ONCE again an in­ci­dent

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - Comment -

first re­ported as ter­ror­ism turns out to be the ran­dom act of a men­tally ill per­son. In this case it was Zakaria Bul­han, who killed re­tired teacher Dar­lene Hor­ton, in Rus­sell Square, Lon­don, last Au­gust. The same thing hap­pened when the equally in­sane Muhay­din Mire stabbed a ran­dom vic­tim at Ley­ton­stone Un­der­ground sta­tion in De­cem­ber 2015.

As it hap­pens, many other vi­o­lent acts of­fi­cially des­ig­nated as ‘ter­ror­ist’ have been con­ducted by peo­ple who were plainly men­tally un­hinged. And we have also seen sev­eral crimes chill­ingly sim­i­lar to terror acts – in­clud­ing be­head­ings – but where there was no con­ceiv­able po­lit­i­cal mo­tive.

Thanks to near-to­tal lack of in­ter­est from the po­lice, Gov­ern­ment and me­dia, we sel­dom find out if these peo­ple have been tak­ing drugs. Some­times we do. Mire un­doubt­edly had been.

But why won’t we look into this rather ob­vi­ous con­nec­tion? This sort of vi­o­lence is new. So is the wide­spread use of mind-al­ter­ing drugs, both le­gal and il­le­gal.

The same goes for the dis­turb­ing num­ber of young peo­ple suf­fer­ing from men­tal ill­ness in gen­eral.

It would hardly be a sur­prise if those who took such drugs be­came men­tally ill. Is it the power of the very wealthy pro-drugs lob­bies, on the verge of win­ning their cam­paign for le­gal­i­sa­tion, that keeps us from ex­am­in­ing this ur­gent ques­tion? I sus­pect so.

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