Lon­don plot­ter acted with evil in his heart

Thank­fully, pas­sen­gers had a lucky es­cape, but we must never drop our guard against would-be ter­ror­ists

Gulf News - - Opinion -

n Fri­day morn­ing, in a crowded rush-hour Lon­don Tube train, a sus­pect act­ing with evil in his mind and ter­ror in his heart, set out to kill and maim as many in­no­cent pas­sen­gers as pos­si­ble, to cre­ate fear and panic across the United King­dom. Be it through in­ex­pe­ri­ence, in­com­pe­tence or in­con­ceiv­able good luck, the im­pro­vised bomb failed to fully det­o­nate and the ini­tial flash only suc­ceeded in in­jur­ing some 30 pas­sen­gers in the im­me­di­ate vicin­ity. Thank God for that.

If this evil mon­ster had suc­ceeded, the toll would have in­deed been bloody and deadly, given that the ex­plo­sion would have been ex­ac­er­bated by the lim­ited con­fines of the train car­riage. Fri­day’s at­tack was the fifth such in­ci­dent on UK soil in the past six months, one that fol­lows the bloody and mur­der­ous in­ci­dents in Manchester, out­side the Houses of Par­lia­ment, on West­min­ster Bridge and Bor­ough Mar­ket.

The re­sponse from the gov­ern­ment of Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May has been swift, with the ter­ror watch now raised to crit­i­cal and the like­li­hood high­est that an­other strike may in­deed be im­mi­nent. It’s a stark and stern re­minder for ev­ery­one that the threat of ter­ror never goes away and that there are evil and per­verted minds and masters who seek to strike at the very core of so­ci­ety.

In con­junc­tion with rais­ing the ter­ror threat, May has also or­dered the de­ploy­ment of sol­diers to guard fa­cil­i­ties and build­ings that would nor­mally be guarded by armed po­lice. As a re­sult, May has man­aged to in­crease the num­ber of rov­ing armed po­lice re­sponse units on the streets while also en­sur­ing that th­ese build­ings and fa­cil­i­ties are also ad­e­quately guarded. For many Bri­tons, the mea­sures will pro­vide at least psy­cho­log­i­cal com­fort that the gov­ern­ment is tak­ing ac­tion, that the mil­i­tary is be­ing used sen­si­bly, and that there are enough armed po­lice per­son­nel on the streets to be able to de­ter would-be at­tack­ers from car­ry­ing out their evil plots.

There is also a re­al­ity that while May was pre­vi­ously the home sec­re­tary, she had cut 20,000 front­line po­lice of­fi­cers from duty for penury and aus­ter­ity rea­sons. Th­ese were ex­pe­ri­enced of­fi­cers who walked the beats and streets of cities and com­mu­ni­ties, had ties with the pub­lic, and had an ac­tive and in­tel­li­gence-gath­er­ing pres­ence on the streets. That type of per­sonal, first-hand as­set can never be re­placed by armed po­lice act­ing to events after they have hap­pened. But this time, thank­fully, Lon­don­ers were lucky.

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