Can terrorist attacks be predicted?

334 people have died in Europe because of the Islamic State's terrorist attacks: can they be stopped before they happen?

Can terrorist attacks be predicted?

It has been more than a month since the last terrorist attack in Spain, the fifteenth attack from the Islamic State in the old continent. Investigators revealed the operandi mode of jihadists.

In the last year there have been 8 attacks in the busiest streets of Europe. The first of them was in Paris, where a van hit six soldiers and the latest, almost a year later, in Barcelona, where a car with similar characteristics killed 34 innocent people.

As a result of this, the European Union revealed the profile of jihadist in recent years, where they deny the concept of the lone wolf and have used the singular jihad, as a collective. For the EU, these attacks are the product of teamwork, and they have been thought out and planned by multiple people.

According to the Spanish media outlet La Vanguardia, the profile of these members are "mostly young, between 20 and 39 years old. Six out of ten were arrested in recent years, and have beeen married. This means that they understand militancy and marriage as part of their religious commitment". In addition, "among the detainees in the Spanish country they worked as unskilled workers or were unemployed or had no known occupation. Some combined jihadist activities with small criminality", the same journal explained.

It should be noted that not only Europe is the focus of attacks of the world, since this represents only 0.6% of the deaths associated with the Islamic State. This number is small compared to the strength of the grouping in other regions of the world such as the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa.

Europe only represents 0.6% of the total attacks ISIS has been responsible for

However, we must begin to understand the patterns of these groups, in order to prevent, and reduce the damage. Salih Tutun, PhD student in Binghamton explained: "Predicting terrorist acts is a dream, but protecting the area with certain patterns is a reality. If you know the patterns, you can reduce the risk. It is not about predicting, but about understanding".

More so than predicting when terrorists attacks will happen, we can only be prepared

This means that we must learn to live with this threat and educate the population about what to do in these cases. As Britain has published an informational video where through the slogan "run, call and hide" is trying to advise its citizens on how to act in these types of threats.

Recently, however, the Islamic State has threatened to attack Russia during the FIFA World Cup, one of the most important sports events of the world. This would imply putting thousands of people at risk, and the threats have triggered authorities to be prepared.


Latin American Post | Vivian Viacava

Copy edited by Laura Rocha Rueda

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