Spain a Fault Line Between Islam and the West

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Thursday’s attack in Barcelona – and possibly today’s attack in Finland – are yet more tragic examples of how common objects such as vehicles and knives can be used as weapons by terrorists to generate an overarching sense of fear and inflict mass casualties. Western authorities and intelligence agencies have remained vigilant in thwarting these attacks, but it is nearly impossible to track every potential suspect or to guard every potential target. The Cipher Brief’s Bennett Seftel sat down with counterterrorism expert Bruce Hoffman, author of Inside Terrorism, now in its third edition, to discuss the recent events in Barcelona, how the U.S. and countries in the EU are working to combat the evolving terrorist threat, and if we should expect even more ISIS driven attacks as the group continues to lose territory in Syria and Iraq.

The Cipher Brief: Before yesterday’s attack in Barcelona, the most recent large-scale terrorist attack in Spain was in 2004 in Madrid. How effective has Spain’s counterterrorism strategy been over the years?

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