Islamists once again target pedestrians on their holiday

News Letter editorial
News Letter editorial

The murdering Islamic fanatics chose one of the most popular holiday destinations at its busiest time for their latest bloodbath yesterday.

Las Ramblas is the heart of Barcelona’s tourist industry, the tree-lined boulevard that runs from that great city down towards the waterfront.

The middle of August is the very height of the visitor season, and sure enough the area was packed with people enjoying their vacation.

There was a particular cruelty to driving a van at speed through a space that is designed for pedestrians and not vehicles, with long rows of bars and cafes and restaurants.

As happened at the promenade in Nice last year, an area that was designed for people to enjoy on foot suddenly became a deadly environment, and those who had not enough time to get out of the path of the vehicle were killed.

The death toll was at least 13 by late last night, and was expected to rise.

It has now been clear for several years that attacks by Muslim extremists that target civilians will become a feature of life in the western world for the foreseeable future.

There will be no way to achieve perfect security, short of getting everyone to stay at home forever – and even if that was somehow possible, which of course it isn’t, the terrorists would then just target people in their home.

The intelligence agencies will have a central role to play in the years ahead, monitoring jihadi suspects. Those organisations are doing fine work in thwarting attacks.

One glimmer of hope in all this is that the attackers are still only able to use primitive weapons such as cars, and seem only to be able to draw on a limited number of volunteers.

If they had more volunteers, attacks like this would be happening in dozens of cities across Europe every day.

But that is only small consolation amid this latest horror, as we mourn the latest batch of people to lose their lives at the hands of deranged killers.