Prevent Watch

The Muslim News: When are terrorist attacks not terrorist attacks?

Authorities are quick to label terrorist attacks as such. But why did they take so long to call the bombing of an immigration processing building a terrorist attack when the perpetrators hateful views had been broadcast online?

And why have the UK prime minister and home secretary so far not said a word about this when it is the role of the authorities to condemn terrorist attacks?

An editorial in The Muslim News highlights how counter terrorism police delayed classifying the October firebombing of the Western Jet Foil immigration processing centre in Dover as a terrorist incident despite being called in to lead the investigation.

Moreover, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak declined to comment, as did the newly reinstated Home Secretary, Suella Braverman. They have been deathly silent ever since.

The terrorist attack targeting immigrants occurred at a time when Braverman had provocatively described illegal immigration as an out-of-control invasion. Braverman is already under pressure to resign for breaching the ministerial code.

Within minutes of the naming of Andrew Leak as the perpetrator, details of his overwhelmingly anti-Muslim hatred had gone viral online; he had a long history of sharing content with far-right groups at home and abroad, including with the founder of the EDL, Tommy Robinson; despite this, he was unknown to counter terrorism police.

It was not until almost a week after the bombing that the senior national coordinator for counter-terrorism policing, declared that the evidence indicates the attack “was motivated by a terrorist ideology.”

I am satisfied that the suspect’s actions were primarily driven by an extremist ideology,” said Tim Jacques. “This meets the threshold for a terrorist incident.”

Read the full editorial at The Muslim News.

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