People of Europe show resilience amid threat of terrorism

Morning View
Morning View

Las Ramblas, or La Rambla, the famous, wide boulevard in Barcelona was packed yesterday.

It was packed first for a gathering to pay tribute to the dead of Thursday’s appalling massacre by Islamist mass murderers. The Spanish king and prime minister attended that commemoration event.

Then it was bustling later, as it always is in high summer.

Hundreds of millions of people live in Europe and they are not going to be cowed by this small band of fanatics.

While the number of terrorists is large in absolute terms, perhaps thousands of people, it is tiny in terms of the overall population of Europe of more than 500 million people.

The one thing that is almost guaranteed is that there will be more calculated attacks on civilians somewhere else.

The motivation behind the stabbing in Finland was unclear last night, but it seems reasonable to assume that Islamic extremism will spread to parts of the continent that were not such obvious targets once. This means that Belfast or Dublin could fall prey to an attack.

There is only so much that can be done to prevent it.

One concrete measure that is the heart of any anti terrorism strategy that has any prospect of success is funding for intelligence agencies.

In Britain, such operatives did excellent work during the Troubles (despite all the nonsense that is talked about a dirty war and ‘spooks’). Once again these men and women are saving lives, as they monitor jihadists, and help the rest of us to sleep more soundly in our beds.

Think about how the people of Northern Ireland withstood terrorism and how it only hardened unionist opinion against a united Ireland.

Europe would have to suffer over a million dead before it reached a death toll equivalent to that of the Troubles (proportionate to population size).

The people of the continent are showing early resilience in the face of pre-meditated murder and mayhem.