17 January 2015
Masked gunmen on the run in Paris last week left a bloody trail in unassuming places: the offices of a satirical magazine, a Jewish grocery store, a petrol station.
These join a long list of innocuous places – a shopping mall in Nairobi, a cafe in Sydney, a train station in Kunming – which have been turned into execution sites in recent years.
With the “low-cost, high-impact” style of attacks by radicalised individuals or small groups increasingly the norm in terrorist attacks, Singaporeans and the government are trying to adapt.
…”Such a terrorist attack itself is not damaging to Singapore,” Dr Rohan Gunaratna, a professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), makes clear. “It’s the aftermath of an attack that will harm Singapore.”
…”The terrorist group provides the overall extremist narrative through social-media channels that legitimises violence. Vulnerable, disaffected individuals do not need any training or specialised skills and can just engage in acts like knifing incidents or driving cars into crowded bus stops,” says Dr Kumar Ramakrishna, head of RSIS‘ Centre of Excellence for National Security (CENS).
…Says CENS research fellow Damien Cheong: “People generally believe that Singapore is very safe, and that should a crime or attack be carried out, the authorities would be swift to take action. Many of us as individuals are ill-equipped to handle our personal safety effectively, due in part to complacency and a lack of situational awareness and training. This is something we should work on.”
CENS / GPO / ICPVTR / Online
Last updated on 03/12/2015