We may condemn them as “senseless acts of violence” but terrorist attacks are far more sophisticated and with a simple, single-minded goal. And in Europe right now, the terrorists definitely still have the upper hand.
The point of terror, of course, is to instil fear and create disruption, and right now, Europe is jumpy – and rightly so.
A friendly football match had to be cancelled just 90 minutes before kick-off, after an unidentified suitcase was found on the grounds. Police, armed with machine guns, told the approaching crowds to turn around and keep on walking until they were safe in their homes.
The football teams were diverted and taken somewhere safe as was German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who had been expected to attend the match along with members of her cabinet.
Later, trains travelling away from the area were stopped, and another report said a pop concert in Germany was also cancelled.
Meanwhile, in Belgium, another soccer match was cancelled after the brother of the world’s most wanted man, Jihadi Salah Abdeslam, was spotted outside the King Baudouin stadium after returning to Brussels.
Across the Channel, England remains typically defiant.
As we write this, tens of thousands of fans are descending on Wembley Stadium for what is surely the world’s most high-security soccer match between France and England.
More than 80,000 fans are expected to attend, along with Prince William, Prime Minister David Cameron and opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn.
The SAS and armed police have been told to shoot to kill should terrorists strike.
Football fans have bought 10,000 tickets to the match since the Paris attacks on Friday night, and French fans have expressed their gratitude to English fans, and to the world for its support.
May this match, whatever its outcome be a message to the terrorists that they simply cannot win.
— BBC 5 live Sport (@5liveSport) November 17, 2015
France fans at Wembley. pic.twitter.com/yVG9CI0Ww1
— TheSPORTbible (@TSBible) November 17, 2015
— The Economist (@TheEconomist) November 17, 2015
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