KT edit: Terror ideology still poses a threat to society
What scares us about this attack is that the suspect was known to security agencies.
A terrorist is on the run near Strasbourg in France. The man killed three innocent people by pumping bullets into them. Several others were injured, eight of them seriously. He just stood there and shot them, said witnesses. There is fear over the city and there is panic over upcoming festivities. The snow on the ground is now drenched in blood, the once boisterous Christmas market in the small French town has been turned into a crime scene.
What scares us about this attack is that the suspect was known to security agencies. They say he was arrested previously, but not on terror charges and postulate that the man was indoctrinated in prison while he was serving his term for other offences. How did that go unnoticed? Did the authorities take their eyes off the constant threat in their midst - the near and present danger of so-called lone wolves. Daesh may have been defeated in military terms in Syria and Iraq but members of the terror group have returned to France and other parts of Europe.
With France in civil turmoil for some weeks - the middle-class on the streets, protesting against the elitist policies of French President Emmanuel Macron - this was the right time to strike, and the suspect used the opportunity to cause maximum damage with his pistol. The killer and wannabe terrorists are not just disgruntled elements, they are sick in the head.
It's easy to play with minds, and Daesh has enlisted supporters online as part of their larger campaign. There are silent sympathisers of the group in Western and other societies - men and women who believe that people who disagree with them and do not follow their ideology must be exterminated. They plot genocide and enslavement while living in societies that provide them with opportunities and livelihood. Ideological violence should be condemned and stopped.
Terror masterminds must be smoked out from society. There have been many successes against terror on the ground and online, yet lone wolves like the one in Strasbourg managed to slip away. Taking them on will involve the combined might of families, government, society and the security apparatus. The latest killings should only increase our resolve to fight terror in all its forms. It's too early to lower our guard.