Leeds academic - 'Terrorists win if we give in to fear and anger'

AN EXPERT on international security at the University of Leeds today said not giving in to fear or anger is the best way for  the public  to respond to yesterday's  terror attack in London.

Dr Lars Berger said he believes the terrorist shot by police outside the Palace of Westminster yesterday was seeking maximum worldwide media attention.

Dr Berger, associate professor in international security at the University of Leeds School of Politics and International Studies, said: "If he had been serious about getting into the building, why attract attention by killing civilians on the bridge? This was clearly a case of he wanted to create attention.

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"People in London are realising that terrorism is something that unfortunately is part of life, of living in a open society. The greatest mistake that people could make now would be feeding into the terrorists' interests of stoking fear. People going about their daily lives is the best response to acts of this nature.

"If people do not give in to the emotional responses of fear or anger the terrorists will have lost. If people are afraid and change their behaviour the terrorists would gain.

"Terrorists also gain by the stoking of tension between Muslims and non Muslims in the UK.

Dr Berger added: "Don't give in to anger and don't give in to fear because terrorism is a weapon of the weak. This is the only tool, the potential ability to control how people feel and how people behave.

"Their agenda is not popular enough to directly bring about change. They can only further their agenda by making people respond in a certain way, either by becoming angry or by feeding into suspicion and discrimination against Muslims."