We Can't Let Britain Become a Vast ISIS Recruiting Station

Cockburn, Patrick
http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/05/30/we-cant-britainbecome-a-vast-isis-recruiting-station/

Publisher:  Counterpunch
Date Written:  30/05/2017
Year Published:  2017  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX21134

The massacre in Manchester is a horrific event born out of the violence raging in a vast area stretching from Pakistan to Nigeria and Syria to South Sudan.

Abstract: 
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It is no advertisement for President Bashar al-Assad to say that any well-informed assessment of the balance of forces in Syria from 2012 onwards – and the powerful foreign allies supporting each side – showed that Assad was likely to stay in power. Fuelling the war with the expectation that he would go was unrealistic and much to the advantage of al-Qaeda, Isis and those who might target Britain.

Eliminating the bombers' safe havens is a necessity if the threat of further attacks is to be lifted. Security measures within Britain are never going to be enough because the al-Qaeda or Isis targets are the entire British population. They cannot all be protected, particularly as the means of murdering them may be car or a kitchen knife. In this sense, the bomber will always get through, though it can be made more difficult for him or her to do so.

Better news is that the number of Salafi-jihadi networks is probably pretty small, though Isis and al-Qaeda will want to give the impression that their tentacles are everywhere. The purpose of terrorism is, after all, to create pervasive fear. Experience in Europe over the last three years suggests that the number of cells are limited but that committed Jihadis can be sent from Libya, Iraq or Syria to energise and organise local sympathisers to commit outrages.