No room left for com­pla­cency

Irish Examiner - - Forum -

THE first re­sponse to yes­ter­day morn­ing’s bomb at­tack on a Lon­don com­muter train must be a deep sense of re­lief that there were no fa­tal­i­ties, Nev­er­the­less, 22 peo­ple were taken to hos­pi­tal but none of them were se­ri­ously in­jured.

That sense of re­lief must be tem­pered by the dread­ful fact that had the per­son who planted the home­made bomb — quickly de­scribed as a ter­ror­ist by Lon­don se­cu­rity forces — been as suc­cess­ful as they must have wished to be, many lives would have been lost and many more peo­ple crit­i­cally in­jured. A world cap­i­tal would have been ter­rorised again.

That this is the fifth ter­ror­ist at­tack on Lon­don this year — far more than ever car­ried out by the IRA in a sin­gle year at the height of their bomb­ing cam­paigns — and just one of many across Europe, un­der­lines that we are liv­ing in a changed and more danger­ous world. These at­tacks, if not ev­ery­day, have be­come reg­u­lar oc­cur­rences.

That change means we have to be, even on a small is­land off Europe, ever-more alert to the pos­si­bil­ity of a ter­ror­ist at­tack. New lev­els of se­cu­rity, es­pe­cially at places like air­ports, must be ac­cepted. Any sen­si­ble so­ci­ety would work to pre­vent rad­i­cal­i­sa­tion and in­te­grate those who feel marginalised. That can only be one part of the equa­tion even in a coun­try where the se­cu­rity forces are un­der-re­sourced. Any sen­si­ble so­ci­ety fac­ing threats from in­sane zealots would ac­cept the obli­ga­tion to de­fend it­self in the most ro­bust way.

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