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Charlie’s Soap Box: Catching the Jihadis next door

By Charlie Charalambous
Britain likes to pride itself on having the best intelligence service in the world, especially when it comes to counter-terrorism.

We are told that many attempts have been thwarted and 3,000 suspect jihad militants are under surveillance. Undoubtedly individuals get lost in the shuffle while others are not even on the radar of the authorities.

There have been three attacks on mainland Britain in a matter of months – two incidents involved crazed terrorists in central London and the Manchester suicide bomber. After the dust of those deadly attacks settled it emerged that some of those responsible were flagged to the security services, but were not deemed dangerous enough to keep proper tabs on.

It is believed that one of the London Bridge attackers that ran amok trying to stab everyone in sight was inspired by a hate preacher who posted his bile on YouTube but apparently his diatribe is within the law.

Killer Khurman Butt even appeared on a TV programme called The Jihadis Next Door – maybe that should have rang some alarm bells at MI5. It is also thought that British security services failed to stop another London Bridge terrorist after police ignored warnings from the Italians.

The Manchester bomber was also known to police, as was the lone wolf who tried to enter the Houses of Parliament earlier this year. After three terrorist attacks in 73 days, Britain must consider what more can be done.

People are bound to slip through the net, even though surveillance cameras are everywhere. Maybe getting tougher on terrorism isn’t the complete answer, but looking at how people are radicalised and how terror cells communicate online. The message of hate has to be rooted out while tolerance for such behaviour or views must become less than zero.

What has happened in Manchester and London has nothing to do with Islam but extremism of the worst kind. Kudos to Millwall fan Roy Larner who took on the knife-wielding Jihadis when they stormed into his bar. He battled the three attackers with his bare fists and shouted: “F*** you, I’m Millwall!” Roy was knifed eight times, but his courage saved lives by allowing others to escape.

This is London.

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