Another profoundly sad month for families, victims and those in security organisations trying to handle what appears to be ‘home-grown’ terrorist attacks.
As can be seen from popular as well as state reaction to these events we all must have the deepest condolences for the victims: from the many in Manchester who were so tragically young and also other incidents present and past. For example, the fatality and less reported Munich stabbing a year on this month which may have been the first ‘home-grown’ as such ‘random’ murder in Germany.
Once again, the actions of a tiny minority impact upon the many and of course raises the question of what lies behind the murderous intent and how to prevent it.
It would be easy just to lay all this down to ‘criminal’ activity within a ‘criminal gang’ but when driven by a value system, with a global, apparent ‘fundamentalist’ network, it all becomes so much more difficult: not least when new technologies allow for bomb making to be transported with apparent relative ease.
No matter the specific tasks for state organisations, those who wish for wider security need to deepen the ‘trust’ and purpose across borders, and that also means reflecting seriously on multi-lateral organisations such as the EU and the wider Europe, which need more, not less, inter-cooperative effort.
After such horrors, this almost inevitably leads toward deeper questions including the dilemma between the rights of the individual and the rights of society when specifically linked to freedom of worship, cultural practise, economic competition and their policy relationship to the integrity of communities.
No matter the critics, the work of the late Samuel Huntington remains a keynote entry point for some analysts: what to do in a global world still divided with differences at such an extreme level? (See below)
We Europeans need to forge a way forward that embraces this question in the round. The negotiators of Brexit, – the EU and the UK – should be, for example, very conscious of these issues bearing in mind Manchester and Munich and escape the normal political rhetoric if we are to shape a better space for all of us.The revelation that the Manchester bomber flew from Turkey through Dusseldorf just three days before the attack is telling.
The forthcoming meeting between President Trump and NATO and the EU representatives will be indicative of the resolve. The first indicative meetings show tensions between the two sides of the Western alliance on both how to deal with Russia and NATO finance.
Nonetheless, let us all judge them by what they can achieve. It is relevant to all European societies and not just the wayward politics of the British constitution and Brexit or the over-arching uncompleted EU Lisbon treaty.