Terrorism is not confined to the Middle East
Instead of focusing exclusively on one country we should look at the global trend and join forces to counter challenges
I join Faisal J. Abbas in expressing solidarity and condolences to the families of those who perished in EgyptAir A320 over the Mediterranean, and to the government and country as a whole. Egypt is an indicator that the world is less safe than ever, but instead of focusing exclusively on the country, we should look at the global trend and join forces to counter it.
Recent months have witnessed a string of terrorist acts. Tunisia was hit by two in one year, causing it to lose over 90 percent of tourists due to safety concerns. There were two attacks in Paris in one year, making it clear to the French that they cannot feel safe even at home. Security services’ effectiveness is questioned after such attacks, particularly when terrorists were already known and supervised.
The Brussels attacks revealed that terrorist networks have already infiltrated functional structures in Europe, that airport security is not absolute, and that no one can guarantee 100-percent safety. The carelessness of the security services and Belgian police made the Brussels attacks possible. Meanwhile, terrorists who are killed or jailed are replaced by new recruits.
I believe that if the loss of the Egypt Air flight was indeed a terrorist act, Charles de Gaulle airport - from which the plane departed – should also bear responsibility, as there is a possibility that the flight was not checked properly.
After the terrorist attacks in Tunisia and Egypt, both countries faced travel bans, dangerously undermining their security and stability and playing into terrorists’ hands. However, safety is not only threatened by terrorists. The case of the hijacked Egypt Air flight in March shows the dangers posed by mentally ill people.
The perception that Europe is the safest destination is wrong. Countries that are used to dealing with terrorist threats appear to be much saferMaria Dubovikova
The perception that Europe is the safest destination is wrong, particularly given its inability to properly deal with enormous migration flows, which are being infiltrated by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Countries that are used to dealing with terrorist threats appear to be much safer. The best example is Israel, where security services are always on guard and use the most advanced technologies.
In some respects, Egypt appears to be safer than France and Belgium. After the Russian flight that crashed over the Sinai, Egypt drew vital conclusions and did much, with help from other counties, to improve security. However, Russia’s complete ban on flights between the two countries has dangerously undermined Egyptian stability due to the ban’s effect on the vital tourism sector, and on the economy generally.
Countries should join forces against all possible threats, particularly terrorism. Bans play into terrorists’ hands by causing instability and spreading fear. Egypt should not pay the price for the global trend of growing insecurity.
Maria Dubovikova is a President of IMESClub and CEO of MEPFoundation. Alumni of MGIMO (Moscow State Institute of International Relations [University] of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia), now she is a PhD Candidate there. Her research fields are in Russian foreign policy in the Middle East, Euro-Arab dialogue, policy in France and the U.S. towards the Mediterranean, France-Russia bilateral relations, humanitarian cooperation and open diplomacy. She can be followed on Twitter: @politblogme