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In light of the shadow

  • Published at 07:42 pm March 24th, 2017
In light of the shadow

The nature and style of the London attack now provide a clear signal that one doesn’t need guns and ammunition to stage a terror attack. It may sound quite funny, but the style of attack looked like that of a neighbourhood mastaan, who uses indigenous weapons to show his valour.

However, the local mastaan, most of the time, may not always go for the kill, but the London attacker had explicit intention of that.

Otherwise, he wouldn’t have mowed so many people with his car. His style also says that he was a suicide operative and knew that he was going to die.

The attack has wrecked the nerves of the British politicians as well as security agencies. This is the first of any such attack since 2005 in the UK.

Prime Minister Theresa May has said the attacker was born in the UK and had been investigated before.

Rethinking security

It’s not yet clear what he would have achieved by running over many people because he wasn’t carrying any guns or explosives. If the attacker was known to MI5, why weren’t the world famous intelligence officials taking any action against him?

The British PM has added that there are about 3,000 such homegrown operatives in the UK. If that’s the reality, the security agencies should have already taken measures against them.

These days, one can expect an attack anywhere in the world, but the video of the attack portrays that the Londoners were not at all expecting it.

This attack is likely to compel the UK as well as its allies to rethink their internal security strategy. Most likely, from now on, UK security officials would remain more alert about such kinds of attacks.

Let’s have a look at the two major events on part of the UK government that may have some implications as far as this attack is concerned.

The device ban

A day before the London attack, the UK had announced that it would follow America in banning electronic devices on passenger flights from several Muslim-majority countries.

The measure came after US Homeland Security claimed that terrorists were seeking “innovative methods” to bring down passenger planes amid fears that bombs could be hidden in laptops, tablets, cameras, DVD players, and electronic games. The list of countries included Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, Morocco, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Egypt.

The officials said terrorists were “aggressively pursuing innovative methods to undertake their attacks.” This decision may have led the terrorists to do something in retaliation.

Armour in Estonia

Some analysts might find logic in British troops’ arrival in Estonia. The first group of English tanks and armoured vehicles has arrived in Estonia, part of a broad military deployment by the NATO military alliance to eastern Europe, what they say, to deter “Russian aggression.”

British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon was quoted saying that “British troops are playing a leading role in Estonia and supporting our US allies in Poland, as part of wider efforts to defend NATO.”

Under the current plan, over 800 British troops are expected to be stationed there and form one of the four battalions NATO is putting together near Russian borders.

Earlier in January, the American military had begun the deployment of hundreds of combat vehicles and artillery guns along with 3,500 troops to Germany.

Earlier this month, military chiefs from Russia and the western alliance held their first high-level contact after NATO unilaterally froze ties with Moscow over the crisis in Ukraine.

Although the British aren’t the only ones to be deployed there, it could, experts say, have a long-term implications for starting a new, bigger war in Europe.

British PM has added that there are about 3,000 such homegrown operatives in UK. If that’s the reality, the security agencies should have already taken measures against them

The IS shadow

Now that IS has claimed the attack, the implications have taken a new turn. A statement published by Amaq News Agency, the official press service of IS, said the assailant was a “soldier” of Daesh.

The statement mentioned the man launched the attack because Britain has participated in the US-led bombing on territories in Syria and Iraq.

The person “carried out the operation in response to calls for targeting citizens of the coalition,” Daesh said.

It’s true that IS is capable of staging such attacks and the reason could be that the UK is part of the Global Coalition -- one of 68 partners -- committed to defeating IS through military action, cutting off funding, stopping the flow of foreigners fleeing to join its ranks, and preventing the organisation’s objectives.

However, the language of the statement did not clearly show that whether the attack was directly orchestrated or facilitated by IS, but indicated that the assailant was inspired by Daesh ideology.

Given the current scenario, it’s quite evident that the world and the powers across the world seem to be hostages at the hands of this so-called group.

It’s been quite some time since combined military action has been taken against them. However, that is little to boast about. The group continues to bleed humanity with their abominable ideology and acts.

Someone is certainly inspiring them with money and weapons. It’s very easy for the great powers to run military campaigns, but they haven’t been at all successful in stopping the necessary supplies that have kept the terror group casting an active shadow across the world.

The style of latest attack may seem very crude, but that shouldn’t deter the UK from thinking of formulating the strategies to stop these gruesome acts at the source.

Ekram Kabir is a fiction writer.

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