With the recent terror attacks in France and England and in other countries across Europe, the threat of terrorism understandably looms large in the minds of many Europeans. The possibility of other terror attacks is very real and it is something that should be a concern not only to the Europeans, but also to the United States.
Since the terror attack on September 11, 2001 in the United States, there have been 110 confirmed terrorist attacks by Islamic Extremists in Europe and its surrounding countries . This had led to the death of over 2,044 innocent men, women and children. These attacks have also injured well over 7,516 people. This does not include the numerous acts of violence that have occurred in the name of Islam across Europe.
Many of the people that have committed these acts of terrorism against innocent men, women and children have been foreign nationals, while other have been European nationals that have been radicalized by Muslim extremists. Today, the threat of terror organizations like ISIS and Al Qaeda is very real not just in Europe, but also in the United States.
One of the biggest concerns that many terror experts have is the Schengen Agreement that was signed into law in 1990. The Schengen Agreement is comprised of 26 European states, that have abolished all internal border controls and established a common visa policy. This is what is commonly referred to as open border states. The Schengen Agreement is a great concern because terror organization can use this open border policy to move in and out of countries without being detected. This gives them the ability to coordinate and plan attacks all across Europe.
Recent terror attacks in Europe indicate that their open borders are being exploited by Islamic State and other terrorist organizations. This is a path that the European Union has been heading towards since the creation of the Schengen Agreement. The Schengen Agreement or the Schengen area represents a territory where the free movement of persons is guaranteed. This was done by establishing common immigration procedures between the Schengen Agreement states. This was intended to help people move freely from one place to another, but now it has given terrorist organizations the ability to move and target several without being stopped or questioned at any borders.
Another problem that Europe has is that they have allowed thousands of refugees to enter their countries without being properly checked. This has created a very big problem, because it has given terrorist organizations the ability to enter many different European countries without being checked or inspected in any way. In a media release from Europol, the European Union’s main law enforcement agency, stated that it was “indisputable” that terrorists have entered Europe by posing as refugees”. This statement is something that is very disturbing, yet it has been confirmed. In 2016, there were six different terrorist attacks that were conducted by refugees. These attacks killed 87 people and injured approximately 242 others, including women and children.
British authorities believe that the European Union needs to take control of the borders as soon as possible, because of the possible threat of more attacks in England by terror organizations. Richard Walton, a former head of counter-terrorism at the Metropolitan Police, said: “Schengen poses a huge risk of terrorism, porous borders across mainland Europe are continuing to be exploited by Muslim extremists.” He believes that ISIS and other terrorist organizations see that Europe’s weak policies on immigration and border control pose a significant threat to the British people.
Many terror experts believe that if Europe continues to have weak immigration policies and the Schengen Agreement, that allows people to move freely within the European states, the terror attacks will continue. This means that more civilians to be targeted by Muslim extremists, because they make easy targets.
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