With Europe still recovering from the Nice massacre a little over a week ago that saw 84 people killed and 303 injured when a French-Tunisian terrorist chillingly drove a 19-tonne lorry into large crowds watching fireworks on Bastille Day in Nice, Germany was coming to terms with a shocking attack of its own on Friday.
An 18-year old German-Iranian gunman went on a shooting rampage in a busy Munich shopping centre killing 9 people and wounding 16 more. The motives of the gunman are not clear and he is believed to have acted alone but nevertheless the end outcome is the same.
Such attacks in France, Belgium and now Germany naturally strike fear and anxiety into the hearts of the population. IS have already threatened Nice-style attacks on popular parts of central London
The Munich attack comes just days after an Afghan teenager wounded four people in an axe and knife attack on a train near Wuerzberg.
Whether any act is done in the name of the Islamist State (IS) or not, these shooting attacks are clearly influenced by the mass terror that is perpetrating across Europe and the Middle East.
The fact that many of the attackers are not migrants from Iraq, Syria or beyond but citizens of the country they attack only makes the matter worse as it intensifies Islamaphobia and increases the ethno social divide.
Whilst the European governments are increasingly rattled by each attack leading to stronger security measures as well as airstrikes on IS targets, the seeds of this problem were sown long ago. Hardline groups were largely unhindered in Syria as the civil war spiraled from 2011 and in some cases even tolerated as a card to defeat Bashar al-Assad.
IS did not just dominate huge swathes of territory, possess thousands of fighters and advanced weaponry or revenues of millions of dollars a month overnight.
Now many yearn for the stable rule under Assad than the continued chaos and suffering gripping Syria whose outcomes are clearly felt across the globe.
Too often conflicts in Syria, Iraq and the Middle East are seen as battles in distant lands. Whilst the increasing attacks on the West were always going to dominate the media and unnerve the populations, it should not be viewed differently from attacks across the Middle East that often receive much less attention.
In the run up to the Islamic celebration of Eid al-Fitr, at least 200 people were killed as an IS suicide bomber struck a bustling market area in Baghdad. The Baghdad attack on the heels of massacres in Bangladesh, Turkey, Yemen, Lebanon and Jordan
The war on terror does not end or begin in Middle East or Europe, it’s one and the same and the devastation should not be viewed differently by any part.
First Published: Kurdish Globe
Other Publication Sources: Various Misc