t is only eight weeks since an 18-year old Iraqi-born man walked onto the London Underground and left a bomb on the District line. Fortunately for the rush-hour commuters and school children on that train, the detonating device went off without managing to set off the bomb itself. Had the device worked, the many passengers who suffered life-changing burns would instead have been among many other people taken away in body bags. Ahmed Hassan came to the UK illegally in 2015 and was subsequently provided with foster care by the British government. He has now been charged, and is awaiting trial, for causing an explosion and attempted murder.
London police outside Parsons Green Underground station, following the terrorist bombing there on September 15, 2017. (Image source: Edwardx/Wikimedia Commons)
As stories like that of Mr. Hassan emerge, there are varying reactions. Some people say that this act is not indicative of anything, and that we must accept that such things happen — like the weather. Others suggest that anyone might leave a bomb on the District line in the morning, and that there is no more reason to alter your border policy because of it than there is to alter your meteorological policy because of it.
As poll after poll shows, however, the majority of the public in Britain — as in every other European country — think something else. They think that a country that has lost a grip on its immigration policy is very likely to lose control of its security policy, and that one may indeed follow the other.
So the British public were not at all reassured by the news this month that the country’s Home Office has lost track of tens of thousands of foreign nationals who were due to be removed from the country. Nor that there is no evidence of any effort to find the people in question.