It’s very common people asking where you were on September 11. I remember clearly that date because I was working at a hospital and somehow and I saw the images on a TV screen, but I was so busy that I did not have time to stop and check the news. Later that day when I returned to the hotel, I spent the whole night in shock watching the news on the main News Channels and watching those videos over and over again. It was a turning point on the world as we know it and begun the war against terror. I had to cancel all my travel plans that year and for long time many people were afraid to flight, especially on the anniversary date. All the new restrictions and security controls turn it into a burden to travel and originated many delays. Fortunately, the emergence of low-cost companies motivated people to travel again, on despite of all issues.
Since then, we had to give up on many intrusions to our privacy and restrictions to our freedom, in the name of the national security. It’s sad to hear the news about the American retreat from Afghanistan turning all these years in war pointless and insulting the memory of the victims who fight on our behalf against terrorism. The worst thing is that while they were focus on Middle East, their enemies infiltrated the American backyard, establishing operations on Venezuela among other countries in the region.
My main concern on the war of terror among all these years is that most of the time we are reacting to the new forms of attacks instead to effectively prevent them. For instance, in Portugal they finally got the Secret Services only in 1984 after a Palestine Liberation Organization representant was killed in Lisbon and the Turkish embassy suffered an attack with 7 casualties. On 2004 for the opening of the UEFA European Football Championship at least a group of 11 Islamic terrorists in Portugal were planning an attack and the authorities instead to make a trial and put them in jail, they release them, and later one of them participated in a deadly attack in Netherlands. That remember me immediately the massacre in Munich during the 1972 Summer Olympics were at the end the Black September terrorists were released, theoretically in exchange for assurances of no further attacks in Germany, this is called QUID PRO QUO and unfortunately is the foreign policy of many countries and only reveal selfishness towards other countries. This is the difference between Bilateralism and multilateralism.
The 2011 Norway attacks another example of lack of preparation that could prevent it or at least avoid so many victims. For instance, the police did not have a helicopter to take control of the island while Anders Behring Breivik killed 69 people. Another example of incompetence was in Belgium as law limiting raids allowed the terrorist of Paris attacks to be fugitive for several days.
How long took the French authorities to assist Spain to combat ETA terrorism, it was necessary that ETA killed a French police agent to make them to engage into the terrorism combat, once again QUID PRO QUO. Also, ETA was operating in Portugal and the authorities never did anything, on despite of many reports of construction explosives disappearance.
Unfortunately for the attacks of March 11 in Madrid, we never will get to know the true as a suicide bomb killed the terrorists before being captured. They were too many coincidences and political manipulations to avoid not thinking in connections of the direct political beneficiaries of this attack.
On Switzerland, the air force only works during office hours, why to maintain staff 24h in such a peaceful country. While ago an airplane violated their air space during the night, as their pilots do not work during that time, they had to call to the NATO base in Naples to send aircrafts to assess the situation but when they arrived it was too late, they could not find it. In Spain they were pursuing an unknown airplane (most likely transporting drugs) during the night and at certain point the airplane crossed into the Portuguese air space, then the Spaniard authorities contacted the Portuguese to follow up on this potential risk, well while they took knowledge, found the pilots and took off the aircraft to initiate the pursuit it was already in the morning and obviously the airplane already disappeared hours ago or landed somewhere because flying at low altitude the radars cannot detect you, that’s why do you need eyes on the prey.
For the public earn the trust about what governments are doing in matter of security, we need more transparency but how we maintain the balance between being transparent and keeping the necessary secrecy an avoid giving vantages to our enemies. For instance, in Portugal a former Prime-Minister was using the secret services to spy private companies to win benefits for him and his friends and after so many years he has not been condemn yet by the justice.
Why a police officer in London got stab to death because they still have some officers that do not use a fireweapon.
Going back to 9/11, how it’s possible to hijack an airplane, what kind of weapons they had, how many terrorists were involved. Because for me is hard to believe that nobody tried to stop the terrorists even taking the risk to put their lives in danger.
Then to keep the fight against terror, we need more investments, more transparency, more competence, a proper legal framework, and more courage and less ingenuity.
“Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”
The opinions on this blog are of the authors themselves and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of ELfR.