The First terrorist attack in the history of independent Finland happened in Turku, 18th of August, 2017. At first, details of the attack were unclear, and new pieces of information were constantly revealed. But the essential facts were soon clear: the man who stabbed two persons to death and wounded severely eight more, was an 18-year-old Moroccan citizen Abderrahman Bouanane. Bouanane came to Finland last year and got a negative decision on asylum later. He attacked alone, but after his attack police arrested four other Moroccan citizens (some of which were freed later) and made also arrests in reception centers. The incident is now ivestigated as a premeditated terroristic crime.

Nothing in the incident or the discussion surrounding it is surprising. The arrival of Islamic terrorism into Finland has for several years been only a question of time. The most clear-sighted realised this in the beginning of the so-called refugee crisis in autumn 2015. Most others understood it during the following two years, when an unprecedented wave of terror hit Western Europe. Sarastus Online Magazine has published many articles on terrorist attacks in other countries, and I have very little to add to them.

Of course there are still harmful idiots who twist every vague splinter of information to support their preconceptions, and even strengthen their beliefs with outright lies. One can find them among politicians, scholars, reporters, activists and ordinary citizens. They repeat their litanies of not giving up to fear and dangers of racism, and even after the facts were published by the authorities they still pretended that the killer was a deranged lone wolf and that his deed had nothing to do with terrorism, Islam or immigration. Next they perhaps start to demand stopping of all repatriations, so that no one starts to run amok after getting frustrated from a negative decision.

When one person got, probably accidentally, killed in a far-right rally in Charlottesville, USA, same people ranted about terrorism and considered the death a logical consequense of the "ideology of hate". When there is an islamist attack, they obsessively deny all obvious causal connections, which can in itself be considered some kind of mental disorder. Essential preconditions for terrorist attacks such as Turku, Barcelona, Wuppertal, Manchester, Brussels and Paris are Islam and its attitudes towards European societies. Only after these come personal feelings of desperation, mental disorders and the like. The one who doesn't understand this, can immediately be defined a fool and not worth listening to. The politicians' condemnations and condolences can also be ignored, as long as they stay silent about their own role in making these tragedies possible.

There are, however, couple of things worth considering. One is, why the attack took place in Turku? About three years ago, newspaper Turun Sanomat wrote that there are hudreds of jihadists among the muslim population of Turku. They support Salafi jihadism, a radical ideology which has its roots in Saudi Arabia. Bouanane did not necessarily have anything to do with them; he and his partners probably had no time to form tight connections to the religious communities of Turku. Still, the article should be alarming, especially when the interviewed religious scientist Tuomas Martikainen says:
    "When the first generation of muslims came here, they concentrated on organizing well-being for themselves and their families. They came from very different circumstances. Learning language, getting a job or a place to study was most important. (...) When their numbers grew, there was also time to strengthen their religious identity. At the same time, their connections to their own roots increased. This has also led to reciprocal conflicts, to political and social conflicts."

Now when violent radicalism has exploded among the new incomers, we may expect even more organized and effective terrorist acts from those who have lived in Finland for longer time. Perhaps Turku has evolved in silence into a centre of Finnish jihadism.

Another notable fact is that some ordinary citizens in Market Square tried actively to stop the attack. The attacker was chased after, and even hit in the leg with a baseball bat. Some people risked their own lives trying to help the bleeding victims. This kind of action differs clearly from those foolish instructions given by the British authorities after the Manchester attack: "run, hide, tell". It was an example of everyman's courage and perhaps even saved lives. The police force did well, but in these situations it is a question of seconds, and police gets there always too late. If more civilians dared to act, many attack could be stopped in the beginning. 

The long-feared future is now here, and ordinary men and women should prepare themselves in two ways. First: if you are a target of an attack, fight back. Buy a pepper spray or some other object suitable for self-defence, train first aid skills, keep yourself fit. And I cannot blame anyone who gets an illegal handgun, although I cannot recommend it neither. That is to say, self-defence skills or blunt instruments are not enough if the attacker is armed.

Another good way to prepare oneself is to perceive the larger situation. One should not vote any politician or party who supports current immigration and EU policies. One should not believe anyone who tells that there are no other alternatives. Dissident countries like Poland and Hungary have completely avoided terrorist attacks. Besides voting, one should also be active in other ways: taking part in demonstrations and marches, joining organizations who demand change. It is time to say the great No, and to say it clearly.

by Timo Hännikäinen, a Finnish author, translator and the editor-in-chief of Sarastus (Dawn) online magazine.