UK Government In Plot To Scare Us Silly
The UK government yesterday raised the ‘terror threat level’ from substantial to severe. This was, according to the Home Secretary, not linked to the failed Christmas day plane bombing in Detroit, U.S.A. This was all that the minister was prepared to say and would not give further details on intelligence received. The new threat level implies that a terrorist incident is highly likely but not, according to the minister, imminent. According to the BBC report on the story Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre made its decision to raise the threat level. The JTAC is a body that monitors activity and analyses risk from international terrorist groups and their ability to carry out attacks. In talking about the decision the Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, said
“We still face a real and serious threat to the UK from international terrorism, so I would urge the public to remain vigilant and carry on reporting suspicious events to the appropriate authorities and to support the police and security services in their continuing efforts to discover, track and disrupt terrorist activity.”
Well the funny thing is. Despite the near constant barrage of stories about international terrorism and threats to the UK we haven’t had a non-domestic terrorist attack in this country since 1972. Both the Glasgow and London attacks of recent years have been carried out by people either born or working in this country. Other than that terrorist incidents have been entirely related to Irish republicanism, animal rights and the extreme right wing – Neo-Nazis and the like. I know some will consider the downing of PanAm flight 103 onto Lockerbie was an attack on this country. Thing is though that was a mistake. The attack was on the U.S. and the bomb was supposed to have detonated over the ocean. An abominable attack yes but not on Britain.
The reason I am classing Irish republican attacks as domestic is that there is no border control between Britain and Ireland and there is a considerable flow of population back and forth between the two countries. Which leaves us with, if we look at the list of terrorist attacks in the UK over the last century, with the 1972 letter bombing of the Israeli embassy by Black September. Which was technically an attack on Israel.
So why then is the risk of terrorism so high in this country and why the concentration in the press on ‘international terrorism’ when we have never suffered an international terrorist attack? Could it be that the state and secret service simply want to keep us worried so that we think we need them? The use of the terrorism threat level is a great way to manipulate the public psyche, to keep people paranoid and afraid of one another.
I agree that there is a threat from terrorism but the truth is that more people are killed at work every year in this country than have ever been killed by a terrorist attack. The death toll on our roads wouldn’t look out of place as statistics in a particularly grizzly war. How many soldiers have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan in our desperate bid to feed our civilisations addiction to oil? Yet the threat from terrorism is touted as being something that we should all be afraid of.
Posted on January 24, 2010, in Politics and tagged AL Quaida, alan johnson, international terrorism, IRA, lockerbie, terrorism, terrorist attacks UK, terrorist threat level. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.