It is nearly seven years to the day since Mohammad Sidique Khan, Hasib Hussain, Germaine Lindsay and Shehzad Tanweer killed themselves and 52 others on London’s transport system.
The attacks, 3 of which occurred on London’s tube system, one on a bus in Russell Square, served to remind Britain that she had deployed her army to combat violent extremism, a violent extremism that was capable of striking the heart of the London. But the all the more dangerous and fearful aspect of the attacks was that the bombers were British: they were homegrown terrorists.
The revelation that five men and a women suspected of terrorism were arrested a few hours ago, some of whom were British nationals, serves as a reminder that we are shortly about to enter into a stage of increased threat from political violence.
This starts with the anniversary of the 7th July 2005 bombings in two days time: The terrorist penchant for commemorating anniversaries of previous strikes and deaths of senior members (recall the FBI notice warning of possible attacks on the anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death) is well documented.
Whilst the Security Service (MI5) – responsible for setting the threat level from terrorism related to Northern Ireland and Great Britain – and the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC) – for the threat from international terrorism – have not acted to change the UK’s current threat level, it does remain at substantial, indicating their belief that an attack is a strong possibility.
The BBC have quoted police as saying that the arrests are not linked to the Olympics or Paralympics, and whilst there is no suggestion of there being an imminent attack, the police did choose to act now on public safety grounds. The scaremonger in me wishes to ask whether this was a set of arrests to prevent a commemorative attack?
Moving on from the 7th July bombings, it is clear that the Olympics will be high on the hit list of al-Qaeda’s finest – if you were them, wouldn’t you want to strike it? – but it is worth noting the chatter among those in the know on the subject.
A well-connected source recently informed me that the threat from Islamist terrorism over the Olympics is most definitely present, but the security services are far more concerned with the threat from Irish republican terrorism. He went so far to say as he expects an attack from Irish republicans. So, in short, if you are a member of the English Defence League, perhaps a better target to vent your anger at your lackluster life would be the Irish?
Tagged 7th July 2005, British, Germaine Lindsay, Hasib Hussain, Homegrown Terrorism, IRA, Irish Republicans, JTAC, London 2012, London bombings, London Olympics, MI5, Mohammad Sidique Khan, Shehzad Tanweer, terrorism