Maybe it is because I watched V for Vendetta on DVD the other night (place to myself, sci-fi indulgences) or maybe because we’ve heard precious little about those arrested for the July 7th 2005 bombings in London but there are a small number of questions that come to my mind about the weekend’s ‘terrorist’ attacks in the UK:
- how come the Observer seems to be the only paper who had pictures of suspects on its front page, two of whom clearly had clearly been arrested before?
- how can the UK government claim so soon that the attacks were perpetrated by groups who are ‘al Qaida-inspired’? Brown’s new security advisor went further by stating that “this weekend’s bomb attacks signal a major escalation by Islamic terrorists.”
- how realistic is characterising al-Qaida as a network of terrorism when those ‘inspired’ by it are so inept and linked with them only in methodology? Of course, they only have to be lucky once to cause death and mayhem but terrorism is also about keeping people afraid.
- how effective can further security measures and curbs on civil liberties be when the security already in place could not see this coming? There’s already talk about lengthening the time for arrest without charging etc etc
Questions for the voters of the UK of course but in a large part, the imminent debate here in Ireland will now be seen through this ‘Islamic terrorist’ filter. As an Irish person growing up at the time of the war in the north, the ideological battle is as, if not more, important for me than the security front.