Bolster protection from terrorism

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Bolster protection from terrorism

The shootings in Denmark at a Jewish synagogue and a free speech event at a cafe over the weekend left two people dead and five police officers injured. There seems to be no place in the world that is entirely safe from the dangers of extremism and terrorism. The fatal shooting in a Copenhagen cafe happened during an event titled “Art, Blasphemy, and Freedom of Expression” organized by Swedish artist Lars Vilks who has been threatened several times for his caricaturing of the Prophet Muhammad. The other shooting took place at a Jewish synagogue. Officials have not identified the attacker but suspect that he was an extremist mimicking last month’s terror attacks carried out by Islamic radicals at the Paris newsroom of French journal Charlie Hebdo that had angered Muslims by lampooning Muhammad.

EU leaders shocked by the latest attacks in Copenhagen following the Jan. 7 massacre in Paris agreed to dramatically step up cooperation in counter-terrorism. The suspect was already killed but Europeans live in fear of similar terrorist attacks. The new wave of violence in peaceful cities demands global awareness, vigilance and concerted actions against hateful acts of violence and terrorism.

It is meaningful that the United States has decided to deploy more than 4,000 combat soldiers in Kuwait next week after President Barack Obama asked Congress to approve military action against terrorists that are expanding their influence across the Middle East. Washington is finally acting on a campaign to fight the militant Islamic State. The United Nations Security Council in September designated the Islamic State group as terrorist force and declared a resolution requiring member states to ban their citizens from travelling to the area or financially supporting the extreme Islamic State group. Military operations following up on travel, financial and trade sanctions will help in the war against violent extremists.

Korea must also bolster its protection from terrorism and violence by extremists. Terrorism today has no border, specific target or cause. The government must tighten security through closer ties and cooperation with intelligence authorities overseas. Anti-terrorism equipment and training needs to be upgraded. The National Assembly must speed up legislation for anti-terrorism acts to allow local authorities to investigate and prosecute suspicious extremists and terrorist suspects instead of having to kick them out of the country after catching them.

JoongAng Ilbo, Feb. 16, Page 30

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