Thoughts from an active pensioner who is now somewhat past his Biblical "Use-by date"

"Why just be difficult, when with a little more effort you can be bloody impossible?"

Monday, 30 September 2013

Nairobi Attack - Are We Prepared?

Following the attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, surely we should be asking whether it could happen in Britain.
The Mail today reports that:
Abubaker Shariff Ahmed, a hate preacher wanted for recruiting killers warned that terrorists are planning to murder innocent Britons saying: 'You will all die'. The man, known as Makaburi by his followers which means graveyard said Britain will be targeted by terrorists to impose Sharia law across the world. 
The report also adds that:
He is accused of being part of a network that directed up to 100 British terrorists to East African training camps.
We need to take such warnings seriously as we can no longer rely on the fact that we are an island to protect us from harm. With our lax border controls, and the influx of Somalis into this country, who knows whether one of his lieutenants might even now be here organising such an attack.

Frankly, I am not impressed by our government's response:
The Prime Minister, who chaired meetings of the Cobra crisis committee last week, said he had no intelligence of plans for an ‘imminent’ attack in Britain.
But asked whether he was concerned that British-based Somalis might export terror to the UK, Mr Cameron said: ‘There is always a worry of  that and there is a hotbed of terrorism in Somalia that spills over into  other countries.’
I repeat, this does not impress me in the slightest. Surely the fact that up to 100 "British" terrorists are believed to have attended training camps is a matter of great concern, not just "a worry".  The government should be putting plans together as to how they would deal with such an attack in one of our numerous shopping malls. 

I tried to imagine what would happen if we had such an attack in our local, rather small, shopping centre. I simply cannot imagine our local (Thames Valley) police force would have the resources or any idea how to deal with it, and I expect the same applies to most other forces. Look at how long it took the Met (probably our best resourced police force) to get an armed police response to the shooting of Gunner Lee Rigby. I don't blame the police forces for this situation, but the government who is fond of holding "Cobra" meetings and talking, but doing little else.

Surely it is time that the country had elite armed police/military squads ready at all times to deal with such a crisis, along with resources such as helicopters to move them at a moments notice. Squads which have trained in shopping malls and have all the latest technology at their disposal along with such things as plans and other details of all the major shopping areas for instant reference.

There is also the question of how the ethnic British would view such an attack. Generally we are very tolerant but the day will come when we will say that "enough is enough", and there could be riots directed towards Muslims living in this country.

We may not be able to stop such an attack, but we need to be prepared and our police forces need the necessary backing to be able to handle such a crisis. The British people need to be convinced that their government has real plans and resources for dealing with such a situation and any consequent repercussions. That is far more important than  any number of "Cobra" meetings.

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