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Two teenagers have been arrested after acid was thrown in people’s faces in five attacks over one night in London. Two moped riders attacked people in a 90-minute spree in Islington, Stoke Newington, and Hackney on Thursday, stealing mopeds in two of the attacks.

An eyewitness said he heard a victim, who he believed was a delivery driver, “screaming in pain”. One victim suffered “life-changing injuries”.

Police are looking at whether the moped theft was the motive for the attacks. Officers said they were linking the attacks and boys aged 15 and 16 have been arrested on suspicion of robbery and causing grievous bodily harm.

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The rise of terrorist attacks in Europe

Europe faces a persistent threat from Islamist terrorism. It is one that has increased with the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), the al-Qaeda offshoot that now controls significant parts of Iraq and Syria. These security concerns are being exacerbated by unprecedented levels of migration into Europe from impoverished and/or war-torn areas of the Middle East, Africa, and the Balkans, with ISIS is known to have targeted such routes for infiltration.

The vast majority of plots in the West emanate from such supporters, who have claimed affiliation with a terrorist group without ever having traveled to popular safe havens such as Iraq, Somalia, Syria, or Yemen. It appears as though Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, the terrorist who killed 84 people with a 19-ton truck in Nice recently, was one such individual.

ISIS displayed its ability to strike at the heart of Europe during attacks in Paris in November 2015 and Brussels in January 2016, while those trained by al-Qaeda carried out the January 2015 raid on the Charlie Hebdo offices (also in Paris). The potency of these groups is enhanced by their ongoing ability to inspire small cells of radicalized supporters living in the West to carry out attacks on their behalf.

The vast majority of plots in the West emanate from such supporters, who have claimed affiliation with a terrorist group without ever having traveled to popular safe havens such as Iraq, Somalia, Syria, or Yemen. It appears as though Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, the terrorist who killed 84 people with a 19-ton truck in Nice recently, was one such individual.

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Europe can counter this threat by stepping up military activities against al-Qaeda, ISIS, and their affiliates. The U.S. should assist Europeans in breaking down intelligence firewalls that exist within individual nations, making better use of pre-existing intelligence-sharing arrangements and adopting a tougher approach to law and order.

The rise of terrorist attacks in Europe and elsewhere indicates that terrorism is now a worldwide phenomenon. It can only be countered by an effective global strategy involving all nations. The International community must play a role to end the civil wars and insurgencies in the Middle East, African, South Asian and South East Asian countries.

It is imperative that the ability of ISIS to govern territory be removed entirely or shrunk massively, and this can be achieved only militarily. In the short term, ISIS would seek to lash out against the West in retaliation. Therefore, security may be most imperiled in the immediate aftermath of any significant loss of territory that ISIS suffers. In the long term, however, loss of territory will puncture the image of invincibility that ISIS attempts to convey. It will help to discredit its ideology and legitimacy and subsequently will make it harder for ISIS to recruit foreign terrorist fighters.

The rise of terrorist attacks in Europe and elsewhere indicates that terrorism is now a worldwide phenomenon. It can only be countered by an effective global strategy involving all nations. The International community must play a role to end the civil wars and insurgencies in the Middle East, African, South Asian and South East Asian countries.

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Most of the attackers involved in violent terrorist attacks in Europe were Europen nationals. It gives rise to the need to address the grievances of the down trodden sections of the European population. Racism, discrimination, and lack of economic growth have led many disenchanted youths to fall for the trap laid by terrorists. The European countries must address this issue in order to make Europe safer for future generations.

European powers must also assist the war torn and terrorist invested countries in their efforts to curb violence. It would reduce the threat of terrorism not only in these countries but also Europe and the world.

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