listen to an interview with Bruce Hoffman, director of Georgetown University’s security studies program, on National Public Radio’s “Take Two.”
The breadth of Europe’s problem cannot be understated. Those who were behind last year’s attacks in Paris were not lone wolves, and, in fact, it is now apparent that many have connections to yesterday’s Brussels bombings.
The added danger, says Spectator columnist Douglas Murray, is that the pattern of response which occurred following the terror attacks in London and Paris will be seen after Brussels.
“Everything barely worth saying will be said endlessly. And the only things that are worth saying won’t be said. What are those things? Among other things the fact that we are living with the consequences of an immigration and ‘integration’ fantasy which should have been abandoned years ago. Instead our governments have kept pretending that the weakening of Europe’s external borders and the erosion of its internal borders happening at the same time as one of the largest population replacement exercises in history could have no tangible effects on our continent’s future,” he contends.
Equally dangerous as merely adopting a “hashtag” response to the attacks is the reaction of GOP front-runner Donald Trump, who has suggested cracking down on Muslims and imposing a ban on all Muslim immigrants.
“In fact, only a tiny percentage of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims is waging war on us. To defeat those Islamic extremists, we will need the cooperation of moderate Muslim states and of the Muslims who live in the West.
A large part of the reason why European states such as Belgium and France have such major terrorist problems is because they have done such a poor job of assimilating Muslim immigrants. The United States has less of a problem in no small part because we have done a better job of assimilation. Trump’s crude attacks on Muslims risk undoing all of that progress. Trump could not possibly do more damage to our security if he were an actual ISIL agent,” says Max Boot of the Council on Foreign Relations.