Paul Bonnici, tactical trainer with more than 20 years of experience in military and police special operation units, on how to win the war on terror in Europe.
A step by step guide for concrete measures to counter rising terror threats effectively without giving up Europe’s principles of freedom and democracy.
Where our institutions fail and what we can do about it.
How to enforce our special operation units, getting to reasonable security laws and create cooperative institutions that not only can secure our borders but daily life in Europe.
© Paul Bonnici
Most terrorists were born in Europe
The recent wave of murderous jihadist attacks in the name of Islamic State (IS) in London, France, Finland, Sweden, Brussels, Germany and Spain were carried out by members of the 2nd or 3rd generation of immigrants in Europe.
The Islamic State (IS) took responsibility for many of these attacks, later.
What does it mean?
The terrorism threat is already inside the European Union!
Because the majority of the terrorists were born in Europe.
But why would a EU born citizen attack his own country?
Why anyone would choose to murder complete strangers?
A dangerous split of identity
Typically, ‘home grown’ terrorists feel a kind of split identity.
Not quite at home with the culture of the countries their parents and relatives came from, not yet at home where they actually live – in Europe.
In other words, we are facing a very complex cultural, social and psychological phenomenon that is able to transform even quite ordinary people into dangerous fanatics who are willing to use violence in its most cruel and reckless forms.
What makes this new breed of terrorists to consider themselves so special, and as a part of a small vanguard of chosen ones while trying to build their version of an Islamist utopia deep within Central Europe?
The explanation for their behavior will not be found in how they think, but rather in how they feel.
In other words, they don’t feel like they fit in.
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Terrorists in the making
European intelligence services have been aware since 2012 of a massive number of European Muslims and converted citizens going to fight in Syria and Iraq.
Our intelligence networks knew about their radicalization and the potential threat they represented as they returned back.
By April 2016, the EU reported that more than 6,000 Europeans were fighting with jihadist groups in Iraq and Syria.
Another report by the French Intelligence stated that around 1,500 French nationals have left the country to join jihadist terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria.
The extremists involved in the attacks on Paris, had been previously flagged to authorities.
Officials found out later, that some of them had past convictions, or were under judicial surveillance in France or in Belgium when they struck Paris.
How is this possible – considering that this happened in one of the best connected and most developed regions of the world?
Terrorism and bureaucracy failures
The responsibility for this dire situation falls on the shoulders of the European political leaders.
Who did not take timely measures to stop or minimize the growing threat of jihadist attacks.
At no time, there were any clear and reasonable measures to stop the flow of combatants leaving from Europe to Syria and Iraq.
Later, our administration let them nearly untracked return back into our European countries.
Without getting to updated and in vigore security measures our own policy makers left the whole ‘Schengen Zone’ in serious danger.
Open borders between EU countries make things even more complicated, because it is still relatively easy to move small arms, and personnel across Europe.
For years, our bureaucracy has failed to track and supervise people entering Europe.
A lack of coordinated patrols at Europe’s external borders is also an ongoing major issue.
© Paul Bonnici
Gun laws, open borders and security threats
Instead, European political leaders and members of our parliaments were wasting a lot of time and money in trying to get approved a new gun law.
In an attempt to take away legally owned weapons from legally licensed owners.
And to enforce other European countries to open their boarders and take more refugees without the proper security and vetting process.
The European Union should be an institution to give guidelines and not to dictate sovereign nations to act against their local or national premises.
A vulnerable EU is a terrorist’s victory
In a model of a real federal and fair European Union it should be the responsibility of each European elected parliament, to make sure that any broader legislation by EU institution is of its national interest and doesn’t compromise national security.
If the European commission will keep following its ongoing path of dictation instead of cooperation more EU countries will clearly consider to take more drastic steps, soon.
And they maybe will follow the path of Great Britain and exit the European Union.
In my opinion, the first three EU members that will consider to take this action are Sweden, Poland and Czech Republic.
If this scenario will materialize, the European Union will be more vulnerable than ever.
Terrorist will win the battle.
Europe needs to stand united as Europe Union.
© Fox News
How to solve Europe’s terror crisis
This is how we will solve the recent terror crisis in Europe.
With clear and reasonable steps in solutions and actions, that meet our standards in freedom and democracy without giving away our strength in maintain security and protection for our citizens.
The current terrorist threat requires collaboration across all European countries in anti-terrorism strategy and borders controls.
This way Europe will be much safer through consolidating budgets and other resources while getting to a better protection of the outer borders of the EU.
1. Homeland Security Borders Alliance
A Homeland Security Borders Alliance should be created.
One central alliance to secure our borders – instead of investing too much time, money and energy in national and isolated efforts on this complex task.
Isolated national attempts end too often in a bureaucratic and ineffective coordination between the members of the European Union.
Or in no coordination at all.
This new alliance and its measures should range from:
- Increasing EU security forces at the southern European borders to identifying and registering new arrivals.
- Introducing waterproof authentication checks.
- A common strategic and operational approach to fight terrorism.
This will not only send a clear message that terrorism is unacceptable in all its forms and manifestation but it will also help to take practical steps – individually and collectively – to prevent further attacks.
© Paul Bonnici
2. A National Security Agreement
Member of the European Union have to agree and rely implement what they say when it comes to National Security.
3. A Special Multinational Police Force
A Special Multinational Police Force should be formed from every member country of the European Union.
Members of this units should be trained and supported from European Union.
Members who apply personnel to the unit should have a background from Police Special Forces.
Training of this units should be designed to response to active violence.
To impart these core principles, techniques, tactics and procedures to locate and close with armed adversaries.
Ultimately, members of this units should be allowed to develop their own solutions for active responding to any terrorist who pose an immediate threat by a firearm, vehicle or using any other forms of deadly weapons.
Members of the unit will be assigned to patrol and control areas which are likely to be a potential target for crime or terrorism.
Members of the unit should be allowed to work undercover.
© Fox News
4. On countries who supports terrorists
The European Union must stop dealing, supporting, or having cooperation and partnership agreements, with countries who fund and supports terrorists.
5. Intelligence cooperation
The fifth step is the most important.
We have to increase intelligence cooperation and transparency among the various European Union intelligence agencies.
The complex system of dealing with terrorism requires professional and efficient synchronization of intelligence agencies.
Overcoming the obstacles of personal and organizational egos in order to guarantee the safety and security of our citizens will not only win our battle with terrorists, but also lead to ongoing achievements and perhaps even victory in the overall war against terror.
6. Concealed carry
Off-duty police personnel, should be allowed for concealed carry.
Off-duty officers are in a position to effectively respond in the face of a threat.
© France 24
7. Keeping Jihadist away
The European Union can and should keep Europeans from traveling to fight alongside jihadist groups in Iraq or Syria.
And if some individuals manage to find a way to join and fight with jihadist groups the EU must learn to bring up the right measures to keep them from returning to Europe ever again.
If these “traveling jihadist” appear in any European country, they should be taken into custody immediately and prosecuted for war crimes and the association with a terrorist group.
8. Behavioral Analysis
We need to recruit and train more officers for Behavioral Analysis.
A Behavioral Analysis Unit should be trained and supported by the European Union.
Undercover police officers trained in Behavioral Analysis will spot people who might be plotting a terrorist attack.
They will be able to assign in certain areas before a police officer in uniform will pass to that area.
If someone display any signs of nervousness he will be stopped and searched by members of that unit.
9. Mutual Defense Clause
The European “Mutual Defense Clause” should be triggered!
Article 42.7 of the Lisbon treaty, which states:
“If a Member State is the victim of armed aggression on its territory, the other Member States shall have towards it an obligation of aid and assistance by all the means in their power.”
The European Union need to acknowledge that the European Union is at War with the Islamic State.
© Paul Bonnici
Some findings reported in the TE-SAT
In 2015, 151 people died and over 360 were injured as a result of terrorist attacks in the EU.
Six EU Member States faced 211 failed, foiled and completed terrorist attacks.
1077 individuals were arrested in the EU for terrorism-related offenses, of which 424 in France only.
94% of the individuals trialled for jihadist terrorism were found guilty and prosecuted.
Source: Europol’s annual EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report (TE-SAT)
TE-SAT 2017 reported:
Arrests: 1002 persons were arrested for terrorist offenses in 2016.
Most arrests were related to jihadist terrorism, for which the number rose for the third consecutive year:
- 395 in 2014
- 687 in 2015
- 718 in 2016
- ??? in 2017
Age of terrorists: Almost one-third of the total number of arrestees (291 of 1002) were 2nd or 3rd generation of immigrants, 25 years old or younger.
Download: Recent terror attacks in Europe
“Je Suis Paris, I Am London” and some candle-light will not stop the attacks.
European countries must show determination, redoubling its efforts at local, national and European level to defeat those who seek to do us harm and to declare war against terror.
– Article by Paul Bonnici
CEO Elite Spartan Tactical Concepts
More about Paul Bonnici
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