Public opinion in Britain appears to back tougher anti-terrorism laws after the London bombings if opinion polls are to be believed. Balancing safety with concerns for civil liberties will be one of Foreign Minister Jack Straw’s jobs.
At the European parliament in Brussels he has suggested European measures to fight terror, including increased co-operation with phone companies.The feeling of insecurity seems likely to spread, with Tuesday a day of terror alerts around Europe. Train stations in Warsaw and Brussels were all but shut down after bomb scares, and Nice airport was also hit by an alert, apparently triggered by a lovesick man who wanted to prevent his partner leaving on a flight. In such an atmosphere travellers are being urged to avoid being careless with their luggage, as the slightest deviation from the norm looks likely to set off alarm bells right now. Europe’s politicans appear ready to respond to their citizens’ calls for security with new laws, but defenders of civil liberties are warning them not to overreact.