- Category: News
- Published: 08 April 2017
Our thoughts and hearts lies with the residents of St Petersburg and Stockholm who both suffered from vicious acts of terrorist madness within just a couple of days.
The attack in St Petersburg resulted in at least 14 dead victims and many more wounded. It is still too early to call out an exact number for the attack in Stockholm, so far 4 deaths have been confirmed.
ECADs main office is situated in Stockholm and our staff was only a short distance away from the site of the attack. Unconfirmed rumours spoke about gunfire a few blocks away in another direction. The choice between staying in office or trying to reconnect on foot with their families using small alleys and streets suddenly became a matter of life and death for our staff.
Fear, uncertainty and a sense of unreality yet also keeping calm, solidarity and rational thinking characterized the residents of Stockholm yesterday.
Already a number of heroes can be called out. First of all, the truck driver whose vehicle was hijacked yet who actively fought and resisted by putting himself in the way of the hijacked truck, should be recognized for his bravery. Several by passers rescued pedestrians into shops and cafés away from the runaway truck. Many others assisted stranded commuters with housing and logistical assistance. Police, medical and rescue personnel deserve a great shout out for their efforts yesterday and last night.
Our impression of the authorities’ efforts to uphold security and investigate those guilty of the attack is good. Police agencies seem to work well together, be rehearsed and professional in their dealings with the general public and media. Two arrests have already been made in northern Stockholm and the police have been very present in the streets during yesterday.
We now hope the perpetrators have been arrested, and we can leave the immediate dangers behind us. For the future, terror must be fought with both hearts and minds. Our hearts and our courage should prevent us from allowing fear to dictate or limit our lives. Our anger should be directed at the perpetrators of the crime and all those who sympathize with, facilitates, or actively assist similar deeds. All the rest of us are one and the same.
Our minds must recognize that we have so far underestimated the threat of terrorism. The police have acted admirably in this case, but prevention efforts have so far largely failed. No society can completely insulate itself from these type of acts. Yet, much can be done to counteract and disrupt plans on terrorism among individuals and groups.
We know, and have known for some time, that organized crime and jihadism are becoming two increasingly intertwined phenomena in a growing number of districts in our cities. In those districts the state is in retreat and police find it difficult to take action against social unrest and drug trafficking and to prevent young people from becoming lured into gangs.
It is urgent that we apply strong measures of repression to combat the sleeping cells of terror and returning IS fighters we know have been accumulating in our cities and who plans new acts of terror in other European countries. It is also urgent to bind the rest of us together into a oneness of all of us. The latter should be done with a big heart.