RAISED urgent questions across Europe about whether the EU could have prevented the outrage
A STRING of failures and missed opportunities by Belgian intelligence services prior to the recent Brussels bombings inevitably raised urgent questions across Europe about whether they could have prevented the outrage.
The suicide bombers repeatedly outwitted Belgian authorities, one of them remaining free to attack despite having been deported by Turkey as a jihadist just months earlier. And all this followed by a Europe-wide manhunt for the surviving terrorist of the bombings after Belgium’s embattled police admitted they’d arrested the wrong man!
But just consider how many different police forces Belgium has, each with its own area of responsibility! From all accounts, they don’t even talk to each other, let alone other EU countries. Hardly surprising, then, the series of blunders, given such poor co-ordination in a dysfunctional political system divided between French and Flemish speakers, and a failure to infiltrate networks of jihadists.
There is plenty of blame for this failure but what is the point of blaming Belgium alone? It’s a Europe-wide problem, many of these terrorists having been in numerous countries before ending up in Belgium, last year’s million-plus refugees infiltrated by countless fully-trained jihadists.
Basically, it demonstrates the weakness of the EU as a coordinating body for European security matters and a weakness of the USA, which claims to be the leader in so many areas. If US intelligence is so superior why didn’t it alert Belgium? The answer is because it hasn’t got to grips with European terror cells any better than individual countries in Europe.
True coordination between countries will only happen when they stop trying to blame each other and really work together proactively, not reactively.
However, as far as the EU’s concerned, it’s gone strangely quiet since the refugee ‘deal’ with Turkey. To date, no proposals, no announcements, no agreements. No clue either, presumably.
It’s simply not set up to handle the refugee/terrorist problem (or any other problem of similar enormity). The decision-making is snail-paced and the conflicting interests of 28 member countries virtually rule out effective, practical solutions, never mind any coordinated follow-up action.
This Inspector Clouseau-approach to dealing with terrorists, epitomised by the bungling Belgians, demonstrates this yet again in a nutshell. Home Secretary, Theresa May, says we’re safer in the EU. But so are terrorists!
Nora Johnson’s thrillers ‘No Way Back’, ‘Landscape of Lies’, ‘Retribution’, ‘Soul Stealer’, ‘The De Clerambault Code’ (www.nora-johnson.com) available from Amazon in paperback/eBook (€0.89;£0.79) and iBookstore. All profits to Cudeca charity.