On 22nd May, 2017, a 22 year old islamist named Salman Ramadan Abedi wandered into the Manchester Arena during a concert, detonated a suicide bomb, killing 22 and injuring approximately 120 others.
This was the deadliest terror attack on U.K. soil since the 7/7 attack in London in 2005
We are often told that in the wake of a large scale atrocity of this kind, we should defy the terrorists by simply carrying on as normal. A bit like ignoring the threat then? Perhaps just turn off our survival instincts and hope for the best?
The fact is that the two deadliest attacks upon the U.K. in recent memory were at the hands of Islamic literalists. Although this is not to say all followers of Islam adopt this literalist interpretation, any more than anyone who regularly attends a Roman Catholic mass advocates “the bomb and the bullet over the ballot box”.
One could be forgiven for thinking that this literalism is a modern phenomenon. It is not. And there is a commonality that is scarily front and centre. A brief look at a timeline of Islamist attacks and atrocities,( limited for the purpose of this article to the UK and the nearby French capital), supports this.
1972, 19 September: The group Black September posted a letter bomb to the Israeli embassy in London and also the, same year, the Munch Massacre killing 11 athletes and a police officer
July 3–4, 1976, June 27 plane hijacked by members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Red Army Faction (a West German radical leftist group) and flown to Entebbe, Uganda
1980, 30 April: Iranian Embassy siege: Six Iranian Arab gunmen stormed the Iranian Embassy in London and took hostages. The siege lasted for six days, until the hostages were rescued in a raid by the SAS which was broadcast live on TV. Two of the hostages were killed, while the hostage-takers were all either killed or captured.
17 April 1984 Police officer Yvonne Fletcher assassinated outside Libyan embassy during a demonstration against Muammar Ghaddafi
1988, 21 December: Pan Am Flight 103 blown up by a bomb in a suitcase while in flight over Lockerbie, Scotland after taking off from Heathrow. All 259 of the plane’s passengers and crew were killed, along with 11 Lockerbie residents, claiming a total of 270 lives.
1989, 3 August: A man (using the alias Mustafa Mahmoud Mazeh) accidentally blew himself up along with two floors of a central London hotel while preparing a bomb intended to kill author Salman Rushdie, subject to an Islamic fatwa for writing The Satanic Verses book.
2005 7th July commuters killed on London Transport killing 52
2013, 22nd May: A British soldier, Lee Rigby, attempted decapitation in broad daylight in Woolwich by two Islamists armed with knives and a cleaver.
2015, 7th January, two brothers, forced their way into the offices of the French satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris. Armed with rifles and other weapons, they killed 12 people and injured 11
2015 13th November a series of terrorist attacks took place in Paris, France and the suburb, Saint-Denis. Three suicide bombers struck outside the Stade de France, during a football match. This was followed by several mass shootings and a suicide bombing, at cafés and restaurants. Gunmen carried out another mass shooting and took hostages at a concert in the Bataclan theatre, the hostages were castrated and had their eyes gouged out.
2017 22nd May the Manchester Arena bombing mentioned at the start of this article, killing 22, one who was eight years old and injuring 120.
Last year the head of MI5 stated of five terrorist attacks that ‘got through’ four were of Islamist origin. (80%)! The other attack was Darren Osborne at Finsbury Park Mosque, who was not part of any terrorist network. The threat is considered the most intense in the 34 year career of MI5 chief Andrew Parker here
In February this year the UK was warned of an increased likelihood of an attack from literalist Islamists here
It’s often said, by some, that the biggest victims of Islamic terrorism are Muslims. That is missing the point and is irrelevant.
What is relevant is that Islamic terrorism is currently the deadliest form of terrorism on the global stage. And the atrocities seem getting worse. It is something all but a few in public life are prepared to countenance. UKIP were the torch bearers for grasping this nettle but seem to have gone a bit cold since Gerard Batten, who was very vocal on this, was prevented from standing in their current leadership contest debacle.
Unless the UK and the western world as a whole is to end up like Lebanon is now, this is a problem that cannot be ignored any longer.
I found this from an indigenous Lebanese in this blog.
“Later, Muslims from North Africa and Turkey joined the first wave. Since Arabs & their offspring Islam arrived to Lebanon and this country has not had a single day of rest. “
A stark reminder of what could be if no political leader will grasp this particularly emotive and challenging nettle. We are burning daylight now and time is getting short.