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Bluster no substitute for terror intelligence

Published 28/07/2016

In America, Donald Trump is turning up the heat in the debate on terror by attacking France and Germany for being too soft and not rising to the challenge.

 Under a Trump presidency, the citizens of both nations would, therefore, be subject to more intense security scrutiny on entering the US.

The best form of security is effective intelligence. Elaborate, but meaningless, footage of the police and army scrambling around in hot pursuit is presumably intended to reassure everyone that the bad guys are on the retreat. Generally, they are long gone before the first TV news crew arrive to beam the images around the globe that are meant to soothe all our fears.

Neither Mr Trump's raucous bluster, nor the ineffectual floundering of the police and military, as they seek to project an image of authority and natural order, are greatly helping matters.

If you want to combat terror, you need to know where your enemy is. You need to know how they think and you need to have preventative measures in place. Should these fail, then you need to have effective reaction forces at the ready.

Over recent weeks, there has been very little evidence that any of this is happening in Europe. If you look further afield at the weekend carnage in Afghanistan and Iraq, you can see how these failures are having an even more appalling impact on civilian populations.

The only effective way to defeat terror is to remove the threat - and that involves a multi-faceted intelligence-driven approach, which no amount of rhetoric, or posturing, can replicate.

ED TOAL

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