Global collaboration to fight this new kind of terror that targets civilians is urgently needed and is overdue
It is very hard to remain objective and calm when a suicide bomber has just killed four innocent people and injured several others, including an infant, at walking distance from your home. It is very hard to remain concentrated when you receive the news of the airport blast in Brussels at a time you started to write an article and then fresh news comes to your screen about another blast in the Maelbeek metro station with perhaps 20 people killed. The attacks come four days after Salah Abdeslam, the main suspect in the Paris attacks, was captured in Brussels.
Still, we have to keep our intellectual lucidity and objectivity intact if we really want to fight this blind terror together.
This is a very new and unseen kind of blind terror. It is reminiscent of late 19th century Russian anarchists who sacrificed their lives in order to assassinate high ranking nobles and administrators of the tsar. But this new terror targets ordinary people. It aims at destroying life and the basic values of a social contract between the population and the state.
Democratic countries' intelligence services and security forces have not been structured to contain and destroy such kind of terror organizations. These are extremely flexible organizations made up of myriad secret cells, seldom encompassing more than 10 people. It started with al-Qaida bombings back in 2001. The terror attacks are organized through Internet communications and there is no real political ideology behind them. They aim to destabilize democratic societies - and sometimes less democratic societies - by demonstrating that the almighty state apparatus is unable to protect them.
There is no real center for these terror organizations, which makes them very difficult to trace. The assassination of Osama Bin Laden did not alter the noxiousness or violence of this terror. Most of the time, local terrorist cells are totally free to decide about the activities to carry out and assassinations to commit. They definitely receive money from abroad, but in a system in which capital circulates totally freely without any restrictions it is very difficult to trace the financing web that allows these terror cells to purchase weapons and ammunition.
The most terrible dimension of this new terrorism is that assassins are willing to sacrifice their lives in order to kill other people. The attacks in Paris, Ankara, Sousse, Tunis and Istanbul have largely shown the will of terrorists to totally disregard their own lives in order to kill civilians. Seldom do the attacks target security forces or public officers, but aim to take some sort of revenge on ordinary people. How this could be explained remains a profound and complex debate.
What is to be done, though, is obvious. A restructuring of intelligence organizations is a must, but this will have no real effect so long as there is no viable and deep-running coordination between EU states and other democratic regimes. Turkey remains at the center of the refugee problem and terror attacks. The shortcomings of Turkish democracy cannot hinder the fact that Turkey is a democracy and possesses a viable intelligence service and security forces.
We have to collaborate within a large institutional structure. Not only security and intelligence institutions, but several other administrative bodies should be in continuous contact in order to exchange information and take coordinated measures.
The unacceptable fate of Palestinians and Syrians cannot explain, let alone justify, this blind terror. The democratic and cultural rights of the Kurdish people cannot explain, let alone justify, terror attacks and killings. Turkey and the EU have to accept a very basic, minimal understanding of each other's problems and establish very deep-running cooperation and collaboration to resist and prevent such blind attacks. It is not possible to ask the public to get used to terror, as some very clever people have already declared in the mass media. The continuation of this terror will open wide the gate to fascist movements, which are already burgeoning in Europe and in Turkey. Governments have to act before it becomes too late.