The evolution of EU security and stability area marked by legal transformation, strategic guidelines, intelligence and security sector reforms, and policy making patterns stimulated theoretical and practical reflections on the impact of intelligence sharing on law enforcement level. The EU is the most complex and competitive project, a unique conglomeration of independent and sovereign states that suffered a lot after the Brexit. Intelligence as an element of the project security governance is subject to the dynamics of networks which emerged in a given institutional context in response to the objectives shared by the project partners. Globalization and technological aggrandisement prompted free movement and borderless world in the continent but also generated opportunities for terrorist and extremist elements cruising without border management restrictions.
The globalization and digitalization during the last one decade resulted in an interconnected world and interconnected cultures and societies across the European continent. More and more information seekers are gaining access to technology and information, and all these technological and political networks have become a major cause of far reaching social and political transformation in the region. Terrorist and extremist elements continue to shift their networks to the region as they have already carried out successful terrorist attacks within the matrix of European Union. The geographical expansion of the Islamic State (ISIS) in South Asia, notably in Afghanistan and parts of Pakistan, the participation of EU national in its wide-ranging operations, and the incarnation of KGB into MGB prompted changing security dynamism, geographical crisis, spread of violence and separatism.
The Taliban’s shifting loyalties and propensities towards Russia have also changed the mechanical motion of the new cold war and put in danger the aggrandisement of Pak-China Economic Corridor through Central Asia and Afghanistan. Pakistan and China face numerous internal security challenges, including extremism and ethno-nationalist violence, and they do not have full control over Taliban and Uyghur Islamic Movement in Chinese Central Asia. The arrival of lone wolves in EU cities and their attacks on public places raised important question about the changing intelligence and counterterrorism measures in member states. Citizens criticize huge budget allocated to the operations of intelligence agencies and police forces across Europe, and the failure of Europol to demonstrate in a professional manner in order to interdict these attacks. The credibility of the EU as a comprehensive crisis manager needs some legal changes in term of its ability to put forward timely and effective action to respond to crisis and threats. In other words, the key to security is effective states that provide for the security of their citizens, if they do not, tension will arise and internal conflicts will emerge.
The EU faces an increasingly an insecure and instable neighbourhood. The war in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, humanitarian crisis in the region and the weakening of state structure have created many problems like the invasion of refugees and infiltration of extremist and terrorist forces into the region. The EU may further face deteriorating security environment and an unprecedented level of threat, while the Brexit has made the security of the project complex. Germany and France face wide range of security challenges including the lone wolves attacks and radicalization, which prompted wide-ranging legal and administrative reforms in these two states. In December 2016, Germany, France and Italy proposed a multilateral cooperation in the field of intelligence sharing to counter extremism and radicalization in Europe. The EU member states collectively established three competent institutions to make effective the process of intelligence sharing: Berne Group, Europol and the EU Military Staff, but never thought to tackle the crisis of mistrust.
The recent Paris, Brussels and Istanbul attacks, and extensive intelligence war in Britain also raised important questions on the credibility and unprofessional demonstration of intelligence and counterterrorism agencies across Europe. The dynamics of Britain’s internal security threats have exacerbated notwithstanding the evolving multifaceted surveillance system, intelligence-led-policing, TEMPORA, MENWITH HILL and private security system in partnership with local policing authorities, terror-related incidents, racism, crime and violence against minorities have culminated. Policing system is in crisis as more than 20 to 30 police officers relinquish their job every month due to their insufficient salaries, stress, and irksome duty. The presence of mightiest infrastructure MENWITH HILL on Britain soil with a staff of more than 2,200 personnel majority of who are Americans couldn’t help us in overcoming the evolving national security challenges. The Snowden revelation regarding mass surveillance in European Union state generated an unending debate while media in 2013 began publishing his documents. His revelations exposed several states spying on their own citizens. The NSA and GCHQ came under severe criticism by mainstream society across EU and the US. There has been an intense debate in European electronic and print media about the underwhelming Achilles heel operational mechanism and tactics of their intelligence agencies. The involvement of EU agencies in power abuse, over-activation, politics, and corruption has made their performance absurd. Policy experts and intelligence analysts across Europe have recognized the motives of lone actors, and proposed wide-ranging security measures to counter the emerging threat. The EU border existence is now in crisis after terrorist attacks in Germany. France is facing waves of Middle East-bound terrorism, and Germany has border problems with Poland. Spain is in deep water. The country has not been exempted from the lone-wolves attacks. The UK is one of the first country that enacted administrative measures in the context of counterterrorism, but terrorists and lone wolves still dancing in the streets.
Netherlands has also adopted that strategy through a Comprehensive Action Program. The UK police counterterrorism head, Richard Walton recently warned that the Berlin attacker cruised across Europe, which highlighted the vulnerability of the Schengen zone that allows terrorists to cross borders without restrictions. However, German intelligence recently confirmed the ISIS network in EU but experts understand that the attack was an intelligence failure. In 2016, Europe suffered multifaceted security crisis, including record arrival of immigrants from Asia, Africa and Middle East, and the Brexit, but the crisis of intelligence cooperation will continue in 2017 as there will be three elections in the coming months. This year will bring more fatalities to Europe if the member states did not changed their way of countering terrorism and extremism. Not all immigrants, but there are lone wolves coming into EU with to organize their network, and carry out attacks against civilian and government installation.
There are thousands immigrants who live in EU and Britain with fake identities-involved in criminal activities. The Tunisian terrorist Amri who killed innocent civilians in Germany had 14 identities. Terrorist will attack Britain and some EU member states in 2017, because Brexit played a key role in destabilizing the project but the country will also face multifaceted crisis. Terrorist forces have intensified their efforts to select targets in Britain, because they have a good number of supporters inside the country. Chemical and biological attacks cannot be ruled out in the UK as experts of explosives have entered Europe and trying to cross the border into Britain. Recent report of Europol warned that France remains high in the target list of ISIS aggression, but fatalities will be inflicted on Germany, Netherlands and Britain in near future.
The writer is author of Fixing the EU Intelligence Crisis can be reached at email@example.com