Russia resorts to tougher measures to crack down terrorism

16:20, April 02, 2010      

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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev made a surprise visit Thursday to the violence-wrack southern province of Dagestan, telling police and security forces to use tougher and "more cruel" measures to fight the "scum" responsible for terrorist attacks. He stressed that terrorist groups can only be defeated by comprehensive measures.

Moreover, "the measures to fight terrorism should be expanded, and they should be more effective, harsher and more cruel,"he said during a televised meeting with local officials in the capital of Dagestan.

Of late, bomb attacks occurred at the Park Kultury metro station in Moscow, which was equivalent to 1.5-2 kg of TNT and military stepped up attacks in Russia's Caucasian region of Dagestan, where two people were killed and a third injured in a car bomb explosion overnight Thursday.

In the deadliest attack in Moscow, two female suicide bombers blew themselves up on packed subway trains during Moscow's morning rush hour, killing at least 38 people at stations close to Gorky Park. And Chechen rebel leader claimed responsibility on Wednesday for the suicide bombings on the Moscow subway system and that they would continue their attacks inside the territory of Russia.

The Chinese national capital of Beijing has beefed up transit security in the wake of Moscow bombings as a precaution following the double suicide bombing in Moscow's subway bombing. At the same time, the world has ramped up security since Monday in the wake of the Russia subway bombings. And the transit systems across the Europe, the United States, and Japan have also increased security following the Moscow subway bombing that killed nearly 40.

In the New York City on Wednesday, a group of police has packed up and was ready for their trip to Moscow with an aim to acquaint themselves with details of the bombings and help enhance security measures in the locality. Meanwhile, the New York City may send a detective to Moscow, as it often does following similar attacks around the world, said the city's police spokesman Paul Browne. The NY Police Department has detectives in 11 foreign cities working to prevent foreign extremists from hitting New York, which has been attacked twice – on September 11, 2001.

After Madrid train bombings happened in 2004, New York police made a follow-up on the prosecuted, and conducted an investigation to look into how terrorists obtained and hid explosives. So, official statements were issued shortly after the Madrid attack and ETA was identified and accused as the prime suspect.

According to Paul Brownd, the NYPD's deputy commissioner of public information, a great experience for stepping up security in transit system in the New York City is to "work hard" to collect the security-related information.

On how to enhance the subway security, it is imperative to carry out public safety drives or campaigns to heighten the safety awareness of general public since metal detectors can hardly be installed inside subway stations as in airports on the ground.

Public transportation system in Paris is highly developed and so its security task is particularly difficult, but no security accidents have occurred over the years. As for the reason, the head of the Paris metro transportation system said recently that the security of a city's transit system has to depend on the coordination or cooperation of people on a voluntary basis.

A deadly sarin gas attack took place in a Tokyo subway station on March 20, 1995, and it killed 12 passengers and injured thousands of others. Since then, the Japanese metro tram or subway passengers have often been urged to promptly report any suspicious objects they have found on the railway platform or inside railway cars to the station or train staff for the sake of passengers' safety.

On Wednesday, March 31, a massive, emergency drill was held in Manhattan at the sponsorship of the NYC Police Department, the U.S. Rail Co., the National Guards of the U.S. and other related departments. One of the numerous difficulties in the work for the public transit system security, according to a New York police office, is the heavy traffic flow, into which terrorists are likely to blend. And the police presence is a deterrent nevertheless, and in case of an emergency, the police could possibly exercise a better control of crowds, he added.

French Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux said his country has planned to focus the installation of cameras at key railway stations and train cars, so as to beef up the security monitoring on public transport facilities along railways. Meanwhile, Madrid public transport authorities had put up the bus surveillance system by the end of 2009. As planned, the system would be installed on 2,300 buses in the city, with each vehicle to be equipped with three cameras.

However, U.S. security expert James Finn said in his article released on local media that security in public transport, or the "multi-layered defense" system, is of vital importance. Furthermore, noting that the technology is an essential guarantee for the security of public transport system, he said the high-cost technology is valid of course, but its practical use or application is more essential and so its aim is, in short, to ensure the safety in all public places without leaving a "dead spot" or "dead corner", as people in China often say.

By People's Daily Online and contributed by Zhang Guangzheng, Guan Kejiang, Yu Qing, and other PD overseas resident reporters

(Editor:梁军)

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