Friday the 13th occurs once every year, the next being Friday the 13th January 2017. Given the supposed trend of terrorist attacks on this day, there is the need for authorities in all parts of the world to take a cue from recent happenings and beef up security measures, especially around potential targets worldwide.
On Friday the 13th of 2015, terrorists killed 132 people in Bataclan theatre and carried out other suicide bombings in Stade de France and a popular restaurant in Paris for which ISIS claimed responsibility for those attacks. Less than eight after, terrorists held hostages in a popular international hotel known as Raddison Blu in the early hours of Friday, the 20th of November 2015 in Bamako, less than eight.
It is instructive that although the attacks occurred in different territories and geographical regions of the world, they have several things in common, ranging from perpetrators seeking the destruction of lives and property for political, economic and religious reasons, to the creation of an Islamic State and the dismantling of Western values which they perceive as ‘haram,’ or just seeking maximum publicity by attacking high profile targets, soft targets, hard targets and inflicting the most damage wherever possible.
The aforementioned attacks in Paris on Friday the 13th of November, 2015 bear resemblance to the movie franchise with the title ‘Friday the 13th,’ which supposedly occurs once a year. Movies with the title revolve around bloodbath and killings of gleeful innocent teens that end up most times in a cabin. Furthermore, Friday, the 13th usually conveys an ominous meaning. Likewise, the attack at the Raddison Blu hotel in Bamako bears resemblance to the movie, ‘No escape’ (2015), which features Owen Wilson. The group that attacked in Bamako were largely aware of the presence of international personnel and guests which would necessitate the need for the attacks to besiege national and international headlines.
Just last on Friday the 13th of Amy 2016, a bogus terror attack panicked guests at the French Riviera hideaway of several Hollywood stars at the Cannes film festival. The involved a speedboat full of men in helmets and “ISIS-like” military style uniforms and flag attempting to storm the dock of the five-star Hotel du Cap which is just around the bay from Cannes.
Also, ISIS militants massacred at least 13 Real Madrid fans in a shooting attack on a café in a predominantly Shia city of Balad, Iraq in the evening of the 12th.
From the above, terrorism remains a serious threat to the socio-economic and political foundation of any society, and its defeat should be a collective responsibility. The problem cuts across national boundaries and requires a common solution. An understanding of the best counter-terrorist strategy is also highly essential.
At this juncture, it is right to suggest that leading to up to day and after, security should be beefed up. The UK’s introduction of ‘Project Servator‘ is a step in the right direction to deter various forms of crime. However, strict measures should be taken to safeguard “soft targets” like public transportation systems, the likes of London underground transport system which does have occasion security but a lot more can be done.
Furthermore, more intelligence coordination and liaison with civilian should be of top priority as what the officers do not see, the normal individual walking on the road sees.
This article comes amid fears of likely terrorists attacks in Europe as warned in an Europol report. The report supposedly warns of new terror tactics by so-called Isis on Europe involving the use of car bombs and chemicals.