The past few weeks have seen terrorist attacks from Finland to Spain, and such attacks are becoming increasingly common across the Continent. Drawing on the Israeli experience, Yaakov Amidror argues that European countries must fundamentally change their approach in order to confront the threat properly.
There are three areas that must be addressed to see major gains in the ability to battle terrorism. First, how the legal system views terrorism—particularly that it treats terrorism [as a kind of] crime, which plays into terrorists’ hands—must change. This is an enormous political and cultural change. . . . Implementing [it] is conditional on the political echelon telling itself and its citizens the truth, even [if this change] gives up a small part of citizens’ personal freedom.
The second effort needed is to focus intelligence work on the relevant communities. It appears that a lot has already been done in this field in recent years, but international cooperation must be improved and more aggressive interrogations must be permitted based on intelligence, before an [attack] is carried out. . . .
The third effort is more complicated and centers on [encouraging] ordinary citizens to respond quickly and aggressively when any terrorist action takes place. Israel has a clear advantage when it comes to this, because there are many citizens who are licensed to carry firearms and who can take action even before the police and the security forces arrive. Civilians carrying firearms are extremely unusual in many countries, so it will be difficult for these civilians to respond quickly, thus containing the damage of a terrorist act under way, whether it is a stabbing or drivers who use their vehicles as weapons of mass murder.