The message from many Europeans with regard to terrorism is — enough. That sentiment was echoed time and again in interviews conducted during a broadcasting / reporting trip to Europe which is still underway as I write.
Europe’s misguided approach to preventing radical Islamic terrorism on its own soil may be the definition of insanity—repeating the same behavior over and again while expecting different results.
The thought of young innocent children attending an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester being brutally murdered in a radical Islamic terrorist attack is unconscionable, and compelled my broadcasting team to travel to Manchester in the aftermath of this deplorable carnage to explore firsthand the European situation.
We visited Manchester, where the radical Islamic extremist suicide bomber Salman Abedi blew himself up killing 22 innocent people, injuring 116 others. We spoke with residents of Manchester whose lives have been forever changed by this jarring act of cowardly terrorism.What I learned from the people I spoke with in Manchester was chilling.
While many of the local people I interviewed were shocked by the cruel level of inhumanity inherent in the concert attack, they were actually not overly-surprised that a terrorist attack took place in their backyard.
Many I met in Manchester and London are furious. They do not feel protected. Time and again, they complained that the British government is not doing enough to address the UK’s radicalized population.
According to them, Western values, traditions, and beliefs are under assault in Europe.And a terrorist attack targeting young music fans, which is in and of itself emblematic of Western pop culture, is just the latest in a growing pattern of radical Islamic terrorism endemic to Europe. This cannot be treated as an isolated incident. A wave of radical Islamic terrorism is trending in Europe’s major population centers — and it is worsening.
A quick snapshot of the most recent terrorist attacks is alarming. In Paris back on April 20, a policeman was murdered on the Champs Elysees, in a terrorist attack that ISIS claimed responsibility for — days before the French presidential election.
In Stockholm, Sweden on April 7, four people were killed and more than a dozen were injured when a truck drove down a busy shopping street. The driver admitted to investigators that he was an ISIS member.
In Westminster, back on March 22, a terrorist crashed his car into pedestrians on the Westminster bridge, killing four people and injuring many others. The terrorist then stabbed a police officer to death in New Palace Yard.
The list continues — interminably. Other attacks in the previous months turned the streets of Paris, Berlin, Brussels, and Nice, France into macabre scenes of carnage.
At what point will European leadership witness enough brutal and deadly wake-up calls in the form of radical Islamic terrorism to fundamentally modify their counter-terrorism strategy? That is the question on the minds of men and women in Manchester, London, and Paris.
For far too long, dangerous people have secured passports and settled into new lives in the United Kingdom where they have been welcomed with open arms into England’s democracy. However, instead of assimilating and adopting Western values, many of these immigrants have settled into mosques where they have been indoctrinated and radicalized, taught to hate the very society that is providing them with the freedom of religion.
So today, many people in Manchester and Europe feel like they have been victimized not once, but twice. One man told me that he was betrayed by the government granting access to would-be terrorists without enough scrutiny, and simultaneously persecuted by radical Islamic terrorists seeking to murder and destroy his way of life.
Where is the red line for the United Kingdom and its European allies when it comes to enforcing more stringent immigration safeguards as part of an effective counter-terrorism tactic? What is also rarely discussed is that many of the terrorist are born in areas where the destruction occurs , i.e. France, Belgium, and the U.K. How many more terrorist attacks will it take for long overdue immigration reform to be enacted?
I am deeply unsettled by the feeling that some of the concerns expressed by the people of Manchester may be easily transferrable to America. While we must always remain a democracy, we also have a moral obligation to safeguard the freedom and lives of all Americans from radical Islamic terrorism.
We must be vigilant about who we let into our country, and proactively prevent our own society from following the European path to terrorist entrapment.
Armstrong Williams is the author of "Reawakening Virtues." He is a political commentator who writes a conservative newspaper column, hosts a nationally syndicated TV program called "The Right Side," and hosts a daily radio show on Sirius/XM Power 128 (6-7 p.m. and 5-6 a.m.) Monday through Friday. He also is owner of Howard Stirk Holdings Broadcast TV stations. Read more reports from Armstrong Williams — Click Here Now.
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