Charlie Hebdo and the Jewish supermarket in Paris, the cafe in Sidney, the shopping mall in Nairobi, the movie theater in Aurora, the summer camp on the island of Utøya, the hotel in Mumbai and lots of schools and other public places all over the world are known as “soft targets” – where citizens work, study or relax.
The opposite – “hard targets” – are places with intense security like the Pentagon and World Trade Center and meanwhile also airports.
Scott Stewart, the vice president of tactical analysis at the global intelligence and advisory firm Stratfor, told VICE News that the shift from hard targets to soft targets escalated in 2004 with al Qaeda. There is also a movement away from bombings and toward armed assault.
Europol director Rob Wainwright warned this week: “We’re dealing with multiple thousands of potential terrorists.”
But terrorism is not the only threat.
Shorter version in German: Soft Targets: Bedrohung und Schutz
Shorter version in Spanish: Tiradores Activos: Amenaza y Defensa para Objetivos Fáciles
Long version in English:
„The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun,
is a good guy with a gun.”
Just over a year ago the entire world discussed the terrorist attack in Nairobi. Amongst many voices one of reason appeared – the voice of Ronald Noble – secretary general of Interpol. He stated that one should expect further attacks targeting so called “soft targets”; places where terrorists know that no resistance can be reasonably expected. Therefore Ronald Noble suggested that states should think over the issue of arming their citizens. Well, it has long been a known fact, that massacres happen mainly in areas where firearms are heavily restricted, so called “gun free zones”. Unfortunately the EU took no notice of his opinion. Perhaps Eurocrats were too busy with proposals made by commissioner Malstrom, which would appear to give the terrorists and criminals of the world peace of mind in planning their future actions in the future.
Attacks in France have shaken up every normal person. Many people have then asked themselves: How can we defend ourselves in similar situations? The easiest option is to simply arm yourself. However, while criminals will always get guns, the rest of us require a permit, but even then, this remains an option. Let’s not depend on secret services and police, as we never know, if we won’t find ourselves in a similar situation as the Charlie Hebdo editors
Translation of the press article by REFLEX, one of the most read Czech weekly magazines, from January 12, 2015 18:00 – text: Andrea Holopová
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