Op-ed

How_to_fight_terror_Montages.JPG

How to fight terror: Start with the facts

by Robert Muggah

Politico
June 5, 2017

Terrorist attacks are designed to instill fear and put entire cities under virtual siege. In Europe, the strategy seems to be working. Governments are responding to a string of high-profile terrorist attacks with billions of euros in spending to harden the Continent’s defenses. Buildings are being blast-proofed. Barricades have gone up on packed pedestrian promenades. It’s no longer unusual to see soldiers patrolling in the center of a city.

The threat is real, but the response needs to be proportionate. We can be sure that terrorists will strike the Continent once again, as they did this past weekend in London. Now is not the time to be complacent. But it’s important to remember that the risk of dying in a terrorist attack is dramatically lower than just about anywhere else on the planet.

As a killer of European residents, terrorism remains extremely rare. Even in 2016, the year of the Brussels bombings and truck attacks in Nice and Berlin, it ranked far behind sporting accidents, heat waves, traffic accidents and suicide, not to mention mass killers like heart disease, respiratory illness and cancer.

MortalityWeb2

This is not to say that the EU isn’t facing a genuine threat. As any resident of Athens, Brussels, Copenhagen, Hamburg, London, Nice, Paris, Prague and Stockholm can attest, the past three years have been bloody. Modern terrorist attacks are designed to spread panic and grind urban life to a halt. And, to a certain extent, they have.

Europe needs to focus not just on mitigating terrorism through better intelligence, policing and community relations. The Continent needs to build resilience to terrorist incursions, including strategies to adapt, cope and bounce back after an attack occurs.

MortalityTerror2

Robert Muggah is the co-founder of the SecDev Group and the Igarapé Institute. He also advises the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report and the Council on Cities and Urbanization.

Image credit: Citifmonline

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
Donate to Canadian Global Affairs Institute Subscribe
 

SEARCH


 

EVENTS

 

IN THE MEDIA


Canada should join ballistic missile defence system, but it will cost us: experts
by Vassy Kapelos & Monique Scotti (feat. Colin Robertson), Global News, September 17, 2017

Should Canada join U.S. ballistic missile defence program?
by Levon Sevunts (feat. Rob Huebert), Radio-Canada, September 16, 2017

Analysis: U.S. would let a nuke missile wipe out a Canadian city - then maybe it's time for a new ally?
by David Pugliese (feat. Stephen Saideman), Ottawa Citizen, September 15, 2017

VIDEO: North Korean missile tests are about 'regime survival'
by Mercedes Stephenson (feat. Marius Grinius), CTV News, September 15, 2017

The ISIS leader who once received Canadian military training
by Adnan R. Khan (feat. Andrew Rasiulis), Maclean's, September 8, 2017

 

LATEST TWEETS


Donate | Submit | Media Inquiries
Making sense of our complex world. | Déchiffrer la complexité de notre monde.
 
HEAD OFFICE
Canadian Global Affairs Institute

Suite 1800, 421 7th Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta, Canada  T2P 4K9
 
OTTAWA OFFICE
Canadian Global Affairs Institute

8 York Street, 2nd Floor
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada  K1N 5S6

Phone: (613) 288-2529 
Email: contact@cgai.ca 
Web: cgai.ca
 
2002-2015 Canadian Global Affairs Institute

Charitable Registration No.  87982 7913 RR0001