I just heard in the news: The Dakar Rally was canceled because of security concerns. As you might have heard, four french tourists were killed in Maurentania on Christmas Eve. The French Government is warning against travelling to Maurentania since then.
From the press release:
After different exchanges with the French government – in particular the Ministry for Foreign Affairs – , and based on their firm recommendations, the organisers of the Dakar have taken the decision to cancel the 2008 edition of the rally, scheduled from the 5th to the 20th of January between Lisbon and Senegal’s capital.
Based on the current international political tension and the murder of four French tourists last 24th of December linked to a branch of Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb, but also and mainly the direct threats launched directly against the race by terrorist organisations, no other decision but the cancellation of the sporting event could be taken by A.S.O.
This is the second incident of that kind in the last couple of days. The city of Brussels canceled all New Year’s Eve celebrities because of the elevated terror threat level. Fourteen people were detained because their were suspected of plotting a jail-break a convicted El-Kaida member.
It seems to be very easy nowadays for terrorists or simply slobs to scare the crap out of people. Though it might sound sensible in the first place, canceling public events is exactly what they want us to do: Spread fear and let them react to their possible actions. They say jump, we ask “how high?”.
I can only quote Bruce Schneier again, refuse to be terrorized.