AT a time when the UK media are going into overdrive with yet more speculation about who did or did not say what about Brexit, and what it may or may not mean, we have to take our hats off to the Spanish police for the speed and decisiveness of their actions in Barcelona following, just this year alone, terrorist attacks in London, Manchester, Stockholm and Paris.
But Spain’s geography and history make the terrorist outrage in Barcelona not entirely unexpected. The surprise might be that Spain has mainly escaped the recent activities of Islamic extremists, its last major terrorist attack the 2004 Madrid bombing.
No European country is closer to North Africa than Spain. Compared with Libya, Morocco and Algeria may be relatively stable but they also contain many unemployed, disaffected young men, vulnerable to an extremist ideology that, while condemning Western decadence, leaves open the economic attraction of life in Europe.
Hence thousands of migrants try to enter Spain’s North African territories, Ceuta and Melilla, to seek asylum. And later – like the Barcelona massacre mastermind, a convicted Moroccan imam – use human rights to avoid deportation.
Terrorism won’t go away anytime soon. So what can we do? Try to minimise the risk.
We need to alter our attitudes and our way of life. We need secure borders and some straight talking by our political leaders who should drop all the PC nonsense, tell it like it is and get on with protecting not only our towns, cities and citizens, but our valued, civilised western standards.
It’s time to allow the security services to compel phone companies and internet service providers to record and hold pro tem all conversations so they can be accessed at any time for ‘persons of interest.’
On a more positive note, thanks to all who have purchased my crime thrillers (all profits to Costa del Sol Cudeca cancer charity).
Nora Johnson’s psychological crime thrillers ‘The Girl in the Red Dress,’ ‘No Way Back,’ ‘Landscape of Lies,’ ‘Retribution,’ ‘Soul Stealer,’ ‘The De Clerambault Code’ (www.norajohnson.net) available from Amazon. Profits to Cudeca.