Scottish Daily Mail



Pres­i­dent Hol­lande launched reprisals against IS last night, mount­ing re­venge raids on ji­hadi tar­gets. There have also been re­newed calls to al­low Bri­tish war­planes – al­ready de­ployed in Iraq – to bomb Syria.

Such a de­sire for ret­ri­bu­tion is un­der­stand­able but we know from bit­ter ex­pe­ri­ence in Iraq, Afghanista­n and Libya that ill-con­sid­ered mil­i­tary ac­tion can have cat­a­strophic con­se­quences.

And in any case, Amer­ica, Rus­sia and France are al­ready bomb­ing ev­ery known IS tar­get in Syria, so Bri­tish in­volve­ment would be lit­tle more than sym­bolic.

Far bet­ter than sim­ply raining down more bombs would be to de­velop a co­her­ent strat­egy for ex­ter­mi­nat­ing IS and bring­ing peace to the re­gion. This would in­volve Nato al­lies in some un­palat­able ne­go­ti­a­tions with Iran, Rus­sia and even the As­sad regime in Da­m­as­cus – which un­til re­cently Mr Cameron wanted to bomb.

The threat from IS is so deadly that old en­mi­ties must be set aside un­til it is elim­i­nated. But the over­rid­ing ques­tion is how best to keep peo­ple safe at home? The se­cu­rity ser­vices have been re­mark­ably suc­cess­ful at pro­tect­ing Bri­tain over the past decade but the risks grow daily.

The rev­e­la­tions of CIA traitor Ed­ward Snow­den about se­cu­rity ser­vice sur­veil­lance tech­niques have made it much eas­ier for ter­ror­ists to com­mu­ni­cate un­der the radar, which is why Theresa May’s en­hanced pow­ers for Bri­tish agents to in­ter­cept pri­vate elec­tronic com­mu­ni­ca­tions are needed – al­beit un­der care­fully reg­u­lated con­di­tions.

The Is­lamic com­mu­nity also has a vi­tal role to play in iden­ti­fy­ing the rad­i­cals in its midst. But we should never forget that the vast ma­jor­ity of Mus­lims are as ap­palled by the me­dieval bar­barism of IS as any­one and des­per­ately want to see it crushed.

Cen­tral to the IS strat­egy is to sow di­vi­sion – to pit Mus­lim against non-Mus­lim. Only with an awesome show of unity, vig­i­lance and a shared re­solve against their grotesque cam­paign of ha­tred, will we de­feat them.

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