Terror tactics – ​ Targeting public spaces​

Exploiting the intrinsic vulnerabilities of so-called “soft targets” that result from their ready access and public character: ​

E.g. pedestrian precincts, tourist sites, transport hubs, shopping malls, outdoor markets, concert halls and city squares, as seen in attacks in, for example, Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, London, Manchester, Nice and Stockholm. ​

Complex “high intensity” attacks combining explosives and firearms; ​

“Low tech” attacks against public spaces carried out with everyday items such as a vehicle for ramming or a knife for stabbing. ​

Targets often chosen with the intent to causing mass casualties. ​

Challenges to protecting public spaces:​

Broad variety of public places that have been or could be targeted: their different characteristics ranging from fully open spaces to areas with some form of protection; ​

Variety of actors involved in the protection of such sites; ​

Risk of mass casualties; and the ​
Imperative to strike a balance between improving security and preserving the open nature of public spaces, ensuring that citizens can continue their daily lives. ​