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2016年3月25日 (金)

ベルギーテロ 「欧州の首都」標的にした蛮行

The Yomiuri Shimbun
World must review antiterrorism measures as ‘capital of Europe’ attacked
ベルギーテロ 「欧州の首都」標的にした蛮行

The “capital of Europe” has become the site of a despicable terrorist act that indiscriminately targeted civilians. Such acts cannot be tolerated.

The international community must tighten the noose further to contain terrorism.

A series of terrorist bombings rocked the international airport and a subway station in the Belgian capital of Brussels, where the European Union is headquartered. More than 30 people were killed and over 200 others were injured in the attacks.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militant group, which is based in Syria and Iraq, has claimed responsibility, denouncing Belgium for participating in the anti-ISIL coalition.

The perpetrators include suicide bombers and a man still at large. Belgian authorities have been urged to speed up their investigation to ascertain the whole picture of the attacks.

French President Francois Hollande said, “The whole of Europe has been struck by these attacks in Brussels.” It is vital for the security authorities of EU countries to enhance intelligence-sharing on terrorism-related matters.

With districts that are home to many Muslims, Brussels is known as a hotbed of radical Islamists in Europe. Just four days ago, a key surviving perpetrator of last November’s terrorist attacks on Paris was arrested in such a district, where he was hiding.

An alarming point is the failure to prevent the terrorist attacks at the airport, a key facility under tight security by Belgian authorities.

Vulnerability highlighted

One of the perpetrators reportedly blew himself up near a check-in counter of an airline company before security screening for baggage. This appears to be a blind point for airport security. A review of measures against terrorism is needed.

A blast in a subway car took place at a station near the EU headquarters. Some observers speculate that the militant group carried out this outrage of mass killing, which has once again shaken Europe, in revenge for the arrest of the Paris attacks’ mastermind.

To help suppress terrorist groups, the United States and European countries are being urged to bring an end to the Syrian civil war, which has allowed the rise of ISIL.

Japanese nationals were also involved in the bombing on the Brussels subway. One suffered serious injury while another was slightly hurt. About 220 Japanese companies have made inroads into Belgium, and about 5,400 Japanese nationals live in the country.

As many Japanese expatriates now work overseas, terrorism by radical Islamists is not someone else’s problem for Japan.

It is natural that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe strongly condemned the attacks in Brussels, saying, “We must work together with the international community in responding [to the attacks].”

Participants at the Ise-Shima Group of Seven summit meeting to be held in May face the task of working out specific antiterrorism measures, such as ways to cut off terrorist funding. The government should make every possible effort to review airport security and take other steps to prevent terrorist attacks.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 24, 2016)


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