NYT: Refugees Pose Overwhelming Challenge to Europe's Police

by COUNTER JIHAD October 25, 2016

Overwhelmed by refugees about whom they know nothing, Euro police increasingly rely on American intelligence. Is there an alternative?

The New York Times has a story highlighting the problems facing European police agencies.  It turns on a particular case out of Germany, one in which a refugee turned terrorist without the European police having any idea.  Fortunately, American intelligence tipped them to the terrorist in question before he could stage the attack he was planning.  German attempts to arrest him failed, however, and he escaped back into the flood of Syrian refugees.  Only when other refugees turned him in were they able to capture him.

And then, before they could interrogate him for any intelligence, he hung himself.

The takeaway for the Times is that the Europeans are too reliant on American capacities.

[A] series of [attacks] in Germany, France and elsewhere has exposed the lack of knowledge about the backgrounds of many, if not most, of the newcomers and the potential for them to be radicals or to be radicalized after arriving in Europe.

On both fronts, the situation is creating a particular political tension in Germany. The National Security Agency's activities are under fierce scrutiny in Germany by a seemingly never-ending special parliamentary committee.

"American agencies are Europe's best counterterrorists," said Peter Neumann, a terrorism expert at King's College London.

Germany's lawmakers have passed a new spy law that is intended to address some of these challenges.  They are not the first to do so.  In the wake of the Belgian attacks, Italy's Prime Minister called for a more unified European response to terrorism.  One of the criticisms facing Europe's response is that it lacks a central police agency like the FBI that can act directly on terror threats across national borders the way the FBI does across state borders.

On the other hand, Marc Tyrell at Small Wars Journalrightly points out that a higher-level bureaucracy is often necessarily blind to street-level indications of danger.  Likewise, the classification of information within major Federal agencies like the CIA and FBI often means that communication doesn't flow downward to local police agencies either.  There is no guarantee that adding another level of protection will work, especially not if that level of protection is placed behind classification walls.

Likewise, there is a concern about focusing on the right set of dangers.  Spying resources are only helpful if they are properly targeted, but Europe has so far seemed inclined to focus its increased resources on its own citizens instead of the influx of refugees.  For example, Germany has engaged in police raids targeting those who express concern about the refugee influx.  In London, an expensive new cyber security unit - targeting online activity of citizens - will focus not on radical Islam but on "cyber hate speech."

The scale of the crisis also poses challenges.  Belgian police correctly identified some of the Brussels bombers, but had to drop its inquiry into them because it could not spare the resources for that particular case.  German police are likewise facing a crime wave that is overwhelming their available resources.  Leaked reports indicate that German police only expect this refugee crime wave to worsen.

Even here in the United States, with its advanced security infrastructure, the task is beyond police resources.

[O]f these 1,000 or so suspected terrorists, the FBI only has the resources to thoroughly monitor a select few. The precise number of round-the-clock FBI surveillance teams is classified... but sources familiar with Bureau resources say that the number is "shockingly" low, only in the dozens. At one point last year, sources reported that the Bureau was watching 48 people intensely, a number that is towards the upper limit of the FBI's regular surveillance resources.

That means that even of the 1,000 American citizens and residents that the government believes are most at-risk of executing a terror attacks-the top .0003 percent most radical threats among the nation's 330,000,000 residents-only around 5 to 10 percent are under 24-hour watch.

The United States is far richer than most nations in Europe.  It has a government committed to building out the security state.  It has far fewer Muslims, both in raw numbers and as a percentage, and it has accepted only a small percentage of the refugees that Europe has done.  If the United States simply cannot keep up with the terror threat as it stands today, Europe cannot hope to do so.

And that is with the crisis as it stands.  The upcoming Russian-led offensive against Aleppo will bring a new wave of refugees.  The offensive against Mosul, meanwhile, is expected to produce at least a million more just by itself.  Some other solution than admitting floods of refugees, and then trying to police them, must be adopted.    

The CounterJihad is a movement of American citizen-activists dedicated to safeguarding the country from the danger posed by Islamic Supremacists. @CounterjihadUS

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