Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Vindication of Steve Emerson?

In a pair of blog posts early last year I examined the smearing of Steve Emerson, the terrorism expert who was keel-hauled through the media after referring to "no-go zones" in European cities. That was an overstatement at worst, and he apologized for it, but nevertheless he was attacked and denigrated.

Then came the terrorist attacks in Paris and, yesterday, in Belgium. The State Department issued a travel alert for all of Europe in the aftermath of the latter. It says as follows:

The State Department alerts U.S. citizens to potential risks of travel to and throughout Europe following several terrorist attacks, including the March 22 attacks in Brussels claimed by ISIL.  Terrorist groups continue to plan near-term attacks throughout Europe, targeting sporting events, tourist sites, restaurants, and transportation.  This Travel Alert expires on June 20, 2016.

U.S. citizens should exercise vigilance when in public places or using mass transportation. Be aware of immediate surroundings and avoid crowded places. Exercise particular caution during religious holidays and at large festivals or events.

It goes on to discuss the steps that visitors to Europe need to take, including "Monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities."

I'm not traveling to Europe but I am monitoring the media, and what it says to me is that
  • Europe's airports aren't safe;

  • The European security services are bumbling fools;

  • Europe's open borders have effectively made that continent an extension of the Middle East.
In short, all of Europe is a no-go zone, at least at the present time. If I can't go to the airport or take a subway without a risk of being blown to pieces, that indicates to me that I simply shouldn't go there.

Ironically, after Emerson's comments, a great deal of fuss was made about the safety of traveling in Birmingham and other cities with large Muslim populations. I have no doubt about that.  The problem is taking public transportation to and within those areas and then heading to the airport to get out of there.

UPDATE: An article in the New York Times, published March 24 and online the day before, notes that "The enemy’s hide-outs are ghettoized parts of Paris, Brussels and other European cities that amount to mini failed states inside their own borders." François Heisbourg, president of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, refers to them as “'no-go areas for the authorities, who have found it very difficult to get informants and human intelligence,' noting that many of the French citizens who carried out attacks in France lived or were hosted in Brussels neighborhoods like Molenbeek."

© 2016 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.

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