Possible solutions to the current UK Terrorism Situation
Terrorism has been on the rise over the past decade. There have been many reported cases of suicide bombers, vehicular terrorist attacks, and building bombings. Most of the time when these attacks happen, people rush to analyze what happened during the attack. What was the motivation behind it? All this is well and good because people feel safer when they know what they are up against. But there is also need to find possible solutions for each terrorist attack. That’s what this article looks at. It analyzes some of the methods the UK is using or considering to deal with the current UK situation.
This year Britain has undergone some major events. The country began its process to leave the EU and started preparing for its own national elections. Similarly, Britain became the target of several terrorist attacks in 2017. Just this month, several identified terrorists attacked a bridge in Britain. With the increased number of attacks, many people are asking what the country will do about it. Here are some of the methods the UK is using (and talking about using) to deal with the increasingly dangerous terrorist situation in the UK.
The Love-Hate Relationship
When the London Bridge was bombed, Britons were shocked. Those who were close to the scene, some fought back, some fled in fear while the rest of the world empathized from afar1.
Reacting to a terrorist attack is normal. In fact, terrorists carry out the attacks to elicit these reactions. People can choose to react to terrorist attacks in different ways, however. Some people choose to love their neighbors while others embrace suspicion and hate in the aftermath of such attacks. These are the two options that Britons currently have after the bombing of the London Bridge.
Love in the aftermath of terrorism means inclusion for everyone. Just like after the 2005 London bombing, the UK can choose to rally together in unity2. ‘Love’ would involve different things. The British could choose to hold night-long candlelit vigils to remember the dead and celebrate their lives. They could also opt to sing in unity. Songs like the national anthem give people the feeling that they are not alone and that promotes unity. Similarly, Britain could embrace the Muslims in its communities, realizing that one or two misinformed individuals do not represent a whole group. This route could fight terrorism because inclusion discourages radicalization.
Another approach the UK could take is the ‘hate’ approach. This approach involves segregating Muslims and other groups associated with the attack. The hate option potentially has both positive and negative consequences. On the one hand, it encourages distrust of given groups. These groups are isolated and marginalized, making them easier for terrorists to manipulate into perpetrating further attacks. On the other hand, isolating potentially dangerous threats could help reduce the terrorist threat.
Home Detention of Suspects
Under this option, terrorists would be allowed to stay in the UK, but they’d have to be monitored closely by law enforcement and intelligence agencies3.
Home detention is effective when it comes to surveillance of potential terrorist threats. Because the suspects are confined to one area, it’s easier to monitor patterns of the subject. That way, any changes in the patterns can be used as an indicator of an imminent attack. Home detention, however, does not guarantee that terrorist attacks can be prevented. A suspect under home detention could find other ways to communicate with his or her fellow terrorists. Also, home detention does not work with a terrorist organization led by a group of jihadists. Capturing one suspect in such a case would do nothing to discourage another attack.
Imprisonment and Deportation of Suspects
The general feeling among members of the public is that one way to fight terrorism is to make sure that they’re no terrorists to carry out the attack. As such, this method is a public favorite of solving the terrorism problem4. Any individual suspected of terrorism would be expedited to his or her respective country to prevent them from realizing any attacks they may have planned.
The downside of this method is that it does not take into account any domestic terrorists. Similarly, throwing terrorists in prison sometimes does not stop the attacks. If the attacks are already planned, a terrorist group could just find a replacement figurehead to execute it. Imprisoning a terrorist also can’t stop him or her from radicalizing others while in prison.
Putting any Terrorists on the Watch list in Internment Camps
An internment camp is a place set aside by a government to lock away any suspected terrorists without trial and most of the time without sufficient evidence5. Many people are against this option because they feel that it goes against the basic human rights of the suspects, encourages rebellion and radicalization. Those who argue for it say that the benefits of internment camps far outweigh the reasons against them. Scotland Yard is among the proponents of internment camps. According to them, internment camps are efficient in getting terrorists off the streets before they plan or execute their attacks. It also prevents first-time terrorists from re-engaging in terrorist activities6. There’s also the side benefit that locking away suspects in internment camps sends a warning to anyone thinking of joining terrorist groups.
Many studies have shown time and again that the media can be used to promote terrorism. In retrospect, it can also be used to discourage terrorism7.
The media promotes terrorism by sensationalizing terrorist attacks. If the press is sensitized about the importance of being informative and objective when presenting news on terrorist attacks, then the agenda of promoting terror via media coverage can be minimized. When terrorists realize that the media no longer furthers their terror-spreading campaigns, they’ll be less likely to launch attacks.
In conclusion, each method for fighting terrorist attack mentioned above has its pros and cons. Some, like imprisonment and deportation, discourage terrorism but only to a certain extent. Others like using internment camps both promote and discourage terrorism. The lesson to be got from this is that to stop terrorism, it can’t only be one way or the other. Nations have to use a combination of these methods if they want to be rid of terrorism.
- London Bridge attack latest: Terrorists named as police say they were not under surveillance as they posed ‘low risk’. (2017). The Telegraph. Retrieved 7 June 2017, from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/05/london-bridge-attack-latest-gunshots-heard-police-launch-fresh/
- (“7/7: The British Reaction to Terrorist Bombings in London | National Psychologist”, 2017)
- Pre-Charge Detention for Terrorist Suspects: United Kingdom | Law Library of Congress. (2017). gov. Retrieved 7 June 2017, from https://www.loc.gov/law/help/uk-pre-charge-detention.php
- Theresa May MP: Imprison or Deport the 3000 on the terrorist watchlist. (2017). org. Retrieved 7 June 2017, from https://www.change.org/p/theresa-may-mp-imprison-or-deport-the-3000-on-the-terrorist-watchlist
- What Is Internment And Could Britain Use It To Beat Terrorists?. (2017). LBC. Retrieved 7 June 2017, from http://www.lbc.co.uk/news/the-news-explained/what-is-internment-could-britain-use-it/
- Solutions 2016: Expert Analysis, Powerful Messages, Winning Policies. (2017). Solutions 2016: Expert Analysis, Powerful Messages, Winning Policies. Retrieved 7 June 2017, from http://solutions.heritage.org/defense/terrorism/
- Terrorism and the Media: A Dangerous Symbiosis. (2017). E-International Relations. Retrieved 7 June 2017, from http://www.e-ir.info/2012/07/22/terrorism-and-the-media-a-dangerous-symbiosis/