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By Abernathy
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#469379
I thought there might be some mileage in a thread to discuss various aspects of terrorism both generally, and more specifically in terms of the seemingly ever more frequent instances of atrocity like the one under way in Munich, and others including Paris and Brussels.

Pinning a definition down can prove tricky :

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Definit ... _terrorism

But I think for most of us, the recent examples pretty much embody the concept.

I've lived through periods of intensive terrorist activity - notably of the Irish republican variety in N. Ireland and on the British mainland. It's possibly fair to say that people became, not exactly blasé or innnured to terrorism then, but there was a sort of acceptance that these things would happen, and that we had simply to go on with life. The same sort of attitude prevailed after the London attacks in July 2007, but I felt there was a sort of step change in the UK zeitgeist that had seeded itself after 9/11.

And now, I find myself getting rather worried about the latest turn in the obscene progress of Daesh, or IS or ISIS or whatever they should be titled. Namely, the increasing frequency of savage attacks on soft targets - murderous assaults on large groups of people gathering in public, usually for purposes of entertainment. The Bataclan concert venue, Promenade des Anglaises, a Munich shopping mall.

I expect I'm not alone in, despite myself, imagining a similar scenario unfolding at a venue in my locale. The Bullring centre, perhaps, or a sporting occasion, even a cinema or theatre. I know that I shouldn't but you just can't help it.

In the words of King Theoden, "What can men do against such reckless hate? "

Theoden had Gandalf and the Rohan lads riding to the rescue. Where's our Gandalf?
 
By bluebellnutter
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#469394
I'll be honest, last November I had plans to go to London to see a steam train which was running through up there. I was all set, tickets and everything, camera charged, was going to be a good day. And then on the night before the Bataclan was attacked. And I didn't do it. I came up with the excuse it had been cancelled (as these things often are at the last minute), but it wasn't, I was just afraid. On a dark night in November, I was terrorised.

Since then I always feel like I've been on a heightened guard when visiting places. I've been to the Westfield centres in both Stratford and Shepherds Bush this year, and on both occasions I was thinking "if something happens, what's my exit strategy". I've never done that before, but I didn't plan on it either. It was a subconscious thing I caught myself doing. Maybe though it's a thing about doing something new or unusual, because I attend a fair few sporting events and just don't get that feeling. I go to football games at Brighton, and have tickets to the test match against Pakistan later this summer at the Oval. Neither of those upcoming things frighten me in this way. I think it's because I get the feeling with them that they're controlled environments. Ticketed, heavy security going in, all that jazz. Not something that is true of, say, a shopping centre or the tube.

I am too young to remember the IRA (Omagh happened at the very beginning of me being aware of the world outside the little sphere you inhabit as a child), and although I spent many of my formative years with the constant threat of Al Qaeda (I was 13 in 2001), they always felt like they were something more distant. Bar 7/7, it all just seemed like something happening a long way away. I don't get that feeling with IS, it feels somehow a lot closer to home and something which is more of a threat to me on a day-to-day basis.
By mattomac
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#469411
I know what you mean about the Tube. The Tube is claustrophobic though, never felt an issue when shopping, I remember the first gig after the attacks in Paris I went to, I didn't enjoy it at all, I was looking at all the various escapes throughout and didn't even go down to the main part of the venue.

Didn't feel that much at Springsteen and Manics recently though as you said they are heavily secured.
 
By spoonman
Membership Days Posts
#469424
Abernathy wrote: I've lived through periods of intensive terrorist activity - notably of the Irish republican variety in N. Ireland and on the British mainland. It's possibly fair to say that people became, not exactly blasé or innnured to terrorism then, but there was a sort of acceptance that these things would happen, and that we had simply to go on with life.
For NI I'd also add in the loyalist variety too. Whereas the Provisional IRA mainly attacked targets concerning the British security services (RUC, Army etc.) or their Loyalist equivalents and didn't aim at Protestant civilians in general (Kingsmill being a notable exception to this), for Loyalist paramilitaries just being a Catholic or even associating with one would make you a viable target. Thankfully those days now seem to have passed.

As for Daesh, the lack of a large enough Islamic centre of population here would seem to make a target in NI or the Republic unlikely, but when you appear to have "lone wolf" attacks that are claimed by the likes of Daesh near enough on an affiliation basis rather than an actual coordinated attack involving cells etc. they can be incredibly difficult to stop. Just how do you deal with an enemy that is willing to die in combat? The likes of the IRA & UDA/UVF could to an extent be reasoned with.
 
By Kreuzberger
Membership Days Posts
#474286
Silkyman wrote:I certainly felt a heightened sense of awareness on the tube last week. Especially being on it with family, you can't help but think 'what if'...

We as a nation are probably well overdue something major.
I thing that you are right about the inevitable threat and to be aware. I am back in "London '82" mode. Scanning bus, train and u-bahn carriages, being prepared to hit the deck if lights suddenly come up or now if some cunt wails the familiar battle-cry. And yes, inevitably perhaps, there is a degree of racial and gender profiling in that. I am not proud of myself.
 
By Malcolm Armsteen
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
#474290
I must admit that when taking grand-daughter to France a few days after the NIce attack I was 'precautious'. I made a point of getting her parents to think if they were happy for her to go, but I did find myself being watchful in a way I haven't been since the aftermath of 7/7.
By mr angry manchester
Membership Days Posts
#474357
I cant honestly say that its really affected my going to places which might be considered a target. I try not to think about it really, and, to be fair, I cant see Stockport or Macclesfield being somewhere that Daesh/Isis would be likely to bother with.

Suppose I think that Mum and Dad lived through World War 2 and had to deal with the possibility of being bombed so I must do the same?
 
By youngian
Membership Days Posts
#474370
Having a sense of magnitude of probability I don't feel vulnerable from terrorism but still subconsciously carry out the checks for rogue bags on trains and other sensible proportionate signs we were told to look out for back in the 80s. Canvassing a lonely windswept estate a couple of days after Jo Cox's murder did give me the creeps though.
By Silkyman
Membership Days Posts
#474386
mr angry manchester wrote:I cant honestly say that its really affected my going to places which might be considered a target. I try not to think about it really, and, to be fair, I cant see Stockport or Macclesfield being somewhere that Daesh/Isis would be likely to bother with.

Suppose I think that Mum and Dad lived through World War 2 and had to deal with the possibility of being bombed so I must do the same?
I actually said after 7/7, in a moment of PR Exectutive musing, that if they really wanted to scare people, then targeting places like Macclesfield is exactly what they should do. If there was an attack in London again, the rest of the country wouldn't be avoiding going out, or shiftily looking sideways at anyone with darker skin (which is what they want). But if they attacked packed pubs in Swindon, Bury, Hartlepool and Bath, then everyone would feel like a target.

I might submit a cv to be their head of fear...
 
By D.C. Harrison
Membership Days Posts
#474390
Silkyman wrote:I actually said after 7/7, in a moment of PR Exectutive musing, that if they really wanted to scare people, then targeting places like Macclesfield is exactly what they should do.
I joked to a friend once that if you live in a non-descript English town, you're more likely to get killed by a bitter, fucked-up white guy with a gun license than religious fundamentalists.
 
By davidjay
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
#474520
Silkyman wrote:
mr angry manchester wrote:I cant honestly say that its really affected my going to places which might be considered a target. I try not to think about it really, and, to be fair, I cant see Stockport or Macclesfield being somewhere that Daesh/Isis would be likely to bother with.

Suppose I think that Mum and Dad lived through World War 2 and had to deal with the possibility of being bombed so I must do the same?
I actually said after 7/7, in a moment of PR Exectutive musing, that if they really wanted to scare people, then targeting places like Macclesfield is exactly what they should do. If there was an attack in London again, the rest of the country wouldn't be avoiding going out, or shiftily looking sideways at anyone with darker skin (which is what they want). But if they attacked packed pubs in Swindon, Bury, Hartlepool and Bath, then everyone would feel like a target.

I might submit a cv to be their head of fear...
That's what I've long said. If you want worldwide headlines, go for a Western capital. If you want to spread fear throughout a country, hit a small town on market day.
By Silkyman
Membership Days Posts
#475061
D.C. Harrison wrote:
Silkyman wrote:I actually said after 7/7, in a moment of PR Exectutive musing, that if they really wanted to scare people, then targeting places like Macclesfield is exactly what they should do.
I joked to a friend once that if you live in a non-descript English town, you're more likely to get killed by a bitter, fucked-up white guy with a gun license than religious fundamentalists.
Change English to American, and you've got a standard fact of life.
By Fozzy
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#477258
I was in central London on 7/7 (fortunately well south of where the bombs were planted), and also worked just down the road from the Oval underground, which was one of the stations targeted by the failed bombs on 21/7. I remember being very much sobered by the realisation that the underground victims had boarded the train in much the same way as I had that morning, taking it all very much for granted, but I think my brain resisted thinking what it would have been like if my train had been one of the ones targeted. And on the following days I travelled in to London as normal because, well, there was no option but to get in to work - as, of course, millions of others did. There was a degree of the same fatalist spirit as we had during the IRA bombing campaign, along the lines that if you get hit, you get hit, but you stand more chance of being killed in a car accident.
By Catkins
Membership Days Posts
#477290
I live in London, currently work in the City, with a child in a local school and a partner who travels through Waterloo. And I admit that I'm constantly low-level twitchy, as I think we're overdue something. I'm wary in train stations particularly as I can envisage a Mumbai-style attack, and I'm nervous about school security as I know that ISIS would happily blow up a room of toddlers if it meant extensive publicity.

However, I'm currently far less worried about a bomb in the Square Mile as I think the Brexit vote will have done greater economic damage so there's no longer any need!
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