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FAKE NEWS: The assassination in Arad is a sign that terrorist attacks will follow in Romania

antitero
©EPA/ROBERT GHEMENT  |   Romanian Anti-Terrorism Gendarms Squad, belonging to the Ministry of Interior Forces, perform a hostage rescue drill at the Bucharest International Air Show 2013, on Baneasa airport, in Bucharest, Romania, 27 July 2013.

Due to its NATO membership, Romania has grown more vulnerable and is likely to become the target of organized crime and terrorism, and the car bomb attack in Arad is just the beginning. The false narrative is being promoted by Sputnik and is part of the pro-Kremlin publication’s efforts to undermine Romanians’ confidence in NATO.

NEWS: “After nearly 20 years of NATO membership and participation in the Alliance’s operations, “Romania becomes an attractive country for networks of organized crime and terrorists”. It is an alarm signal raised by a known ex-military Liberal Senator.

I’ve said it again and again – NATO NEVER proved its defensive capability, but too many times its offensive purpose. As regards citizens’ “protection”, well, NATO is an even greater threat!

A case in point is Romania itself, a country that, ever since its NATO accession, has been facing a surge in drug trafficking (in and out of NATO states or countries controlled by the Alliance); moreover, Romania right now is also dealing with a large wave of immigrants arriving from countries devastated by NATO.

So, if you see videos of Afghans fighting on the streets of Romania, gangs of Syrians or Iraqis in your cities, be sure to thank NATO and the USA, for destroying the countries in the Middle East, forcing their inhabitants to flee their countries ravaged by war and destruction.

Also under NATO’s coordination, Romania has become a festering ground for prostitution and human trafficking organizations, to the benefit of other NATO states!

More recently, we have been witnessing score-settlings and bomb attacks in broad daylight – these are simply acts of terrorism, a former officer with the Romanian Defense Ministry, Liberal Senator Virgil Guran has said.

“Romania becomes an attractive country for networks of organized crime and terrorism, and assassinations like the one in Arad will happen again”, the Liberal Senator went on to say, in the wake of the incident in Arad.

Trying to tone down his statement, the Senator claims “for the time being we are a safe country, but with economic expansion, we will become a favorite target for terrorists and attacks”.

And the Senator’s statements are echoed in …the safety of ordinary citizens in NATO member states: under NATO’s “protection”, European citizens have been killed by representatives of “non-statal organizations” on stadiums, in train stations, stores, and even on the bridge in front of the British Parliament!”

NARRATIVES: NATO is not a defensive organization, but an offensive one. 2. The wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria were caused by NATO. The Alliance destroyed these countries, a consequence of which is the large flow of migrants headed to Europe. 3. NATO membership has led to the surface of organized crime networks in Romania and has made the country a target of international terrorism.

BACKGROUND: The mafia-style assassination in Arad is interpreted as a signal that the situation in Romania is out of control due to its NATO membership, and that the rise in crime rates will be followed by a wave of terrorist attacks. In fact, Romania is considered as one of the safest countries in Europe in what regards the risk of armed violence. Mafia-style attacks have been relatively scarce in the last 30 years, whereas terrorist attacks have been virtually non-existent. On the other hand, once Romania joined NATO, the country received unprecedented security guarantees. NATO’s eastbound enlargement has constantly bothered Russia, which launched a campaign whereby it tries to question the benefits of Romania’s membership in the North-Atlantic Treaty Alliance, and induce the sense that security risks have actually gone up instead of being diminished. One of the main targets of Russian rhetoric is the fact, due to hosting the anti-ballistic missile shield in Deveselu, Romania might be the target of a direct attack from Russia, which NATO cannot prevent.

The narrative about turning Romania into a target for organized crime and terrorism starts from the statement of Liberal Senator Virgil Guran, also quoted by Evenimentul Zilei, who said that, in the future, the country might draw attention if its economy expands. In itself, the statement makes no reference to NATO, and the Senator fails to provide any arguments based on studies or other evidence to support his claim about the alleged future threat.

PURPOSE: To undermine the population’s confidence in NATO and in Romania being part of the Western world overall; to create a climate of fear.

WHY THE NARRATIVES ARE FALSE: NATO is a defensive organization based on its statute. Although it carried out missions outside the territory of member states (former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Libya, etc.) after the Cold War, most of these operations cannot be defined as acts of aggression. In Afghanistan, for instance, the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance at first responded to the 9/11 acts of aggression perpetrated by Al-Qaeda in the United States. The USA at the time invoked Article 5 in the NATO Treaty, which stipulates that any attack on a NATO member is an attack on all members, and subsequently carried out military operations in the region, aimed at stabilizing and helping reconstruct the country, and provided military assistance to local security forces. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, NATO engaged in peace-keeping operations with a view to enacting the Dayton accords. In Libya, under UN coordination, it intervened to protect the civilian population against Muammar Gaddafi’s forces. And the list continues. A campaign of particular controversy was that in Yugoslavia, where NATO launched air strikes in response to the war crimes perpetrated by the Milošević regime against the civilian population in Kosovo, the compliance of the whole operation with the standards of international law being called into question.

Whereas in Afghanistan NATO troops were present on the ground, the wars in Iraq and Syria had nothing to do with the Alliance. In Iraq the intervention of the international coalition was led by the United States. Some allies of the US were also part of NATO, but the organization played no part in the conflict. Furthermore, NATO members such as France and Germany firmly opposed the war. The United States eventually withdrew from Iraq in 2011, only to return years later as part of a new campaign, this time against the Islamic State. As regards Syria, again, NATO played no role in the conflict – this is a civil war that started as a result of the brutal intervention of the Syrian regime against pro-democracy militants, with the participation of external forces as well, which generally supported the government (Iran and Shiite militias, Russia, Hezbollah).

NATO is a political and military organization with no responsibility in combating crime. This is the remit of national governments. The Alliance was, however, involved in combating widespread phenomena with a destabilizing potential at global level – it conducted anti-piracy operations in the Mediterranean. In this respect, the activity of organized crime networks in Romania cannot be compared to the force and violence of other similar organizations in the region or elsewhere in Europe (Western Balkans, ex-Soviet space, etc.)

As regards terrorism, in its 17 years of NATO membership, there have been no attacks on Romania, and during this period the world has seen thousands of terrorist attacks, most of which targeting countries that are not members of NATO.


  • Publication / Media:
    sputnik.md
  • Date of publication:
    02/06/2021
  • Language / Target audience:
    The Romanian public
  • Political affiliation:
    The Kremlin
  • Key narrative:
    The assassination in Arad is a sign that terrorist attacks will follow in Romania
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  • Due to its NATO membership, Romania has grown more vulnerable and is likely to become the target of organized crime and terrorism, and the car bomb attack in Arad is just the beginning. The false narrative is being promoted by Sputnik and is part of the pro-Kremlin publication’s efforts to undermine Romanians’ confidence in NATO.
  • NARRATIVES: 1. NATO is not a defensive organization, but an offensive one. 2. The wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria were caused by NATO. The Alliance destroyed these countries, a consequence of which is the large flow of migrants headed to Europe. 3. NATO membership has led to the surface of organized crime networks in Romania and has made the country a target of international terrorism.
  • PURPOSE: To undermine the population’s confidence in NATO and in Romania being part of the Western world overall; to create a climate of fear.
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