The attack in London that left four dead and over twenty injured must be condemned in the strongest possible words. Police authorities have not named the attacker so far, but have indicated that the attacker acted alone and was “inspired by international terrorism. ” According to reports, he was British-born and had been investigated by the MI5 in the past, over extremism fears. Even so, seven arrests believed to be in connection to this attack have already been made, which makes the police’s stance slightly confusing. This attack, like so many others before it in Europe, tells us that anyone sufficiently determined does not need a big gun or a bomb to orchestrate a carnage.
Authorities in the west are generally becoming much better at identifying threats such as bombings and other traditional forms of terrorism. But terrorism continues to mutate and change according to the time and area it is in, which is why we must also evolve our security capabilities accordingly.
It is clear that an individual armed with a knife and a car can also wreak havoc when they want.
Each time something like this happens, more get emboldened and look to follow the footsteps of attackers. This is why there must be a change of mindset in the west regarding terror incidents. So far, it is not clear whether mental illness, religion, angst against the government, or some other reason was the attacker’s primary motivator, but the international community must tackle all of these factors if we want a decrease in incidents of violence. What this does tell us is that our main sources of deterrence, punishments in the form of incarceration or even death are no long sufficient in a vast number of cases. Maybe preventive measures should take greater precedence over rehabilitation and retribution after a crime has been committed. Finding new ways to tackle mental illness, not allowing for individuals to get brainwashed by extremist ideologies and decreasing the amount of alienation these potential attackers might feel should be prioritised.