What are the take-aways from the attack in Norway?
The man suspected of killing five people with a bow and arrow in Kongsberg, Norway, has confessed to the crime. Police said they had long been keeping an eye on him over fears that he might become radicalised after converting to Islam. Europe's press focuses on how democracies can best protect themselves against such attacks.
Now comes the same debate as after Utøya
Open societies are always vulnerable, Helsingin Sanomat observes:
“The Kongsberg tragedy will affect Norwegian society in many ways. First, the victims must be mourned and their families supported. Then the same debate we've already had in the past will ensue. We must reflect on the relationship between democracy and terrorism, on the factors that lead to radicalisation and indiscriminate violence. ... Open societies are vulnerable. Risks can be foreseen, but not completely avoided.”
Psychiatry just as important as security agencies
Expressen points to how dangerous and vulnerable mentally unstable people can be:
“It is not possible to prohibit people from possessing cars or knives, or to prevent anyone who wants to from building a bow. It is important for society to reach out to these lonely men who live in a state of exclusion and can pose a risk. Tough enforcement and soft, preventive measures are not mutually exclusive. In the fight against terrorism, well-developed psychiatric services can be just as important as effective security agencies.”
Defuse ticking time bombs before it's too late
Preventive measures against radicalisation are indispensable, warns Corriere del Ticino:
“Regardless of the reasons for this umpteenth massacre of innocents, prevention remains the best antidote, and it must be applied at various levels. Indeed, it is not enough to keep radicalised individuals under control, a task that is quite complex due, among other things, to the lack of security personnel. The ideal solution would be to intervene before a person becomes radicalised. In other words to take measures against social and economic exclusion. In addition to enormous financial efforts, this also requires dealing with problematic people or cultures that are very different from our own. ... The challenge is enormous, but we need to defuse these time bombs before it's too late.”