After the most recent terrorist attacks in Europe, France, Italy, and the United Kingdom have taken steps to prevent further attacks on their territories.
After the attacks in Paris, Nice, and Vienna, the French President, Emmanuel Macron, announced that his country will duplicate the elements that patrol the borders, from 2,400 to 4,800, and that it will defend in Brussels a “deep” reform of the Schengen area (European area of free movement).
Macron argued that this reinforcement in border patrols is “due to the worsening of the threat” after the recent terrorist attacks registered in the country, but it also aims to combat trafficking and illegal immigration.
The Italian government chose to adopt similar measures and intensified controls at its borders, with a special focus on the south of the country, which serves as a gateway for illegal immigrants. For that, it must count on the support of the army.
The measure was announced by the Italian Interior Minister, Luciana Lamorgese, who chaired a meeting of the National Commission for Order and Public Security, which addressed the fact that one of the authors of the Nice attack, which caused the death of three people, along with a Catholic church, having entered Europe through Italy, more specifically through the island of Lampedusa, in Sicily.
The United Kingdom also preferred to play it safe and raised the terrorism alert level to “serious”, the second-highest on a scale of five.
Interior Minister Priti Patel wrote on Twitter that this is a “precautionary measure” and assured that “it was not based on any specific threat”.
Nightmare in Vienna
Vienna, the capital of Austria, was the target of a terrorist attack that resulted in five deaths and at least 15 injuries – and already claimed by the Islamic State. Among the injured is a Portuguese-Luxembourgish citizen, who had to be hospitalized, but is now out of danger.
The shootings took place around 8 pm local time, in a central street where Vienna’s main synagogue is located, then closed, close to a very popular bar area. The attackers fired on those on the terraces.
Among the victims of the attack are four civilians, two men and two women, and one of the attackers, who was shot by the police. According to the Austrian news agency APA, two people related to the attacks were arrested in Sankt Pölten.
Austrian Interior Minister Karl Nehammer revealed that one of the perpetrators of the attack was a “radicalized person who felt close to the Islamic State”. The Austrian chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, argued that “an anti-Semitic motive” cannot be ruled out, taking into account “the place where it started”.
According to the Austrian authorities, the perpetrator killed was a 20-year-old young man with dual Austrian and North Macedonian nationality who already had a previous conviction for terrorism when, in April 2019, he tried to travel to Syria to join the state Islamic, but ended up on probation in December last year, writes the AP.
European Patriot Act
Reacting to the most recent attacks that haunt Europe, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio proposed a European Patriot Act. “It is about taking measures that can prevent tragedies such as those in Nice and Vienna”, defended Di Maio.
“It is about starting to think about something bigger and that concerns the whole European Union: a Patriot Act of the American model, for example, because today we are all children of the same European people”, said the Italian minister, adding that he will propose this measure to their counterparts.
The Patriot Act, adopted in 2001 in the United States in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, placed restrictions on a number of fundamental freedoms and allowed the intelligence agencies greater leeway in counterterrorism investigations.