EU-NATO-US-Israel united to combat terror, but they are not agree to use the same methods
Fiona Lorin and Roni Alasor
Copyright: http://www.araratnews.eu/nuce.php?aid=296 (17/9/2008 / Brussels)
Note: ANP (Ararat News and Publishing).
Last Tuesday, EU Parliament held Conference on Terrorism and Europe: Threats and Responses. EU and NATO-US-Israel are united to fight terrorism but they don’t share the same approach in the methods. Namely Gilles de Kerchove, Counterterrorism Coordinator for the EU, focused on the fundamental human rights issue and criticized the West for using more repression then prevention and protection. The debate was also controversial and left some unanswered questions for the public, especially concerning Turkey’s cooperation with Iran.
The conference was organized by 5 MEPs from different political groups: Alexander ALVARO (ALDE, DE), Paulo CASACA (PES, PT), Jana Hybaskova MEP (EPP-ED, Czech Republic) Jozef PINIOR (PES, PL) and Helga TRUPEL (Greens/EFA, DE). They underlined the importance of the EU security for the citizens of EU and insisted for elaboration of Common European Strategy against terror.
Helga TRUPEL from German Greens qualified Hezbollah actions as terrorist attacks against Israel and EU should not support such organization.
While Mr. Paolo Casaca was glad to see that representatives of different political organizations are united in the combat against terrorism, especially against Iran and Hezbollah, Jana Hybaskova stressed that Hezbollah should be put on the EU terror list.
MEP’s from different countries was agree that “the current policy of appeasement is not the answer Europe needs” and that “The longer we wait to deal with our terrorist problem, the stronger the terrorist response is going to be”, was the message from MEP`s. The speakers has underlined “the importance of increasing efforts to combat terrorism in light of the growing presence of Hezbollah in Europe”. A report from German intelligence service, BND, has been mentioned in the conference that Hezbollah has established nearly 1.000 sleeper cell in Germany alone.
After the opening remarks of the Jewish representatives Mr. Daniel S. Mariaschin, Executive Vice President of B'nai B'rith International and Prof. Yonah Alexander, Director of Inter-University Center for Terrorism Studies, Washington D.C., the floor was given to the special guest-speakers.
Mr. Guy Roberts, Assistant Secretary General for Policy on Weapons of Mass Destruction in NATO, presented in details the activities, operations, partnerships and consultations of the Transatlantic Alliance in order to create "network of networks" - global collective cooperation to reject the terror threat. Roberts underlined the importance of strong military capability to respond in case of any attack and gave as positive examples the presence of NATO in Darfur, Afghanistan, the Balkans.
To the question from Ararat News, why while all Western countries are united against Iranian Mollah regime, one of the NATO-Western allies, Turkey, is cooperating with Iran, Roberts answered: “Of course, we are very concerned about the states supporting terrorist groups. With their acts they will not achieve any political objectives and will not get any advantages. But this is nation business. It is not our work.”
Mr. Gilles DE KERCHOVE, Counter Terrorism coordinator for the EU, told the public about his latest visit in Israel a week ago for participation in a conference about terrorism, but stressed that for Europe the biggest threats is related not to Hezbollah and Hamas, but to Al Qaeda.
"Before Al Qaida was regarded as movement, not as an organization, but during the last months we see more and more its mobilization. An active immigration from Pakistan is going to Europe and Europeans are also going to Pakistan for training", said KERCHOVE.
According the EU Coordinator of Counter Terrorism, all the national and international actors should have a balanced approach in their fight against terrorism in order to avoid human rights abuses, violence and double standards use. "When we are speaking about data collection, we should know what we want to collect, what we want to share and where are the limits", insisted Mr. KERCHOVE. He noted that the EU has not endorsed the American “War on Terror,” suggesting that the United States has used illegal methods in its fight against terrorism.
He suggested that an active cooperation between EUROPOL, EUROJUST and the national authorities can develop the necessary expertise for effective internet control, for early detection at the local level and it can help to destroy the Chinese wall between the worlds of the intelligence services, police and justice.
Mr. KERCHOVE concluded his speech optimistically saying that there is a decline in the support for terrorism in the Muslim world. "However we have to push for more freedom of speech", he said. All the Jihad fighters are coming from countries with censorship on Internet – Pakistan, Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, so we need to push for more freedom of information to combat terrorism.
Mr. KERCHOVE explained that the integration of European Muslims and the creation of a "European Islam" would be key elements to extinguishing terrorism.
Kerchove made also clear that Iran is a threat and EU doesn’t underestimate that.