The French say that President Francois Hollande, unlike Putin, has failed to build anti-terrorist activities in France and refused to run for second term in the office. Albanian journalist Ylli Permeti believes that Russia has learned to fight terrorism and could teach Europeans a few lessons on anti-terrorist struggle. Let us try to see what Russia has learned to do at this point and why terrorism has paralysed Europe.
The European Union, as well as the United States of America, do not seem to be able to decide who poses the greatest danger to them - the Islamic State terrorist organisation (banned in Russia), Bashar al-Assad or Russia. Russia does not distinguish between good and bad terrorists. For Russia, Syrian President Bashar Assad is an ally in the fight against terror. Europe is ready to deal with both imaginary and real threats. The EU does not consider Russia as an ally in the fight against terrorism. Instead, the EU views Russia as a threat. Even when Russian President Putin called for unity in the struggle against terrorism after the recent terrorist attack in Berlin, the EU saw the call from Russia as an attempt to "putinize" Europe. French journalists wrote that Putin was hoping the United States would lose interest in Europe, and Russia would take America's place instead to rebuild its empire.
According to huffingtonpost.fr, Russia wants the EU and NATO to collapse to make European states "compatible with the Kremlin, journalist Francoise Thom wrote. The feeble attempts of Francois Hollande to organise joint anti-terrorism actions with Russia after the terrorist attacks in France were quickly negated. Meanwhile, a survey conducted by IFOP for Atlantico showed that prior to the presidential election in France in 2017, the majority of the French people - 67% - were extremely concerned with a terrorist threat. This issue worries the French more than unemployment and the revival of economic activity (60%). The situation in Germany before the elections to the Bundestag in the autumn of 2017 is the same.
As we can see, the EU sincerely believes that it is possible to come to an agreement with Islamists, rather than Russia. This is the reason why the number of terrorist organisations and terrorists in Europe is larger than in Syria or Iraq, Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey Nurettin Canikli said.
Until recently, Europe has relied solely on US intelligence agencies in the struggle against terrorism. The USA has let the EU down. What can the Europeans do themselves? In France, there are as many as ten state-run organisations that conduct anti-terrorist activities. In addition, there are six terrorist-related databases and three coordination centers, contrepoints.org wrote.
Obviously, such complex and disintegrated organisation can not but raise plenty of difficulties, the newspaper said. For example, terrorist known as Yasin Sali, who staged a terrorist attack at a chemical factory in France and brutally beheaded his employer in June of 2015, was deprived of the radical status when his file would be moved from one system to another.
The French try to collect information themselves: there are 2,700 vacancies for wiretapping jobs. It is obvious, however, that the main problem is intelligence work. No one knows what they preach in mosques and what happens in the Salafi community. For example, the man who organised Paris and Brussels attacks, Salah Abdeslam, was shuttling between Belgium and France and hiding in the Belgian ghetto of Molenbeek. Administrative closure of mosques became possible only within the scope of emergency laws, following the attacks of November 13, 2015.
German counter-intelligence is more structured: the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) and the Federal Constitution Protection Service (BFF). Yet, the appropriate legal base is too weak in Germany. There is a shortage of political will to strengthen control over Islamists. It has been recently revealed, for example, that ISIL agents work at German security services.
The above-described mess inside security services of two European heavyweights shows that the idea of creating joint anti-terrorist intelligence agencies in Europe remains just an idea.
Russia, in contrast to Europe, has recently conducted several operations to prevent terrorist attacks. A number of Islamist cells have recently been destroyed in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Samara.
"In today's Russia, a significant part of terrorist attacks is prevented at the stage of their development, rather than implementation," Alexander Mikhailov, former chief of the Office of Government Information of the Russian Federation told Pravda.Ru. In Europe, the situation has spun out of control, the official believes. European special services "sluggishly" respond to the information that they receive from their Russian colleagues. Moreover, Europe does not take efforts to reform legislation to be able to prevent terrorist attacks.
"One should change immigration laws to stop Islamist contagion from penetrating into Europe from other countries. Unfortunately, we can see that a number of regions in Central Europe are completely closed to police, and the population in those areas do not follow federal laws," said Alexander Mikhailov.
What experience could Russia convey to Europe? First, it is the introduction of the so-called counter-terrorist operation regime that quickly mobilises all adequate departments and resources, including civil ones. The "state of emergency" in France is very costly and is devoid of central command. Europe ought to stop talking about various liberties for private life, if this life can be taken away at any moment.
Secondly, Russia has an extensive experience of intelligence work in mosques, prisons, settlements, Salafi communities and Islamic funds.
Thirdly, Russia and the EU may establish information partnership. Note that most recent operations conducted by the Federal Security Bureau in Central Russia would have been impossible without the assistance from security services of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, as well as Turkey. For example, the Revival of Islamic Heritage Society organisation was working in Russia during the 1990s. The Justice Ministry closed the organisation and put it on the list of "banned organisations." Yet, the organisation freely operates in Germany and builds mosques there.
Fourthly, Europe needs to learn how to work with the population. All the talking about unity and strength, "we are not afraid of them, they will not get what they want" is irrelevant in the modern world. People should always be on alert - they need to report any suspicious activities to the authorities.
Terrorism is an ideology. Therefore, one should use the media to propagate traditional values instead of glorifying tolerance to homosexuality that the West is trying to implant in Muslim countries. When a Muslim person is told that someone threatens their faith and morals, a Muslim person may quickly decide to destroy "infidels."
Every Muslim, who arrives in Europe, must realise, that they will have to be integrated in the European society. Otherwise, German and French Muslims will soon constitute a significant electoral force. If this happens, it will be impossible to adopt anti-terrorist laws.
Finally, terrorists should know that they will be destroyed ruthlessly. Russian special services have eliminated all leaders of Chechen terrorists: Dudayev, Basayev, Raduyev, Khattab, Gelaev, Yandarbiyev, Maskhadov and others. Abdeslam Salah and his gang have received more than 50,000 euros in social allowances from the authorities. European governments had been sponsoring terrorists before Paris attacks, and now they offer to pardon them.
The Europeans ought to stand up for themselves, and Russia can teach them how, if they want to, of course.
Lyuba Lulko (Stepushova)
Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru