The Threat Within the Border

Zach Quinn

The recent acts of terror on the French capital Paris, have brought a significant amount of attention to the issue of national security of many countries. While the ongoing debate, has been about how to keep terrorists out of countries, many people have neglected to recognize the fact that the threat of terrorism is a very real domestic problem. The majority of people are caught up in trying to figure out how to keep radicals out of their country, not recognizing that the fact that they may very well already be in the country.

In the attacks on the French capital, we saw eight individuals carry out multiple attacks resulting in one hundred thirty deaths (www.telegraph.co.uk). Of those eight attackers, at least five of them were identified as French nationals (qz.com). Knowing that at least half of the attackers were from France, this shows that terrorism can be a homegrown problem and that a domestic threat cannot be overlooked for one dealing with migrants. The ringleader of the attacks on Paris was a twenty-seven year old Belgian native named Abdelhamid Abaaoud. France and Belgium have a free flowing border,making it very easy to gain access into either country. The open border is based on the Schengen Agreement. This agreement made by the countries in the European Union, allows easy travel between the countries need of a passport.  Seeing that these people had such easy access into France, is very concerning, because despite the fact that    Abaaoud was thought to be involved with ISIS, he was still able to conduct a horrendous attack in another country.

The major issue at hand is the need for countries at risk of terror attacks to pay more attention to domestic threats. The regulation of people into a country is an issue in of itself, but the crack down on terrorism needs to begin with eradicating it from within our own countries. However, the methods to do this could be questionable and uncomfortable for many. For instance, heightened security in the United States, would surely mean the strict use of the NSA to monitor the citizens. Many people are against the tactics of the NSA, however, it in the case of national security, especially against radical groups like ISIS, it may be worth it.

An issue like this does not only occur overseas. The threat of a homegrown terrorist attack on the US is real and we have experienced it before, for instance, the Tsarnaev brothers responsible for the Boston Marathon bombing. The New York Times article that refers to these homegrown attacks shows that there have been numerous attacks that plotted from within America, all the more reason to make eradicating terrorism from within our borders the priority.