"I know that Polish troops are in Iraq but I feel safe living in Warsaw, in a high building but of course I had some thought about attacks, but it I think it doesn’t matter what country you live in. It can happen anywhere…in the US, Indonesia, Holland or Germany or Poland. So my aim is not to panic!"
When I hear from my friends who travel more often than I do that traveling by air is not such an easy thing now I don’t feel quite comfortable.
So far we can feel safe but the nature of terrorism is that we should always be prepared for the worst. I think that Poland is one of the main places in the world which could be attacked by terrorists. One of the reasons is that the country is one of the important partners of the US who are serious opponents for terrorists.
I could tell you a story about an asylum seeker here in Poland who went into an internet café and was browsing some sites in Arabic. The owner of the café called the police so the antiterrorist units came and arrested this asylum seeker. So this is a simple example how it works after 9/11. Our e-mails are invigilated, administrative organs collect so much information about our private lives. We now have biometric passports, which also restrict our privacy.
In a package of legislation now before the Polish Parliament, even more drastic measures are planned, if they are deemed necessary to safeguard national security.Listen to the report:
An almost immediate impact of the attacks on the US in 2001 in Britain was a move to bring in legislation giving police wider powers, notably to act on suspicion of terrorist activity. Some see such initatives on the part of the British government as sensible and effective prevention steps. Others have raised concerns over abuse of rights.
The case of France. Feeling less under threat because seen to be less supportive of the United States than some of its neighbours, France has also seen an array of tough new anti-terror laws. And according to some opinion polls, more people are more wary of their Muslim neighbours in France in the wake of 9/11.
German’s were shocked to find that those believed to be behind the attacks on the US five years ago, had worked on their plan in one of its own cities. The authorities try to work out how to move forward, to protect themselves and others, while dealing with its particular history, and recent policy of welcoming foreigners.
Network Europe reporters ask ordinary citizens what they think about how 9/11 has affected their lives. From living in fear to “nothing has changed”, to embracing religion, or embracing the United States, depending on who you are and where you are.
In Sweden’s civil liberties take a knock after the authorities take preventive measures against possible terrorist attacks. There’s serious debate about whether it’s necessary to snoop into people’s internet research or phone calls. And self-censorship raises its ugly head.
We reported on surfing on the river in Munich but the city is better known for other liquid-based fun. As thousands of visitors to the legendary annual beer festival will testify. But what is the festival called? You can email us your answer. The address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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