The terrorist threat is global, ongoing and unpredictable and people need to adapt to a new way of life: that was the theme of the Crans Montana Forum Conference on Global Security in Brussels. For the organizers, the challenge requires new policies in crisis management, the fight against corruption, migration and human rights.
The conference came a week after the European Commission presented a package of anti-terrorism measures, including stopping would-be attackers laying their hands on bomb-making ingredients, doing more to counter radicalisation and boosting protection around public spaces.
France is the leading the way.
“I hope that the EU will adopt the proposition of French president Emmanuel Macron to create a European intelligence academy, and also, I hope, a European Public Prosecutor’s Office to bring together counter-terrorism investigations. France will be holding an international conference on the funding of terrorism in January. We will really need to implement the structures needed to trace the funding and the money-laundering,” said terror threat expert Georges Fenech.
In response to the considerable means spent on propaganda by the so-called Islamic State, in particular targeting young people, the prevention of radicalisation is also one of the main priorities.
“There are two ways to stop an act of terrorism,” according to Serge Stroobants, analyst at the Institute for Economics and Peace. “One is, of course, to take the terrorist out and make sure that he does not push the button when he wants to commit the attack. Or to just take away the idea of committing an attack of pushing the button in the first place. The only way to achieve this is to create a more inclusive society, not only here in Europe, in our bases, but also in the rest of the world, and make sure that there is more equity and equality in the rest of the world.”
Listening to the voices of ordinary citizens is crucial to improving dialogue and finding solutions said Farida Allaghi, a political and human rights activist from Libya.