A number of deadly attacks have taken place in three big capitals (or ancient capitals) in Europe. First, a suicide bomber detonated himself in a subway train in St. Petersburg, causing the death of a dozen people and injuring over 50 people. Second, in London, a rabid fanatic tried to enter Westminster, hitting pedestrians with his car beforehand. Third, an illegal migrant hijacked a truck before hitting innocent bystanders with it, causing the death of several people in Stockholm.
There are a number of salient issues common to all of these terror attacks. The very striking feature is that none of the perpetrators seem to have been a trained militant or an experimenting member of a terror organization. Rather, these are ordinary people, people without a political perspective who wanted to kill as many ordinary people as possible.
Another striking issue is the relative efficiency and organizational capacity of security forces especially in Western Europe.
In St. Petersburg, the perpetrator, Akbarzhon Jalilov, a young Kyrgyz-born Russian citizen, was found by investigators. He prepared a home-made bomb to commit his suicide attack. In London, the perpetrator, a 52-year-old Briton Khalid Masood, did not have any visible organic ties with a terror organization. In Stockholm, the attacker was an asylum-seeker, who had applied for residency in Sweden in 2014 but had his application rejected in December last year. Meanwhile, the young Uzbek Rakhmat Akilov, suspected to have sympathy with al-Qaeda and Daesh, did not appear to have links with either of the organizations.
So where is the efficiency one would ask?
The fact none of the perpetrators of the three deadly attacks could get hold of a fire arm shows the efficient control of the security forces. The home-made bomb attack in Russia could have perhaps been avoided, if a more thorough security check was available at the metro station, however the terrorist would have blown himself up anyhow, but in open air, drastically reducing the number of deaths and injuries. In London and Stockholm, both perpetrators used a vehicle to blast pedestrians and the only armament Khalid Masood had was a knife.
The fact that security forces and intelligence units are much better organized does not change the fact that innocent lives are in danger, in every major capital city of a democratic country and elsewhere. One does not need to have very sophisticated weapons to kill people: a hijacked brewery truck cost the lives of four people in one of the most pacifistic countries in the world: Sweden.
One should never minimize the importance of having good intelligence and efficient security measures. A human life saved is a human life saved and nobody, morally, can downgrade the importance of reducing the deadliness of terror attacks. Still, despite a good security-controlling mechanism, people are very vulnerable to any nihilistic attack, which shows that it is not enough to have a high-performing security system to prevent these attacks.
It takes one largely deranged person watching the news on TV seeing the despair and continuous suffering of the peoples in the Middle East, in Africa, in former the Soviet Republics of Asia, in the Caucasian region, to decide to take "revenge."
The "revenge" is targeting the populations of "advanced" countries seen as the perpetrators of the world's suffering. The trouble is that the populations of the countries or regions under continuous strain and duress do not have the possibility to militarily oppose the developed countries.
This creates another deep resentment. The emergence of the most inhumane political force, Daesh can in a way be explained by this total nihilistic despair.
The "rule of law" remains a principle totally void of any content, any conviction, seen from the Middle East or Central Asia. The proliferation of sci-fi movies depicting the deeds of deadly "vigilantes" is another reflection of this development.
It is worth remembering that Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster created their imaginary super hero "Superman" in 1938 as a response to a totally corrupt police system, infiltrated by gang leaders such as Al Capone, Lucky Luciano and the like. This is a very important signal of the overflow existing in a society.
The nihilistic terror attacks are visibly the sign of total despair among the world's public, regarding the continuation of hatred, violence, killings and injustice prevailing, sometimes for decades, in a number of regions and countries all over the world.
The solution is definitely not better security measures, but better measures to prevent the increase in populism, better measures to allow people all around the world to live in decent, secure conditions. In a gradually globalizing world, no country and no society has the luxury to see the world in "ins" and "outs." In a nutshell, we should revise the entire system of international relations before it is too late to avoid a major scale conflict.