UK Terrorism Should Make Americans Ponder Similar Attacks at Home
By John Ubaldi
Contributor, In Homeland Security
The terror attack on London last weekend left eight people dead and 48 injured.
Three attackers plowed their van into pedestrians on London Bridge before jumping out of the van to attack people on foot. They systematically proceeded to stab innocent people before they themselves were shot and killed by police.
This latest incident comes less than two weeks after a suicide bomber killed 22 Ariana Grande concertgoers in Manchester in northern England.
British Prime Minister States ‘Enough Is Enough’
The third such deadly attack to hit England in as many months prompted a sharp rebuke from British Prime Minister Theresa May, who said, “It is time to say enough is enough.”
In her statement Sunday, May said the London Bridge attack was not in any way connected to the planning or execution of the Manchester bombing. But she said both acts of violence were inspired by the “single, evil ideology of Islamist extremism that preaches hatred, sows division and promotes sectarianism.”
[Also by John Ubaldi: Nixon, Obama, Trump, and the Dying Credibility of the US Media]
Defeating this ideology is “one of the great challenges of our time,” the Prime Minister said. But it cannot be defeated by military intervention alone. “It will only be defeated when we turn people’s minds away from this violence and make them understand that our values – pluralistic British values – are superior to anything offered by the preachers and supporters of hate.”
Trump Criticized for his Twitter Response to Terror Attack
President Trump reacted almost immediately to the attack by tweeting, “We need to be smart, vigilant and tough. We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!”
Trump’s tweet quickly drew strong condemnation. He was accused of politicizing the latest terrorist attack for political gain by invoking his proposed travel ban. The Trump administration insists the travel ban is needed to protect the nation.
The ban would place temporary travel restrictions into the U.S. from six predominantly Muslim countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The ban is awaiting a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on its constitutionality.
Opponents Say Trump’s Travel Ban Promotes Religious Intolerance
Opponents of the travel ban say Trump’s executive order is religious intolerance and would fulfill his campaign pledge to institute a “Muslim ban.” They say the ban violates the First Amendment of the Constitution, which prohibits the government from making any laws respecting the establishment of religion. Several courts have agreed with that interpretation.
Karen Tumlin, legal director of the National Immigration Law Center, said, “We will continue to defend our plaintiffs’ right to live free from fear of discriminatory treatment by the federal government.”
Incidentally, the Manchester suicide bomber, Salman Ramadan Abedi, had been to Libya and had contact with ISIS there. Libyan authorities have arrested many of his family members on charges related to terrorism, including Abedi’s father.
As expected, ISIS has claimed responsibility for Saturday’s terror attack on London Bridge. The Islamic State’s news agency Amaq stated Sunday that ISIS “soldiers” carried out the attack.
Terrorism isn’t going away any time soon. Almost all intelligence agencies say we can expect more attacks.
This latest incident raises questions for the U.S. political establishment. How would America respond if a terrorist attack like the one in Manchester or London happened on U.S. soil? How would we react, especially if it became known that the perpetrators had come from or visited any of the nations on the proposed travel ban? Only time will tell.