Threat of Terrorism

The United States has issued a warning to its own people about impending terrorist attacks in Europe, with the potential targets being the huge international events that will be taking place in France and in Poland, this summer. So, what safety measures are being taken accordingly?

The events in particular are the 2016 Euro football tournament and the Tour de France cycle race, says the US State Department. Another big gathering of people which could be a target for terrorists is the Catholic Church's World Youth Day Event in Poland.

John Kirby from the State Department later clarified that: “I’m not aware of any specific, credible terrorist threat around these events or in any particular place in Europe. This alert was issued just as they always are based on accumulation of information.”
In recent times, where terrorist attacks are happening more often than not, the governments of France and Poland are taking all reasonable steps to ensure that there are immense security measures in place during those events. Riders of the Tour de France will be protected by 23,000 police officers from the Groupe d'intervention de la Gendarmerie nationale (GIGN) which usually deals with the protection of government officials, counter-terrorism, organized crimes and rescuing of hostages.

Mr. Bernard Cazeneuve, a French politician said that: "Everyone understands that this year, the Tour de France is taking place in a particular context”, because "terrorist threats" continue to be "very high". The European Parliament also agreed to extend this protection to cover the Euro 2016 event. Public officials bear in mind what happened in November last year in Paris, when the attacks of jihadists cost 130 people their lives.

The city of Krakow in Poland will be holding the Catholic Church's World Youth Day Event between 26th to 31st July, where about 2 million young people will be present for this 14th international gathering. The idea of an international meeting of young people came from Pope John Paul II in 1985. It will involve prayers, catechetical sessions with bishops, masses and celebration of the Catholic faith. Pope Francis will also be present to conduct the mass and to meet with the youth who have attended.

Poland ensured the security of the event. Jarzembowski, coordinator of the event, said that   “We don’t want to let fear dictate what we do with World Youth Day”. He also added that, “We continue to meet and we continue to pray for peace and we continue to be bold by stepping out and doing that.” He also ensured the cooperation of diplomatic and security officials for the security of the pilgrims and their families.

High measures by the Polish officials have been taken to assure the safety of all attendees during the event, which are part and parcel of the general risk assessment and standards when organizing huge events such as these. Moreover, there has been no alarming threat of terrorist attacks in Poland.

Previous terrorist attacks are a result of lack of proper safety standards set in place, especially during big events. Even if there were, there was nothing in particular indicating the presence of a threat, so governments focussed on the security of the events on a general level before the current situation. Nevertheless, people do not want to quit doing the things they enjoy because of fear and shouldn’t!

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