THE loss of life in Paris is a chilling reminder of how easy it is for terrorists to commit such an atrocity.
So let’s not kid ourselves. Our security agencies are confronted with an enemy that is highly trained, knows how to remain anonymous and is prepared to die.
The modern-day terrorist is effectively a trained soldier who treats our streets as a battlefield by murdering innocent people.
Simultaneous attacks at several venues mean the security forces struggle to be in the right place at the right time.
They are trying to catch up, rather than quickly stem the violence and identify the perpetrators.
Security agencies rely on intelligence to prevent attacks. There is no doubt that Edward Snowden’s disclosure of surveillance techniques has given terrorists an advantage.
Terrorists tend to target crowded places and iconic sites. Therefore, an effective deterrent is to use uniformed police patrols alongside CCTV monitoring.
There may also be a place for undercover surveillance to investigate suspicious behaviour. But probably the biggest challenge for the Government’s emergency Cobra committee now is to ensure sources of intelligence are cultivated.