On June 3, Britain underwent its third Islamist terror assault in just ten weeks. Following on from a suicide bombing at Manchester Arena and a car- and knife-attack in Westminster, the London Bridge attacks seemed as if they might finally tip Britain into recognising the full reality of Islamist terror.
The attackers that night on London Bridge behaved as such attackers have before, in France, Germany and Israel. They used a van to ram into pedestrians, and then leapt from the vehicle and began to stab passers-by at random. Chasing across London Bridge and into the popular Borough Market, eye-witnesses recorded that the three men, as they slit the throats of Londoners and tourists, shouted “This is for Allah.”
A day later, British Prime Minister Theresa May made another appearance on the steps of Downing Street, to comment on the latest atrocity. In what appeared to have become a prime ministerial tradition, she stressed that the terrorists were following the “evil ideology of Islamist extremism”, which she described as “a perversion of Islam”. All this was no more than she had said after the Manchester and Westminster attacks, and almost exactly what her predecessor, David Cameron, had said from the same place after the slaughter of Drummer Lee Rigby on the streets of London in 2013, as well as after the countless ISIS executions and atrocities in Syria in the months that followed.
Yet Prime Minister May’s speech did include one new element. She used her speech on June 4 to go slightly farther than she had previously done. There had been “far too much tolerance of extremism” in the UK, she said, before adding, “Enough is enough”.
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