European countries must crack down on terror

By on September 14, 2005

Globalized Islamic fundamentalism challenges national cohesion in Western Europe and frightens the United States Department of Homeland Security, which fears pass port carrying, visa- exempt terrorists traveling from Europe will slip through airport security into the United States.

Today’s mass immigration of Muslims constitutes the majority of immigrants in most western European countries: United Kingdom, France, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

Robert Leiken, author of the article, “Europe’s Angry Muslims,” writes, “As a consequence of demography, history, ideology, and policy, Western Europe now plays host to often disconsolate Muslim offspring, who are its citizens in name but not culturally or socially.”

Seemingly tolerant European countries showered minorities with rights, but failed to absorb minorities into society resulting in what Leiken refers to as, “the very isolation of these Diaspora communities, allowing mujahideen to fundraise, prepare and recruit for jihad with a freedom available in few Muslim countries.”

Mujahideen refers to Muslim guerrilla warriors engaged in a jihad, holy war. The Mujahideen are testing traditional counterterrorism practices and liberal mentality that prevails in Western Europe and the United States.

The Department of Homeland security is fearful of Mujahideen’s recruitment process targeting young second generation Muslims living in Europe. Watching jihadist videos, attending Islamic readings and summer camps, are all methodologies used by Mujahideen and Al Qaeda to recruit young angry Muslims for jihad.

French surveillance of Mosques, Islamic book shops, long distance phone facilities, halal butchers and restaurants is a traditional example of the preferred criminal surveillance used by European countries.

Leiken writes, “European countries prefer criminal surveillance and traditional prosecutions to launching a U.S. style war on terrorism and mobilizing the military, established detention centers, enhancing border security, requiring machine-readable passports, expelling hate preachers, and lengthening notoriously light sentences for convicted terrorists.”

Does United States foreign policy with Western European countries need to be re-invented to combat the growing strength of international terrorist organizations capable of destroying the democratic landscape? Or Should European leaders focus on combating internal terror cells by intelligence sharing and the adoption of an international attuned computer aided profiling systems to identify terrorists?

“Recently, the United States had been turning back airlines from Europe when names on the manifests match those put often with scant proof-on FBI and other watch lists,” write Christopher Dickey and Michael Hirsh in Newsweek.

Europe’s democratic landscape needs to adopt more stringent surveillance measures including a uniform computer aided profiling system to find and apprehend terrorists. Apprehended terrorists must be interrogated by using non violent yet persuasive means to reveal information concerning where other terror cells may be located.

European Union countries must not be afraid to share intelligence gathered by law enforcement and adopt the United States’ policy of enhancing border security and lengthening light sentences for convicted terrorists. The basic need for compatible computer profiling systems to speed up the passage of intelligence, common legal standards to permit cross border collaboration, and policies aimed at changing the social environments that inspire terrorists, must be met by the European Union.

Change must occur in Europe’s perception of multiculturalism. Muslims living in Europe are being asked to practice religious tolerance and adjust to values to that of their democratic religiously tolerant countries.

If European leaders focus on attacking internal terror cells the nightmare plaguing the Department of Homeland Security will diminish.

In turn, if United States lawmakers terminate the visa waiver program that allows terrorists living in Europe as citizens to travel effortlessly into the United States, our society will experience a physical, mental, and emotional sense of safety that we haven’t felt since before September 11, 2001.


About Tanya Lagatella