A Strange and Dangerous World

A Strange and Dangerous World

Gilbert N. Kahn is a professor of Political Science at Kean University.

So if one was wondering how and why the Belgian security services could have so totally bungled the earlier apprehension of the leader, of the French bombing in November, Salah Abdesalem, and then the capture of the perpetrators and planners of last week’s airport and metro bombing, consider this. The Belgian legislature is now considering repealing a current law on the books that prohibits police from entering a place where possible dangerous criminals are operating—except under extraordinary circumstances– between the hours of 9:00pm and 5:00am. This level of sensitivity to the general habits of the larger population enabled—at least—Abdesalem, to escape on at least one occasion where the intelligence arrived too late for Belgian authorities to act and they waited until 10:00am the following morning to enter the premises where they indeed found clear identification and prints of the wanted Paris mastermind.

As far as intelligence coordination among the European allies, it is readily apparent that the national services in France, Germany, Holland, and Britain, all had information about the Paris bombers as well as the Belgian suicide bombers. Their failure to adequately share their intelligence—as well as the U.S. being similarly reticent to adequately share information in a timely manner—makes it rather obvious that the world ought to batten down its hatches.

Just as the intelligence and political community knows about the lack of coordination between the various national intelligence agencies, so too does ISIS. Unless a coordinated effort among all the world-wide intelligence agencies becomes operational immediately, there is little doubt that further incidents are likely to occur and intensify. Placing the need to reduce terrorist attacks above national pride may not successfully eliminate the threat of additional bombings, but failing to do so will certainly not reduce them. Similarly, merely intensified bombing campaigns are not the only solution.

Meanwhile, Republican presidential candidates are running for election by bashing wives, dismissing campaign staff’s alleged criminal behavior, and posturing about petty party politics. Foreign policy and national security issues continue to be addressed with applause lines and not substance. What is even more troubling than this absence is the fact that none of their followers even appear to care.

There is, however, an equally dangerous, non-violent poison oozing into the British politic and it is not coming from the political fringe. The opposition Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn, whose history of anti-Israel positions are well documented, apparently did–or did not–discipline a party Member this past week for posting on his Facebook page that ISIS is run by Israel and in particular that the Mossad was responsible for the Belgium bombing. Bob Campbell is only the latest Labour Party Member to be singled out recently for anti-Semitic behavior following Vicky Kirby earlier this month. This scourge of growing, anti-Semitic expression in Britain could ultimately bring increased support for targeting Jewish institutions and Jews/Israelis abroad; as was apparently the case already in the suicide bombing of tourists in Turkey.

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