Brussels: a Message from terrorists

Drawing by Dmitry Divin
There was no coincidence in the timing of the bombings that rocked the Belgian capital on the morning of March 22. Terrorists are sending a clear message to the world after the arrest of Salah Abdessalam, the mastermind behind the deadly Paris attacks of November 2015.

The deadly explosions in the Brussels metro and at the airport on Tuesday were clearly signals of their deadly intent from the Islamic terrorist underground to the global community.

Signal One: You are not able to defeat and decapitate us.

Belgian secret services carried out a successful operation just last week, managing to arrest Salah Abdessalam organizer of the devastating terrorist attacks in Paris last November, and the man perceived in Europe as the symbol of a new wave of terror.

After the arrest, it appeared that the jihadist underground had been neutralized for a while, and would not be able to easily recover from such a blow. Clearly that was a misconception. The explosions on Tuesday were defiantly organized in Brussels, clearly indicating that the eliminated cell was not the only one. There are others. Therefore, there will be more attacks.

Signal Two: Security measures ineffective

The terrorists want to show the European people that all the security measures taken by the authorities are ineffective, that the jihadis are stronger, and that they retain the initiative and are at least one step ahead of the security services.

After the operation to arrest Salah Abdessalam in the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek, it was clear that the country had taken higher, extraordinary security measures. But those were not effective. Hence, nothing and no one can help.

“You can be killed at any moment; at an airport, railway station, cafe, theatre or football match. You have entered a war that you cannot win. We will win in any case. Because you are afraid of death, and we are not.” This is the message the terrorists are conveying to Europeans and the world.

Signal Three: Successes in Syria a mirage

The success of international forces in the fight against Islamic State, seen in recent months in Syria and Iraq does not affect either the appeal of the ideas of global jihad or the fighting capacity of their forces operating in Europe. They have the strength, means, money and determination to continue their struggle.

How should Europe, and the entire civilized world including Russia, react? The only possible response is to keep living the way you have been living, do not let them break you, continue to fly on airplanes, go to restaurants and football matches. Because the only alternative would be only an unconditional surrender to these medieval fanatics, who will be making more and more demands and still will not stop.

We cannot and will not capitulate. We will be getting used to living in a new world; a world where terrorism has become an everyday reality. Not only in hot spots, but everywhere. Even in those countries which, like Belgium, seemed to be a quiet European province, where nothing bad could happen by definition. There are no quiet provinces or safe havens in the world anymore.

But this is no reason to panic and to stop the fight against the enemy that has declared war on all of us. The enemy is strong, ruthless and unprincipled. But they will still not win this war.

The opinion of the writer may not necessarily reflect the position of RIR or its staff.

First published in Russian in Kommersant.

All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

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