The very public terror carried out in Paris last week could happen in any city across the UK. Indeed we saw it in London after a hate-crazed Muslim fanatic mowed down a British soldier, hacked him to pieces and stood with bloody hands boasting of what he had done.
This is a different type of terrorism, often carried out by individuals not backed by a structured grouping and without thought for their own lives.
We had 30 years of IRA terrorism but their fanaticism did not stretch to being prepared to sacrifice themselves. They were warped enough to strap poor innocent people into car bombs and callously blow them up by remote control but were always ready to cry foul if the security forces tried to kill them in commission of their vile acts.
Even today their families still whine for expensive public inquiries into the deaths of such cowardly, calculating, callous killers - and craven, spineless politicians give into them.
These Muslim killers are different. If they don’t kill themselves, they seem to welcome being killed by the security forces as a quick route to getting their hands on the 70 virgins who they believe await them in paradise. Are they in for a shock!
This terrorism is harder to deal with because security services find them more difficult to infiltrate. At least the IRA had plenty who would take money to inform and had a structure which could be infiltrated.
Protecting the public costs money yet we spend less on security services in a year than we do on the NHS in a day. Even in these times of austerity this is an issue which must be addressed.
The security services also need a legal framework which supports them. That’s why I and my colleagues backed the government’s proposal last week to enable the Home Office Minister to stop those who left the UK to be trained and then fight for ISIS in Syria etc, from returning to the UK.
Personally I think she could have gone further. The exclusions are only temporary, I would have them permanently excluded. If they hate UK democracy so much, let them go and live under Sharia law in a country run by like-minded fanatics.
These killers now keep in contact, plan their murders, finance their activities, influence and recruit new followers electronically, using methods which are fiendishly difficult to monitor as cyberspace bristles with secret-coded messages hidden amongst 654 million internet sites.
There needs to be greater powers of surveillance of these communications. Changes in the capacity of the security services to track these communications has been prevented by the refusal of the Liberal Democrats and the Labour Party to back changes in the law.
They labelled it a “snoopers’ charter”, whipped up public fears about the government prying into our text messages etc. The Conservatives have promised to bring forward legislation to give monitoring powers over electronic communications and I believe it merits support, despite the moans from the Guardian-reading class.
Last weekend one of the Muslim Ministers in the government, Sajid Javid MP, criticised those who claimed that these acts of terror “had nothing to do with Islam”.
Since the killers boast of their religious motives, he argued that the Muslim community must carry a “special burden” in dealing with the issue. Unfortunately leaders within the Muslim community don’t always act responsibly, though it has to be said, many individuals have taken a brave stand.
The statement of the prominent Muslim leader Dr Al-Wazzar in Belfast, who claimed that the West, because of its foreign policy, had brought what happened in Paris on itself, were appalling, though he did later retract his comments. There cannot be any excuses linked to condemnation of these acts. This is not the time for ambivalence, though undoubtedly when the blood dries on the streets of Paris the left-wing Liberal commentators, who dominate our press and who at present are strangely silent, will crawl out from under their stones of prejudice and question whether these killings were provoked by draconian security measures, provocative cartoons or society’s Islamophobia.
These fanatics will not be dealt with by dialogue, as suggested by Catriona Ruane this week. She, of course, can always be relied on to show understanding to terrorists of whatever ilk. They are at war with everything we stand for. The only answer is to search them out, hunt them down and remove them from society.