NEW policy paper - Protecting Soft Targets from Terrorist Attacks

A new policy paper titled 'Protecting Soft Targets from Terrorist Attacks - Security and Foreign Policy' has been composed for the APPRAISE project by Triantafyllos Karatrantos and Irene Keremidou of ELIAMEP.

"An important issue to reflect on is the fact that minorities and vulnerable individuals, including persons targeted because of their religion or gender, can be disproportionately affected, and therefore require particular attention."

The paper summarises:

  • Terrorist attacks, and mainly those launched in 2015-2018, have shown a recurrent targeting of public spaces as part of the perpetrators’ modus operandi.
  • Considerable attention has been paid in many countries to methods and techniques which can enhance the security of soft targets and provide protection for public places.
  • While Member States are primarily responsible for the protection of soft targets, the EU still plays an important role. • Some attacks were complex and high-intensity (combining explosives and firearms), others were "low tech" and carried out with everyday items such as a vehicle for ramming or a knife for stabbing.
  • The European Commission defines soft targets as locations that “are vulnerable and difficult to protect and are also characterised by the high likelihood of mass casualties in the event of an attack”.
  • The “Security by Design” approach introduces the concept and practical implementation of building security into the design and redesign of public spaces.
  • The protection afforded to Europe’s citizens can benefit from the effective cooperation between both public authorities and private security practitioners.

Download to read the full paper.