We are going to be overwhelmed with a wealth of information in the next few days, and all of it information after the fact which was available before the fact. This has been the case in so many terrorist attacks worldwide, so many crimes, that it is almost parr for the course that we learn everything designed to prevent when it is too late. We have CCTV in many cities, we have foot patrols, we have databanks packed with information, we have no-fly lists and we have international cooperation agreements. We also have a series of organizations and laws which are designed to protect the interests of ordinary people, whether they be citizens or refugees.
All of these are good things, on the whole, were it not for the fact that no one has yet shown any interest in working in cooperation with anyone else. Information is not shared, laws are not enforced, people die.
Screenshot Source: Twitter / MIT Press
I picked out this illustration originally to make some form of joke about how all geeks and nerds look the same in the eyes of some. Now I am using it to illustrate something completely different. The passage of information. This shows how it should work, if all the agencies who claim to be working together did work together. One country would tell another, without the need to implicate their sources, what they know about a dangerous person. Take, for example, someone who has been convicted of a crime in one European country: that country informs the remaining EU members of the conviction of a refugee so that an attempt to enter another country can be stopped, so that this criminal cannot just move from one land to another with impunity and commit more crimes.
It would appear that this does not happen, certainly not in the case of the attacker from Berlin. Convicted of a crime in Italy, he comes to Germany where, if the Italians had informed the appropriate authorities, he would never have been accepted. Convicted of a crime in Tunisia, his home land, it should have been easy enough to send him back to serve his sentence. Except for the fact that he did not have, we are told, a passport and so could not be sent back!
I am in full agreement with the helping and accepting of refugees wherever possible, predominantly in the short-term so that they can return eventually to their home lands and rebuild. But I also believe that these refugees should be checked, as far as is possible, and a decision on their future made as quickly as possible, that decision being then carried out immediately. I also believe that the various intelligence and security agencies – European and from the American continent – should work together in reality, and not just on paper. This version of cooperation would result in quicker decisions, better security and as a deterrent to those with ideas other than terrorism.
- Viktoria Michaelis.