Thursday, July 08, 2004

Spain and EU on alert as end of Al Qaeda truce offers nears

Reuters Spain (in Spanish) reports on the EU's antiterrorism czar Gijs de Vries' visit to Madrid today, where he met with interior minister José Antonio Alonso and justice minister Juan Fernanado López Aguilar. In a press conference, they confirmed the EU is on 'maximum alert' for new attacks by Al Qaeda, but they bravely said there is no fear.

"La UE ha dejado claro de forma unánime que no se va a dejar intimidar... El miedo nunca debe ser el principio que nos guíe y nunca lo será", dijo De Vries, coordinador de la lucha contra el terrorismo de la UE.
"The EU unanimously made it clear that she will not be intimidated... Fear must never be our guiding principle and it never will be", said De Vries, EU's coordinator of the fight against terrorism.

[...]

De Vries, que mantuvo hoy una entrevista con Alonso y el ministro español de Justicia, Juan Fernando López Aguilar, señaló también que es imposible ofrecer una garantía de seguridad absoluta en las sociedad abiertas.

"Todos sabemos que una sociedad abierta, como es la nuestra, no es posible garantizar la seguridad al cien por cien, siempre hay un margen para el riesgo", dijo.
De Vries, who held meetings with Alonso and the Spanish justice minister, Juan Fernando López Aguilar, also noted that it is impossible to offer an absolute guarantee of security in open societies.

"We all know that in an open society, like ours, it is impossible to guarantee the security one hundred per cent, there always be a margin of risk", he said.
Well, don't I feel much better now! Rather than trying to prevent another attack, these remarks all seem to be about the fight after the fact. There's no police patrolling the subways in Madrid, no posters have been put up in public places with faces of wanted terrorists, nothing that could give the public the feeling that they are being protected. But we can all sleep safely tonight in our open society, knowing that if they do kill next time, all of the might of the EU's combined (and, believe me, there are hundreds of different intelligence and security aparatuses all over Europe) security forces will come down on the perpetrators. And we'll hold vigils in every capital, and adopt resolutions.