Denmark: Prevented terror attacks cause fear, paradoxically

Terrorism disrupts the patterns of normal life. What Schmidt doesn't take into consideration is that though your chances of blowing up when getting on a bus might be minutely small, the very idea is disquieting. It is much harder to put off then traffic accidents, where, wrong or not, you assume that you have control over what happens.


Danes are markedly more afraid of being caught in a terror attack on Danish soil. Two out of every three Danes say that there are afraid of Islamic-related terrorism in Denmark, according to a survey by Wilke Markedsanalyse.

The high number of fearful Danes surprise Danish terrorism researcher Johannes Dragsbæk Schmidt from Aalborg University.

"It's a paradox. The Danish Security Intelligence Service have had three-four big operations, where they have arrested possible terrorists. The police's operations should reassure Danes, when the police has just shown that they can prevent terror plans," says Johannes Dragsbæk Schmidt.

However Danes are more and more afraid of a terror attack. This is apparent when comparing to an identical survey from August 2004. Here less than half of the Danes - just 40% - were uptight about a terrorist attack hitting home.

The terrorism expert think that the recent terror cases had made the Danes afraid. He says that the terrorism cases are instrumental in causing fear of a terror attack, even when paradoxically the police had just prevented them. The many terrorism cases causes the fear in the population to intensify.

The Danes should not be afraid of a terror attack. Johannes Dragsbæk Schmidt thinks that there are many other potential dangers which should concern the Danes much more. It's much more dangerous to drive a car or cycle in traffic. Terrorism threats pale when compared with the dangers of flying. A terror attack is just much more dramatic than a car accident, for example. The risk of dying in a terror attack are very small and can be compared to the chances of being struck by lightning, as calculated by the US National Safety Council.

He emphasizes that there has never been an Islamic related terror attack in Denmark.

Source: Metro Express (Danish), h/t Uriaposten (Danish)

See also: Danish Jihad - a study

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