In the past few years, the Islamic State has constantly urged to commit attacks in Europe, by any means, also explicitly mentioning the use of cars or trucks into the crowd.
Yesterday at least 14 people were killed and 100 injured on Barcelona’s most popular street in what police confirmed was a terror attack. The van driver has zig-zagged to try and hit as many people as possible along the pedestrianised area. Citizens of 34 countries were among those killed and injured. Two people have been arrested, one is Moroccan and the other is a Spanish national from Melilla, a Spanish enclave on Africa’s north coast that neighbors Morocco. Police has revealed neither of the people arrested was the driver in the attack. Less than 12 hours later, Catalonia suffers a second attack. Five suspected terrorists who were about to carry out attack have been shot dead by police in the Spanish coastal town of Cambrils, about 120 kilometers (75 miles) south of Barcelona. Seven civilians and a police officer were injured during that incident. The attackers were carrying (fake) bomb belts and they had plowed the vehicle into several pedestrians in a similar incident to the Barcelona assault. The dramatic events took a further twist when police revealed both incidents were linked to an explosion at a house on Wednesday in a third Catalan town, which left at least one person dead. ISIS have claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Solidarity to Barcelona from all over the world
Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has told that the Barcelona atrocity was a jihadist attack. United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has condemned it. “The United States condemns the terror attack in Barcelona, Spain, and will do whatever is necessary to help. Be tough & strong, we love you!” US President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter. French President Emmanuel Macron on Twitter too “All my thoughts and solidarity from France for the victims of the tragic attack in Barcelona. We will remain united and determined.” British Prime Minister Theresa May sayed “The UK stands with Spain against terror.”
Spain as a target
In Spain, 636 jihadists were arrested following the rail attacks at Madrid’s station in March 2004. Al Qaeda and the Islamic State have a widespread and penetrating propaganda network. They have recruited several jihadists to fight in Syria and Iraq. A recent study by the Elcano Institute found that 150 jihadists arrested in Spain in the last four years were linked to the Islamic State to Al Qaeda. An attack was in the air, it is also confirmed by the recent arrests of Moroccan jihadists in Spain, an Islamic cell that operated in Palma de Mallorca, Madrid, Great Britain and Germany. And also, Spain has long been a target and is considered an American ally in the fight against terrorism. In addition, Andalus is the name the Arabs gave to the territories of Spain, Portugal and France occupied by Muslim conquerors from 711 to 1492, they look on it as quite their own.
Europe as a target
The do-it-yourself terrorism will be difficult to eradicate: it’s easy to make, difficult to predict and easier to claim. Europe provides many examples of this. The terrorist attacks by trucks drove into crowd several times. July 2016, Nice, the driver, Tunisian Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, kills 86 people,the wounded are over 450. December 2016, Berlin, Anis Amri, Tunisian, throws a truck on the Christmas market, killing 12 people and injuring another 50. March 2017 and June 2017, some vans mounted the pavement of London Bridge and was driven into pedestrians, eight people were killed and 48 were injured. For a long time still we will have to fight this scourge. What strategies are available or planned at European level to deal on international terrorism, including Islamic terrorism?
Terrorists want to create a West that is constantly under attack, scared and militarized, and we Europeans still do not realize that the humus that has given rise to all this continues to be alive and flourishing. The attack on Europe aims at disrupting its unity and at leading to the Governments populist parties that share the same goal of destroying European centralism to acquire personal power in individual areas of the Union. The globalized world and the persistence of the economic crisis are doing the rest. Nationalism, extremism and segregation can find fertile ground in the current conditions, but they make the European people more fragmented, weak, and at the mercy of those who besiege our continent. Without even realizing it, we are playing the game of the strategists of the Islamic State and of Al-Qaida, the Middle East dictators.
Now who do they get to direct this thing? In its annual report, USCIRF (United States Commission on International Religious Freedom) expresses concern at the fact that the Saudi Arabian regime is investing money abroad in order to disseminate its extreme interpretation of Wahhabi Islam – thereby increasing religious intolerance in other countries. In a report on Saudi Arabian states that Wahhabite extremism inspire violence and terrorism. The Islamic State, Al Qaeda but, even more, the Wahhabi radical Islamist scene, is rich and fully supported in Sunni Middle East, it find a lot of followers in the Arab people.
The declarations by the Heads of State, we continue to hear and read, are totally unnecessary. We need to attack the ideological roots of Wahhabi fundamentalism. Western countries must set aside energy provision and oil and energy interests and should join efforts in international fora to advance discussions with a view to concluding a global and comprehensive agreement to publicly condemn, to outlaw Wahhabi estremism and to encourage moderate Islam.