After the third deadly terrorist attack on UK soil in less than three months (and one which paradoxically took place just days after the UK lowered its "imminent attack" terror alert), Prime Minister Theresa May - facing a crucial election on Thursday - vowed to (finally?) step up Britain’s fight against Islamist extremism, saying “enough is enough” after Saturday night's terrorist attacks left seven dead and 48 injured.
Calling for the country to unite, which incidentally is what she did after the last two terror attacks in a well-meaning gesture that achieved nothing, the British Prime Minister said in a Sunday statement that "it is time to say enough is enough, everybody needs to go about their lives as they normally would. Our society should continue to function in accordance with our values. But when it comes to taking on extremism and terrorism, things need to change." It was not immediately clear just what #hashtag campaign on Twitter would embody this particular vow.
In her words:
We cannot and must not pretend that things can continue as they are. Things need to change, and they need to change in four important ways.
First, while the recent attacks are not connected by common networks, they are connected in one important sense. They are bound together by the single, evil ideology of Islamist extremism that preaches hatred, sows division, and promotes sectarianism. It is an ideology that claims our Western values of freedom, democracy and human rights are incompatible with the religion of Islam. It is an ideology that is a perversion of Islam and a perversion of the truth.
Since the emergence of the threat from Islamist-inspired terrorism, our country has made significant progress in disrupting plots and protecting the public. But it is time to say enough is enough. Everybody needs to go about their lives as they normally would. Our society should continue to function in accordance with our values. But when it comes to taking on extremism and terrorism, things need to change
Incidentally, saying that "it is time to say enough is enough" is ironic, because those who have been saying the exact same thing and urging for more aggressive countermeasures, have been broadly branded as "racists", and muted by various social networks. This time, however, Trump's appeal for less political correctness appears to have struck a chord and May called the threat from radical Islamism “one of the great challenges of our time”, and warned there was “far too much tolerance of extremism in our country”.
The prime minister said the recent attacks in England are bound together "by the single, evil ideology of Islamist extremism that preaches hatred, sows division and promotes sectarianism" and added that Britain's counter-terrorism strategy must be reviewed due to "what we are learning about the changing threat."
"Since the emergence of the threat from Islamist-inspired terrorism, our country has made significant progress in disrupting plots and protecting the public," she said.
As after all previous terrorist attacks, May said the country's response to the violence is the need to unite. "We must come together, we must pull together, and united we will take on and defeat our enemies." Alas, that promises in itself has had exactly zero impact on the dreaded and deadly "Islamist extremism."
So what did May propose?
In her address, she said that in light of the changing threat a review was needed of Britain’s current counter-terrorism strategy to “make sure the police and security services have all the powers they need." The focus of the review? Facebook. May called for tighter regulation of the internet to deny extremist ideology the “safe space it needs to breed”. Because without access to Facebook and Twitter there would be fewer terrorist attacks, the argument supposedly goes.
Shortly after May's speech, police said 12 people had been arrested in Barking, East London, as officers continued to search a number of addresses in the area. Which while a noble start, is woefully insufficient. As we reported last week, UK Intel Agencies have identified 23,000 potential Jihadis living in Britain, according to a report published in the Times of London on Saturday. The report emerged ironically after U.K. May downgraded the terror threat to “severe,” after raising it “critical” on Tuesday in the aftermath of the attacks.
Of this 'pool' of potential terrorists, 3,000 are suspected of posing an “imminent threat” and are being investigated accordingly, the Times reported. In light of last night's events, the were clearly not being investigated closely enough.