The dreadful scenes last night in London underline once again the total vulnerability of any major city in the world to terrorism.
What is happening in London these past few weeks is an example of what could happen in New York, Washington or any American city from coast to coast.
It could happen in Dublin, Rome or Amsterdam, there is very little to it. A bunch of crazed fanatics, a truck, a knife. No police force in the world can stop that kind of attack permanently.
It is the price of freedom and clearly there are many ISIS fanatics who cannot countenance such liberty or stand the fact that their Caliphate is being ground into the dust in Syria and Iraq.
The truth is the London rampage showed again how sick the terrorist ideology has become. Theresa May is right, enough is enough.
Driving a van into crowds of innocent civilians and then attacking people with knives, all of them innocent bystanders, is a tactic of desperation not strength. A similar tactic was used in the Nice truck killings last year.
Map shows location of #LondonAttacks https://t.co/msUC8HYzYT pic.twitter.com/pv25B87ilk— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) June 4, 2017
Those killed were the softest of soft targets, innocent bystanders on a night out.
The Manchester bomb was of course a relatively sophisticated device but still needed a suicide bomber to carry it out. Fanatical as they are, the number of ISIS homegrown terrorists ready to blow themselves up seems to be very limited.
Terrorists always want to make the biggest impact but the ISIS madmen on the loose at present are neither sophisticated nor particularly adept. Training a man to drive a van and brandish a knife is almost laughable as a long-term terrorist tactic.
What is most worrying is that unless they are stopped soon, their level of sophistication will increase and more focused devices will be used. That is why the current soft targets will be replaced in time with far more strategic targets.
Prime Minister Theresa May condemns the "evil" ideology behind recent terror attacks pic.twitter.com/qahgllLUjT— Press Association (@PA) June 4, 2017
The IRA learned that one Docklands bomb with minimal casualties, or an attack on Margaret Thatcher herself as happened at the Grand Hotel in Brighton in 1985 actually did far more to bring a resolution closer than attacks on ordinary people or rank and file troops.
Some harsh truths need to be told. The late lamented Arab Spring has been the catalyst for much of the international violence, especially the breakup of Syria and Libya.
Image shows van suspected of being involved in #LondonBridge terror incident https://t.co/RDKEVOo0U1 pic.twitter.com/EuoewiD4ay— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) June 4, 2017
Solutions need to be found in Iraq and Syria. It is not enough to throw our hands up. The Balkan war of the 1990s looked just as intractable but incredible international diplomacy and a targeted military action led to the Dayton Accords.
Stabilizing currently ungovernable areas would make it far easier to monitor and address ISIS and other terrorist groups who thrive in chaos. We can drop all the Mother of All Bombs we want but without a political solution ISIS will always be with us. Arab nations must step up and stop the teaching of this horrific ideology. Saudi Arabia in particular needs to. The running sore of the Palestinian/Israeli war must be solved.
View from my office tonight - #LondonBridge pic.twitter.com/jlJqDHTeAP— Lisa Minot (@lisaminot) June 3, 2017
As for the countries under attack, it is clear far greater resources need to go into counter terrorism. It has become the most pressing international issue of our time. Arming ordinary police is an uncomfortable topic for some but it seems it must be done.
Finally, Twitter, Google, Facebook need to step up. Much of the poisonous ideology is spread by social media and concerns about free speech cannot outweigh saving lives and stopping the flow of poisonous propaganda from ISIS and others.
None of this is satisfactory, there is no enemy that can just be wiped out by a big bomb. It is hand-to-hand combat across many theaters of war. London and Britain appears to have become the latest theater. We elsewhere in the world cannot relax, however. Our Local ISIS outfit may already be planning attacks. It is time to face up to the greatest challenge of our time.