Terrorism in Europe has once again raised the ugly head of its proverbs. While all eyes were on the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, a series of events in late October shook the continent to its center.
The three deadly attacks by Islamist terrorists in France and Austria have served as a militant reminder that any of Europe’s pre – pandemic problems will be resolved.
In fact, in the opinion of experts, the epidemic and its subsequent lockdown actually promoted radicalization and took the threat of terrorism to new heights, and even the rhetorical rhetoric of non-Western political opportunists did not help.
In response to the developments, Britain has raised its level of terrorism to “serious” – a sign of an attack that is considered “very likely”. But observers are asking if more can be done to prevent incidents in the UK or elsewhere.
Heda Halvorsen, a European analyst at London-based political risk consultancy Sibylin, said it was difficult to stop attacks in France and Austria – especially during times of high tension.
According to him, instead, the focus should be on preventing radicalization in the first place – a significant challenge in the midst of an epidemic that has created the most favorable environment for terrorist recruitment.
Serious attempts at infection have made the situation much easier, ”he told Arab News. “People from minority backgrounds have been shown to be more financially vulnerable to the epidemic and in the context of growing xenophobia.
“People who are already dissatisfied and have lost mainstream society feel they are pushing themselves in this direction as well.”
In addition, Halvorsen said, “People spend more time alone and online alone, which creates the right conditions for serious endeavors.”
She believes that various moderate terrorist groups, including Dash and al-Qaeda, are already trying to use these conditions to advance their ideology. When controversy erupted over remarks made by French President Emmanuel Macron in the wake of school teachers condemning a Muslim refugee of Chechen origin, the groups saw another opportunity to defuse the confusion.
Macron’s comments and the forthcoming diplomatic guns “contributed to the overall escalation of tensions,” Halvorsen said.