Lone Wolves Aim at Soft Targets
Lone Wolves Aim at Soft Targets
  • 김선화 기자
  • 승인 2017.06.05 09:00
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All of Europe has been put on emergency alert. Not only Europe but also Russia and surrounding countries are nervous because of the danger of terrorism. Recently, lone wolf terrorists aim at soft targets. Soft target means terror aimed at civilians. Below is a list of terror attacks which have occurred recently by lone wolves.

On November 13, 2015, in France's capital city of Paris, terrorist attacks took place in every corner of the city including a football field, concert hall, restaurant, bar, and street. French President Hollande who watched a soccer game immediately sought shelter and closed France’s borders. There was a hostage situation, indiscriminate gun shooting, and a suicide bombing. One hundred thirty-two people were killed and 349 people were injured by this terror.

On March 22, 2016, in Belgium's capital city of Brussels, at the Zaventem International airport, there were two explosions. Soon after, a third explosion occurred at Maalbeek subway station which is located downtown. The Maalbeek station where the third explosion happened is where the EU is located. Thirty-two people died and 94 people were injured by this explosion. The Islamic State was behind these two explosions. Furthermore, in the past one of the two criminals manufactured the bombs used in the Paris terror attacks.

On July 14, 2016, in Nice, France, there was a terrorist attack again. This happened on Bastille Day. The culprit drove a rig into a crowd of people about for about 2 kilometers as he shot at people. Eighty-six people died and 300 people were injured by this accident. The peculiarity of this case is that the terrorists used a lorry for terror and it happened at in the open at a resort. The criminal is not linked with IS directly but he usually searched for information about the Islamic State online. He was a so-called 'lone wolf' who was influenced by IS advertisement and became a sympathizer of the Islamic State.

On December 19, 2016, Berlin, the capital city of Germany, a man driving a trucked plowed through a Christmas market for about 80 meters. Twelve people died and 50 people were injured by this terror. This terror method is similar to the terror which happened at Nice in France in July of last year. Meanwhile, the criminal made his getaway and was killed in Italy. He went to Italy from Germany via the Netherlands and France. Due to this incident, many people said Schengen Acquis must be abolished. The Schengen Acquis is a treaty where European countries use common immigration policy to simplify procedures for immigrants to cross borders between countries. This criminal was also 'lone wolf'. Fortunately, the automatic brakes of the vehicle which he was driving, detected a collision and were activated saving many people who may have otherwise been killed had there not been automatic breaks.

On March 22, 2017, London, the capital city of England, a man drove a car into pedestrians on the Westminster Bridge around an assembly hall. A total of five people died and 40 people were wounded in this incident. The criminal was shot to death during his arrest and one policeman was stabbed to death. The criminal was a 'lone wolf' who was not connected to IS.

On April 3, 2017, Russia, Saint Petersburg, iron beads and glass fragments sprayed in every direction with explosive sounds in the subway. Eleven people died and about 40 people were badly hurt. The criminal was a 'lone wolf' who came from Kyrgyzstan of the former Soviet Union. He made the homemade bomb by himself.

On April 7, 2017, Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, in the largest main street, a beer transporting truck swerved onto the sidewalk. Four people died including a child, and 15 people were wounded. The criminal was also a 'lone wolf'.

Innocent civilians suffered helplessly and couldn’t escape the terrorism in these attacks. A common example of terror that comes to mind is the attacks on the twin towers on 9/11 in New York City. And now, civilians are being attacked indiscriminately by “lone wolves”. They act by themselves, unaffiliated with IS or any other terrorist organization. Usually, they are affected by IS advertisements and are inspired to commit terrorism. Their weapons are mostly vehicles. Cars were used in terror attacks of Nice, France, Berlin, Germany, London, England, and Stockholm, Sweden. When large vehicles suddenly run into large crowds, there are more casualties than there are in gunfire attacks. Terrorists know that using the vehicles for terror is easy and governments can't prevent from this method because they do not know when and where attacks will take place. Terror is increasingly spreading to every country in the world. It is imperative that governments take measures to protect their citizens.

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