How can Western societies protect their citizens from ‘blow-back’ terrorist attacks?


On 28 January 2015, the European Foundation for Democracy, in cooperation with the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies, hosted a policy briefing with Tunne Kelam MEP, Michael Benhamou, Toufik Bouarfa and Nasser Weddady on "How can Western societies protect citizens from 'blow-back' terrorist attacks?".

The recent terrorist attacks in Paris provided a stark reminder as to the vulnerability of Western societies to jihadist 'blow-back' attacks. Our guest speakers Tunne Kelam MEP, Michael Benhamou, Toufik Bouarfa and Nasser Weddady provided an assessment of the implications of the attacks for EU governments and security services as well as on social cohesion more broadly in Europe. They assessed the lessons to be learned by security services and law enforcement agencies across Europe as well as the impact on EU radicalisation prevention programmes. In addition, they presented their experiences of the most effective methods to be applied to discredit the use of religion as a rationale for violence, and discussed such questions as how to nurture role models and develop effective counter narratives to demystify the glamour of violent jihad and how to reach out effectively to Muslim communities in Europe and generate support for de-radicalisation initiatives.