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Terrorism in Western Europe: Recent Attacks and Countermeasures

1. Introduction

The events of September 11th 2001 in the United States of America shocked the world. The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington D.C. were unprecedented in their scale and devastation. In the wake of these attacks, the global fight against terrorism has been at the forefront of many nations’ agendas.

Sadly, terrorism is not a new phenomenon, and Western Europe has long been a target for terrorist groups. In this essay, I will be discussing some of the recent terrorist attacks that have taken place in Western Europe, with a focus on Finland, Denmark and England. I will also be considering the different approaches that these countries have taken in tackling terrorism.

2. Terrorism in Western Europe: Finland, Denmark and England

2.1 Finland

Finland has been relatively spared from terrorist attacks when compared to other European countries. However, this does not mean that the country is immune from terrorism. In December 2007, Finnish police foiled a plot to bomb the Helsinki Stock Exchange. The would-be bombers were a group of Iraqi immigrants who had come to Finland as asylum seekers.

More recently, in August 2017, a man stabbed eight people in Turku before being shot by police. The attacker was an 18-year-old Moroccan national who had only arrived in Finland two weeks prior to the incident. The attack was later linked to terrorism and the suspect was charged with murder and attempted murder with terrorist intent.

In response to these incidents, the Finnish government has increased its efforts to combat terrorism both at home and abroad. For example, Finland is a member of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), an international body that works to prevent and respond to terrorist threats. The GCTF was established in 2011 in response to the 9/11 attacks and includes over 30 members from across the globe.

The Finnish government has also put in place several measures specifically aimed at tackling terrorism. These include increasing funding for counter-terrorism measures, enhancing border security and increasing cooperation between different agencies responsible for national security.

2. 2 Denmark

Denmark has also been subject to several terrorist attacks in recent years. In February 2015, a gunman opened fire on a free speech event in Copenhagen, killing one person and injuring three others. The attacker, Omar El-Hussein, was a 22-year-old Danish-born Muslim who had become radicalised while serving time in prison for stabbing another man two years earlier.

El-Hussein then went on to attack a synagogue in Copenhagen, killing one person and wounding two others before being shot dead by police. The synagogue attack occurred just hours after the first attack and is thought to have been motivated by anti-Semitism.

These attacks sent shockwaves through Denmark and led to an increase in anti-Muslim sentiment across the country. In response to the attacks, the Danish government introduced a range of new measures aimed at tackling terrorism. These included increased surveillance of mosques and Muslim organisations, as well as tightened border controls.

2. 3 England

England has also been the target of several terrorist attacks in recent years. The most notable of these was the 7/7 bombings in London, which occurred on the morning of July 7th 2005. Four suicide bombers detonated explosives on three London Underground trains and one double-decker bus, killing 52 people and injuring over 700 others.

The bombers were all British citizens of Pakistani descent who had become radicalised by Islamic extremism. The attacks were the deadliest terrorist incident to take place in England since the 1988 Lockerbie bombing.

In response to the 7/7 bombings, the then-Labour government introduced a range of new anti-terrorism measures, including stronger laws on incitement to terrorism and greater powers for the police and security services. The government also established a new organisation, the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism (OSCT), to coordinate the UK’s counter-terrorism strategy.

3. Conclusion

The case studies of Finland, Denmark and England provide just a glimpse of the terror shocks faced by countries in Western Europe in recent years. Terrorism is a global problem that requires a global response. The different approaches taken by these countries show that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to tackling terrorism.

However, what is clear is that all countries need to be vigilant in order to protect their citizens from this ever-present threat.

FAQ

The most recent terrorist attacks in Western Europe include the 2016 Berlin Christmas market attack, the 2016 Nice truck attack, and the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing.

The threat of terrorism has affected daily life in Western European countries in a number of ways. Many people now feel less safe travelling or going to large public events, and some have even changed their daily routines out of fear of being caught up in an attack. Authorities have also stepped up security measures at airports, train stations, and other public places.

A number of measures have been taken by authorities to prevent future terrorist attacks, including increased surveillance and security at public places, more stringent border controls, and enhanced intelligence-sharing between countries.

There are a few similarities between the terrorist attacks that have taken place in Western Europe, such as the fact that they have all been carried out by Islamist extremists motivated by hatred for the West.

The main perpetrators of terrorist attacks in Western Europe are typically affiliated with ISIS or other jihadist groups.

The motives behind these terrorist attacks vary but often include a desire to punish Western countries for their involvement in conflicts in Muslim-majority countries such as Iraq and Syria

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