THE fifth terrorist attack to occur in Britain this year, it’s only down to good fortune that the improvised device which went off on a Tube train did not lead to any loss of life – or carnage on the scale of the bloodshed witnessed in London on July 7, 2005.
That said, this depressingly familiar occurrence was still terrifying for all those commuters, including young children heading to school, travelling on the London Underground train when a bomb went off in a bag left unattended. It was intended to kill and maim.
Yet, once again, the public’s response should be praised – whether it be all those who tended to the walking wounded or the sheer defiance of Londoners who simply continued their daily business.
By doing so, they showed that this country never surrender to those terrorists, regardless of their background, faith or twisted ideology, prepared to resort to extreme violence to undermine Britain’s cherished values in a multi-faith society.
This attack also highlighted the invidiousness of the task facing the security services 24 hours after the publication of statistics which showed that the number of terror-related arrests is at a record high.
Even though they have foiled six plots since the Westminster atrocity in March, their work is totally dependent on the co-operation of the public and leadership of politicians like Prime Minister Theresa May who spoke for all when condemning this “cowardly” attack before committing herself to working with global leaders, such as France’s Emmanuel Macron, to halt the spread of hatred on the internet.
There was also a realisation from the PM that police powers might have to be reviewed in light of emerging threats. If this is the case, it will be important that this is achieved, where possible, on a cross-party basis to signal the UK’s unity and resolve.