n the past week I have seen flowers and candles carpeting a street in Munich, the tranquility of a small Bavarian town shattered by a suicide bomb and a small church in suburban France sealed off after its octogenarian priest had his throat cut.
Before these horrific events, there was a knife-wielding teenager on a German train. And before that, much deadlier attacks in Nice, Brussels and last November, in Paris.
This year has seen an accelerating pattern of attacks linked to ISIS in Europe and beyond — from Turkey to Bangladesh, the United States to Indonesia. According to the group IntelCenter, which tracks acts of terrorism, there has been a significant attack directed or inspired by ISIS every 84 hours since June 8 in cities outside the war zones in Iraq, Syria, Sinai in Egypt and Libya. CNN’s own tracking of attacks supports that conclusion.
More than half of those attacks have been beyond big cities in places “not traditionally under threat of terrorist attacks,” says IntelCenter. This rash of random, low-tech but deadly attacks has fueled public unease in Europe and eroded faith in governments to tackle the threat of terrorism or discern who might turn to violence.
Opinion: Why so many terror attacks?
It has also diminished trust in justice systems accused of leaving too many dangerous people at large. Despite twice trying to go to Syria, Adel Kermiche — one of the 19-year-old attackers who killed the priest in France — was released from custody and allowed out of his home for four hours a day. Despite repeated efforts to deport him, the Ansbach bomber — Daleel Mohammad — was still in Germany.