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Westminster terror attack: Lone wolves keep security services up at night

A carving knife . A car . An ideology twisted into madness itself and vanity . These are the ingredients that make for the perfect terrorist. Membership of a cell of like-minded monsters may have been a source of confidence and a source of inspiration. But it’s the lone wolves who keep the security services up at night. The Westminster attack on ordinary civilians and police guarding the Houses of Parliament could have been predicted and it was.

:: Witness: ‘I saw 8-10 people on the ground’1

But short of ending democracy, of closing access to the democratic process and its trappings, short of delivering strategic effect to lunatics and death cult members, by shutting off the mother of parliaments off from the world, very little more could be done to protect the precinct. Not, that is, unless the United Kingdom turned itself into something resembling the so-called Islamic State or at the very least a nation so preoccupied with its own security that it has lost touch with what it was that was worth protecting. This is both the physical vulnerability and the philosophical strength that extremists so wish to attack. The latest London atrocity is an attempt to repeat the Nice mass murder-by-truck committed last year in which 86 people were killed watching Bastille Day celebrations in Nice. :: First picture of terror attack suspect2

It has fallen on the anniversary of last year’s Brussels attacks too. The Nice attack was echoed in the December Christmas market attacks in Berlin . None of them were planned by a terrorist cell following orders from Raqqa, the capital of the so-called Islamic State. That would have meant that they were vulnerable to penetration and exposure. :: Live updates on attack3

IS and other groups have long understood that all that is required is to find, or make, a fanatic and give them a few basic hints over the internet and the world’s attention will be focused on the bloody outcome.

We’ve seen it in London before with the murder of Lee Rigby in Woolwich . Two semi-deranged wannabe jihadists with egos in inverse proportions to their understanding of Islam can cause mayhem. But it is worth remembering that these attacks are dramatic but they are tactical assaults . They do not result in strategic change. Power will still come on, the wheels of commerce and industry will turn and the United Kingdom will not shudder under the impact of a fanatic with a car. :: Witness: ‘A guy ran past me and stabbed cop with big knife’4

Not, that is, unless the very democracy that terrorists so hate – because, in the end it produces happiness, freedom and prosperity they cannot comprehend – is undermined. And that can only be done by an over-reaction to horrific events.

This is not the clash of civilisations that the terrorists want us to believe it is.

It is, rather, a sign of vicious weakness among the misguided losers who as homegrown fanatics blame the societies that sustain them for their own humiliations.

References

  1. ^ Witness: ‘I saw 8-10 people on the ground’ (news.sky.com)
  2. ^ First picture of terror attack suspect (news.sky.com)
  3. ^ :: Live updates on attack (news.sky.com)
  4. ^ Witness: ‘A guy ran past me and stabbed cop with big knife’ (news.sky.com)

Adele scolds security guard after catching him telling fans to sit down at Melbourne gig

Adele halted the final show of her Australian tour to scold a security guard who was trying to order fans to stop dancing. The Grammy award-winning singer gave the staff member a telling-off after she spotted him telling audience members to sit down. In footage posted on social media, Adele is seen finishing her single ‘Water Under The Bridge’ before telling the man: “Excuse me sir ? I know you work here but could you stop telling people to sit down ? This is a music show.”

“If people can’t see then they stand up,” she continued. “If you’re moaning about people dancing, what the f*** have you come to a show for ?

If I see one more person be told to sit down, I swear to God.”

At the same show, the 77,000-strong crowd witnessed a surprise proposal when Adele invited a couple to join her onstage. A fan wrote: “Adele’s Melbourne show is already off to a kick-arse start with a super sweet same-sex marriage proposal.”

“That wasn’t planned.. . I had no idea,” Adele said.

Another fan urged Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to “take note”, as same-sex marriage is currently illegal in Australia.

Earlier in the evening, Adele had joked that if her audience was looking for a good time they were at the wrong place, as her concert was “basically just two hours of crying and songs about my ex-boyfriend.”

Swedish intelligence agency says there is ‘real and serious security …

  • 1/35 13 March 2017

    US President Donald J . Trump holds up a note and drawing depicting him that was created by the child of Greg Knox of Ohio, during a meeting on healthcare in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC

    EPA

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    Relatives hold up placards with pictures of victims as they gather in commemoration on the first anniversary of the March 13 terror attack at the former site of the bombing in central Ankara

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    Aaron Hernandez confers with his defence attorney Jose Baez, during his double murder trial in Boston

    AP

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    People celebrate Holi festival at a temple in Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India

    Rex

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    A Sadhu or Hindu holy man with his face smeared with powdered colours looks on during Holi festival celebrations at Sri Laxmi Narayan Temple in Amritsar, India

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    A member of the Tinstix of Dynamite aerobatics team flies in front of a wall of fire during the Australian International Airshow in Melbourne

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    A participant stretches on the beach before the start of an annual two-mile sea swimming competition in Colombo, Sri Lanka

    Reuters

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    Participants jump into water during the annual two-mile sea swimming competition in Colombo, Sri Lanka

    Reuters

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    Japan’s Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko wave to bid farewell as they depart for Thailand from Phu Bai International Airport in the central city of Hue, Vietnam

    EPA

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    Reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) on display indoors at the International Defence Exhibition in Iraq (IQDEX) 2017

    Getty Images

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    A participant presents hisr vintage vehicle during the 59th International Vintage Car Rally Barcelona-Sitges, at plaza Sant Jaume in Barcelona, Spain . Some 50 vintage vehicles take part in the two-day long event, through the coastal line of Mediterranean Sea from Barcelona to Sitges

    EPA

  • 12/35 5 March 2017

    Participants present their vintage cars during the 59th International Vintage Car Rally Barcelona-Sitges, at plaza Sant Jaume in Barcelona, Spain

    EPA

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    New York Governor Mario Cuomo looks around the ‘Hall of Names’ in the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem .

    The hall has portraits of some 600 individuals exterminated by the Nazis during the Holocaust of World War II

    EPA

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    The Chinese police officers on self balancing police vehicles patrol in Tiananmen Square before the opening of the fifth Session of the 12th National People’s Congress (NPC) outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China

    EPA

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    A general view shows the opening session of the National People’s Congress, China’s legislature, in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People

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    Hostesses jump as they pose for a picture during the opening of the National People’s Congress in Beijing

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    A picture taken in the Iraqi capital Bahgdad shows rocket launchers on display indoors at the International Defence Exhibition in Iraq (IQDEX) 2017

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    A Pakistani army helicopter flies past floodlights as it patrols over The Gaddafi Cricket Stadium in Lahore, ahead of the final cricket match of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) between Quetta Gladiators and Peshawar Zalmi

    Getty Images

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    A Buddhist devotee dashes barefoot through flames during the Nagatoro Hi-Matsuri, or fire walking festival, to herald the coming of spring, at the Fudoji temple in Nagatoro town, Saitama prefecture

    Getty Images

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    A resident inspects their personal house belongings after a moderate earthquake hit the Surigao city, southern Philippines

    Reuters

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    People with portraits of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin gather outside his museum in his native town of Gori, some 80 kms outside Tbilisi, on the 64th anniversary of Stalin’s death . While historians blame Stalin for the deaths of millions in purges, prison camps and forced collectivization, many in Russia still praise him for leading the Soviet Union to victory over Nazi Germany in World War I

    Getty Images

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    Head of Ukraine’s tax and customs service Roman Nasirov, who is under investigation over the suspected embezzlement and who according to several unconfirmed local media reports recently suffered a heart attack, lies inside the defendant’s cage during a court hearing in Kiev, Ukraine

    Reuters

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    Flag bearer Jesslyn Swirka rides her horse down Harrison Avenue in Leadville, Colorado at the start of the 68th annual Leadville Ski Joring weekend competition in Leadville, Colorado . Skijoring, which has its origins as a competitive sport in Scandinavia, has been adapted over the years to include a team made up of a rider and skier who must navigate jumps, slalom gates, and the spearing of rings for points .

    Leadville, with an elevation of 10,152 feet (3,094 m), the highest incorporated city in North America, has been hosting skijoring competitions since 1949

    Getty Images

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    A rider races down Harrison Avenue while a skier navigates the course during the 68th annual Leadville Ski Joring weekend competition in Leadville, Colorado

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    A demonstrator in opposition of US President Donald Trump sets a hat on fire during a ‘People 4 Trump’ rally in Berkeley, California

    Reuters

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    A demonstrator in support of US President Donald Trump swings a stick towards a group of counter-protesters during a ‘People 4 Trump’ rally in Berkeley, California

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    A bloodied supporter of US President Donald Trump is seen after a ‘People 4 Trump’ rally and counter-protest turned violent in Berkeley, California

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    Women take part in a performance to protest against the disappearance of the 43 students of Ayotzinapa College Raul Isidro Burgos in Guerrero, in Mexico City, Mexico

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    A woman looks on as she takes part in a performance to protest against the disappearance of the 43 students of Ayotzinapa College Raul Isidro Burgos in Guerrero, in Mexico City, Mexico

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    An Iraqi special forces soldier fires at a drone operated by Islamic State militants Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq

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    A man cries while carrying his daughter as he walks from Islamic State controlled part of Mosul towards Iraqi special forces soldiers during a battle in Mosul, Iraq

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    Iraqi special forces soldiers walk in a street in Mosul, Iraq

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    An Iraqi special forces soldier helps a family carry their child to cross from Islamic State controlled part of Mosul to Iraqi forces controlled part of Mosul, Iraq

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    A man looks towards a Russian helicopter as it flies over ruins in the historic city of Palmyra, Syria

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    Policemen and a passerby look at pictures of the ones killed due to alleged involvement in illegal drugs, during a protest against extra-judicial killings at an open area of a Roman Catholic Church in Paranaque city, metro Manila, Philippines

    Reuters