So the hunt for the terrorists in France is over. The bad guys got a number of bullets each and the most part of their hostages survived the experience. Thanks to the French special forces and to the huge number of policemen and military personnel involved. But it’s not over. By any means, it will be never over. Not in France, nor in any other country. It’s time to tell the truth, to think about the subject “terrorism” with a broader focus and the will to solve some problem here and there.
You see, the attack at “Charlie Hebdo” wasn’t a black swan. There were a number of alerts related to a possible attack on French soil and I have no doubt at all that they do all their best to prevent that. But when you have a number of deranged men and women in your country, filled with rage and hate, ready to give themselves up for a fight you have to consider that you simply cannot stop all of them, and that sooner or later some of them will make headlines killing somebody. Targeting terrorist with lethal force is useful only when they’re already set in motion.
It’s the matter of rage and hate. Or, if you like to dig a bit more into the subject, it’s about inequality and social contracts. There’s no such thing as a specific mindset for terrorists, nor there is any biological factor that drive a men or a woman in that specific behavior. What we know for sure is that there are specific economical and social conditions that drive out of social contract a great number of citizens in our beloved western countries and that is the fuel for many young and not-so-young people to have their hearts and minds filled with rage and hate.
It’s something we should recognize. The first wave of terrorist attacks (according to the definitions given by David C. Rapoport) was about the anarchist movements, almost one hundred years ago. And what was the basic kick-off for them? Inequality, injustice and the poor conditions of so many people in the richest countries of the world. The second wave was about anticolonialism and it’s easy to see the conflict between nations that colonize other countries. The word inequality was spilled all over the fight. The leftist wave that hit the world in the ’70s was nominally against the same factors and the current religious-driven wave feed on the same stuff.
We should answer to some questions here. What drives a young European citizen to enroll in jihaidist organizations like ISIS? And why we, as citizens of the same countries, do not ask for more incisive actions against poverty and injustice instead of generally asking for “more security”? And again, why we choose to focus only in what is showing up in the media and let slip out of our collective attention what’s going on in Nigeria, Syria, Yemen or Chechnya? This is an interconnected world, we should always remember that. We can’t let down a country or a region and hope that nothing bad comes out of such a choice.