Newspapers call for more surveillance powers, military intervention and tighter border controls after Paris attacks - Press Gazette

Newspapers call for more surveillance powers, military intervention and tighter border controls after Paris attacks

Calls for greater surveillance, tighter border controls and military intervention in Syria are among the leader column responses to the Paris massacre in the UK press today.

The Sun, in a full-page leader column, said: “First, we believe noses must be held and a deal struck with Russia’s Vladimir Putin for a multinational force of ground troops and aircraft to eradicate IS in Syria and Iraq. It is in all our countries’ interests and bombing alone won’t work.

“Middle Eastern countries which have stood idly by over the refugee crisis must put aside their rivalries and take the lead. It should not be down to us alone.

“Next, Britain must win back full and permanent control of our borders. The EU 'freedom of movement' principle is already in tatters, with checks in place across Europe.

“If it’s true a Paris attacker posed as a refugee, how can borders reopen?

“Next, our MPs must give every necessary surveillance power to GCHQ, MI5 and MI6.

“Their scouring of web traffic is the best defence we have. Online propaganda is radicalising young Muslims in their bedrooms. Murderous plots are cooked up on social media.

“We don’t trust local councils or police with snooping powers. But time and again over the past decade our security services have used them to keep us safe. Their strength must be doubled, not diminished.

“And let us end the self-indulgent era in which the Left bleats about civil liberties and a 'Big Brother' state while romanticising traitors such as CIA mole Edward Snowden even as he helped our mortal enemies.”

The Daily Telegraph calls for a stronger external frontier for the EU “to stop people coming in other than through controlled migration routes”.

And on the subject of a military response, it says: “Only by being confronted on the ground can Isil be beaten, as the Kurds and the Russians have shown. But mobilising regional forces is difficult because of the historic sectarian enmities that fuelled the rise of Islamist jihadism."

The Daily Mail similarly warns that “uncontrolled migration from the Middle East must be stopped and border controls within Europe imposed immediately".

In terms of the military response, it says: “Far better than simply raining down more bombs would be to develop a coherent strategy for exterminating IS and bringing peace to the region. This would involve Nato allies in some unpalatable negotiations with Iran, Russia and even the Assad regime in Damascus – which until recently Mr Cameron wanted to bomb.”

And backing the need for greater Government surveillance powers, it says: “The revelations of CIA traitor Edward Snowden about security service surveillance techniques have made it much easier for terrorists to communicate under the radar, which is why Theresa May's enhanced powers for British agents to intercept private electronic communications are needed – albeit under carefully regulated conditions.”

The Independent also backed stronger EU border controls.

“What is required is a three-pronged policy: the replacement of the useless Frontex agency with a border protection force with real teeth; a rigorous weeding out, because Europe cannot absorb everybody, of economic migrants; along with a properly funded and co-ordinated plan to vet, receive and settle genuine refugees.

“The danger of a Mumbai-style marauding terror attack in Britain has been understood by the security services ever since those dark days in India in 2008. Now, after Paris, we know what such an attack looks like. That’s the sort of war we are in. We won’t get out of it without a concerted effort.

The Times headed its leader column today: “Nous Sommes Tous Francais”.

It said: “The responsibility is on the western alliance, friends and allies of France, to take the war to those who have declared it. That means an intelligent use of soft power and technology to disrupt the efforts of jihadists to organise and recruit. It also requires an intensification of what has so far been an inadequate and restricted use of military force against Islamic State…

“The assault on civilian targets in Paris demonstrates that there is no means of pacifying jihadists by failing to project force. Special forces need to be embedded in the Iraqi security forces, with the Kurds and with the Free Syrian Army when they go into battle.

“The purpose would not be to commit ground troops but to provide better support for local forces combating Islamic State and information on where airstrikes might be most effective. By working with local proxies, just as the US surge in Iraq helped to turn Sunni tribes against al-Qaeda, western democracies stand a chance of turning the tide.”

The Guardian and the Financial Times both provided less hard-line responses.

The Guardian’s leader was published in French today online, with an option to translate back into English.

It said: "Never forget, the most numerous victims of Isis are not westerners but those Muslims unlucky enough to live within their deathly grasp.”

It said: “In this climate, it can be unpopular to call for consideration and thought. But if we feel European values are in danger, then the last way to defend those values is by dismantling them. The moral case for Europe to remain a place of refuge is unaltered by what happened on Friday. The allegation that one of the killers came to Europe disguised as a refugee is deeply suspect, the supposed evidence of a found Syrian passport highly questionable. Many of those who fled Syria did so to escape Isis. If anything, those refugees have the potential to be a great asset in the fight against that murderous group.”

And it stuck to its opposition to the Government having greater surveillance powers: “In Britain, there will be some who see Theresa May’s new investigatory powers bill in a more urgent light after Paris. But unless and until the evidence shows that bulk surveillance would have made a difference in that dreadful scenario, the argument remains where it was. And our starting point is still that mass surveillance of all of us is neither necessary nor effective.”

But The Guardian did appear to back a military response to Isis.

“The defeat of Isis in Syria will not dissolve the threat of jihadi violence, but it is a necessary step on that road. That will surely entail military action, though that does not mean the west has to do all the fighting. Friday’s recapture from Isis of Sinjar in northern Iraq is instructive. The combination of US warplanes in the sky and Kurdish fighters on the ground proved decisive. For all that, the core of the answer must be diplomatic.”

The Financial Times said: “The immediate reaction of the civilised world must be: collective courage in the face of such outrage; heightened vigilance and intelligence sharing; a targeted military response; and international solidarity with the French people…

“The medium-term response in France — and elsewhere in Europe — must be to address the clear alienation of a small minority of its own citizens. President François Hollande has already acknowledged evidence of complicity in the attacks from within France. Further integration, rather than the demonisation of minority communities, is the only sensible, if difficult, response.”

The Daily Mirror said that David Cameron should halt police cuts in response to the jihadist threat in the UK.