I am working on another post. I continue to think that Eta forms part of the picture in Madrid. I may be wrong. In any event this article summarises another part of the picture which I am sure as Europeans affects us all.
Europe in terrorism spotlight
By Erik Kirschbaum
The Madrid train bombings have shattered any complacency that Europe could be immune to mass attacks on civilians and the continent should gird itself for more, European newspapers say.
“The mass terror of Madrid was aimed at the heart of Spain, but we’re all in the crosshairs of terrorism,” wrote Germany’s mass circulation Bild. “Who is still safe today? Terror is like a hydra with a thousand heads.”
Thursday’s bomb attacks on rush-hour commuter trains killed at least 198 people and wounded 1,430 in Europe’s worst attack for 15 years. Spanish newspapers compared the scale and impact of the bombings to the September 11, 2001 suicide hijack attacks which killed nearly 3,000 people in the United States.
As investigators tried to pin down if Basque separatists or Muslim militants were behind the attacks, newspapers pondered what they meant for Europe.
“The most devastating terror attack since September 11, 2001 will change the consciousness of the people, and not only in Spain,” said Financial Times Deutschland.
Fear of mass attacks was no longer the preserve of the Americans, said Italian daily La Repubblica in an editorial.
“Whoever thought the American “devils” were the only ones in the sights of Islamic terrorism was wrong. We are all in the same boat,” it said.
“This is a European war that the EU…must fight in a much more unified way than in recent months. Afterwards we can decide if what happened yesterday was a result of the Iraq war,” read an editorial in Italian daily Corriere della Sera.
Some newspapers were simply were shocked that such a scene of horror could be witnessed in Europe at all. “This is Madrid, not Baghdad!” the Norwegian daily Aftenposten said in a banner headline, quoting a Spanish witness.
“It was like a modern version of the gruesome wartime images painted by Goya,” wrote the Guardian.
In an editorial, the Guardian said the attacks, geared to extracting the maximum possible casualties, were an example of “terror inflation”.
“For such a group to claim it is in business, it is no longer sufficient for casualty rates to be in their 10s. They have to be in the hundreds,” it said.
Israeli mass circulation Yedioth Ahronoth told Europeans: “Welcome to the real world”. Commentator Sever Plotzker said the Madrid attacks were the latest in a trail of mass attacks which have hit Kenya, Turkey, Russia and Iraq. “For some reason, Western Europe thought that it was immune,” Plotzker wrote.
Writing in Berlin tabloid B.Z., leading conservative columnist Michael Stuermer had a stark warning.
“Anyone who once believed that the big terror attacks only happen against the Americans has to have a re-think now. Terrorism isn’t a spectator sport for us in Europe.”
The question for some journalists: what could be the next target? Greek newspapers feared they had the answer.
“Thursday’s explosions in Madrid are weighing on Greece’s security plans for the Athens Olympic Games,” said Eleftherotypia.
“Greece has asked NATO to provide special security equipment and the possibility to transport injured people via air bridges to NATO hospitals.”