No room left for complacency
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.