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Anither terrorist attack took place in England, after the concert of American singer Ariana Grande at the Manchester Arena stadium last night. According to The Telegraph, a suicide bomber led an "infernal machine" into action when a crowd of people were leaving the stadium. More than 20 people were killed, more than 50 were injured. At the site of explosion investigators found scattered hardware and mechanical parts, which could have been pieces of an explosive device. The scale of the attack is already described as the largest since the explosions in London in July 2005, which killed 52 people. The investigation of the circumstances of terrorist attack continues. Presumably, this is the work of Islamic extremists. According to The Telegraph, the supporters of ISIS celebrate the Manchester massacre online.
Foggy Albion in the sight of terrorists
Manchester massacre is the second major terrorist attack in Britain for this spring. British society had not yet forgotten the incident on March 22, when British citizen Khalid Masud (nee Adrian Elms) drove a car at full speed on Westminster Bridge and knocked passers-by, and then crashed into the fence of the British parliament building and wounded a policeman. Then citizens of 11 countries suffered, and there were deaths. ISIS militants took responsibility for the attack and called Khalid Masud "their warrior."
Terrorists arrange their acts in the cities of the countries participating in the anti-terrorist coalition led by the United States, which conducts air strikes on the positions of ISIS in Syria and Iraq and provides military assistance to the government of Iraq, Kurdish armed groups and Syrian rebels in conducting ground operations against terrorists. The United Kingdom is one of the most active participants in the fight against terrorism in the Middle East. Since September 2014, the United Kingdom Air Force has been bombing the positions of ISIS in Iraq, and since December 2015, Islamic extremists have been bombed in Syria. About 20 British volunteers are fighting against Islamists in the armed formations of Syrian and Iraqi Kurds. According to the Express, British SAS Special Forces and MI6 intelligence agents train Syrian rebels and recruit civilians to counter the ISIS.
The terrorist attack in Manchester is another terrorist retaliation aimed at intimidating the British and citizens of other European countries, provoking anti-war rallies with calls to stop air strikes on the positions of ISIS in the Middle East. Terrorists consider the UK a convenient landfill for their provocations. Foggy Albion is in the focus of attention of the international community against the background of its withdrawal from the European Union and the forthcoming early parliamentary elections in June. One of the reasons for Brexit is the dissatisfaction of the British people with "open door" policies of the EU with regard to refugees and migrants from Muslim countries, among whom may be Islamic extremists.
Islamic extremists make it clear that regardless of whether the UK or any other European country leaves or maintains membership in the EU, whether it invites Muslim refugees or not, they will continue to blow up innocent people in order for the West to reconcile itself with the existence and expansion of ISIS in the Middle East.
Brexit is not panacea for terrorism
Whatever the supporters of Brexit say, it does not completely solve the problem of terrorism in the UK. After leaving the European Union, the UK will partially solve the problem: it will abolish free movement with the countries of continental Europe, close its borders for refugees. According to the Red Cross, 117.2 thousand refugees live in Great Britain. Until 2020, the British government had to accept another 20 thousand refugees from Syria, where the ISIS operates. Brexit gives an excuse to get rid of this responsibility and not risk the safety of their citizens. At the end of 2016, British Prime Minister Theresa May opposed the calls for the placement of additional Syrian refugees in the country.
However, terrorists can be not only among refugees, but also among second-third-generation migrants, indigenous people professing Islam. About 3 million Muslims live in the UK, and only half of them were born in their historic homeland. Over the past 10 years, the number of Muslims in the UK has grown because of the increase in the number of labor migrants. Islam is spreading among descendants of migrants who receive British citizenship from birth. In other words, in Britain there is a solid social base for recruiters from terrorist organizations. Recently, there have been cases of recruitment of indigenous representatives who profess Islam, by the terrorists. A striking example is Adrian Elms, a Westminster terrorist, an ordinary British recidivist who was born in Kent and joined Islam at the age of 30 during his imprisonment.
Extremists promote their ideas under the wrap of Islam among uncritically thinking and disadvantaged segments of the population through modern means of communication, including social networks. Then, European Muslims travel to the training camps of terrorist organizations in the Middle East and Africa, where they are taught how to handle weapons, create explosive devices, or preparing to become suicide bombers. After returning to the UK or any other Western country, terrorist lives a normal life, works, until his supervisors give a signal to action.
After the terrorist attack in Manchester, the British Prime Minister convened a COBRA meeting ("Room A" of Cabinet meetings), an emergency government committee that meets in emergency cases. The meeting gathers members of the Cabinet of Ministers, other state officials, representatives of the police, intelligence services. The committee's meetings have been held since the 1970s, and they discussed measures to suppress strikes of British miners in the 1980s, and air strikes against Libya. In 2004, a law on emergency situations was adopted that allows the government to use armed forces in emergency cases, prohibit rallies and demonstrations or impose restrictions on freedom of movement. Apparently, the British authorities are preparing for radical measures directed against terrorists.
In this regard, the solutions proposed by Eurosceptics are interesting. The leader of the Dutch "Freedom Party" Geert Wilders believes that, in addition to tightening the migration regime for immigrants from Muslim countries, it is necessary to imprison all suspected of involvement in Islamic extremism. He proposes to deprive the persons with dual citizenship of Dutch passport (with subsequent deportation to the "homeland") and ban of entry into the territory of the Netherlands for citizens who took part in the fighting in Syria on the side of ISIS. The leader of the French National Front party Marine Le Pen believes that it is necessary to simplify the procedure for the deportation of migrants.
Apparently, the British will have to temporarily limit democratic rights and freedoms in order to reduce the terrorist threat in the country. British intelligence agencies will have to strengthen surveillance and verification of local Muslims who travel without good reason to Arab or African countries. Currently, about 850 immigrants from the countries of Africa and the Middle East, who went to fight on the side of ISIS to Syria or Iraq are considered to be potential carriers of the terrorist threat. MI5 Security Service watches over 3 thousand Britons who are considered capable of carrying out a terrorist act.
It’s necessary to deprive the terrorists of their source of income. It is not enough to bomb the positions of ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Terrorists control some oil fields and sell "black gold" at dumping prices. The revenues of ISIS from oil sales are 1-1.5 million dollars a day. The only question is who buys it and provides terrorists with the means to purchase weapons and ammunition. According to the Financial Times, part of the oil goes to Iraq, as well as to the regions of Syria, which are controlled by representatives of the opposition, is pumped to the border cities of Turkey with rubber hoses. Until the underground oil sales channels are interrupted, it will not be possible to defeat ISIS.
Consequences for the European Union
It is doubtful that the European officials after the Manchester massacre will convince the UK to retain membership in the EU and continue to resettle refugees on its territory. In March, the head of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, offered Britain to refuse from Brexit after the parliamentary elections, when the new government can cancel the decision of its predecessors. Now Brexit supporters will rely on the fact that exit from the EU is necessary for the sake of toughening the migration regime as one of the measures to counter terrorism. The EU insists that the UK should retain freedom of movement if its government wishes to maintain access to the Common Market.
The terrorist attack in Manchester will be a new argument for the Central European countries to refuse to place refugees on their territory within the limits of the existing EU quotas. In September 2015, the EU adopted a plan to place 160 thousand refugees from Italy and Greece in other European countries by quota until September this year. However, out of 160,000 refugees, authorities managed to settle just over 8,000 migrants. The Governments of Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia refuse to place them on their territory, because they see them as a potential threat of Islamic extremism and terrorism. Manchester massacre adds fuel to the fire in a conflict between supporters and opponents of the "open door" policy for refugees.