For the third time in the last 18 months – twice in Paris and now in Nice – France has been left reeling from the effects of a mass casualty terrorist attack on its soil. With pictures of the dead and injured circulating freely on social media, an understandable reaction is to express solidarity with those who have suffered through well-meaning slogans like #JeSuisNice.
But solidarity is no longer enough for it has not delivered security. We must face the fact that terrorists respect actions not words. If we do not rise to the challenge being brought to our shores in Europe, then the result can only be further death and destruction within our societies.
The terrorist threat is evolving. The differences between the well-organised gun and suicide bomber attacks that have been the hallmarks of previous attacks in France and Brussels, and last night’s horrific vehicular assault, highlight the complexity of the challenge facing Europe’s security authorities.