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Last week's stabbing attack aside, British counterterrorism services are sighing with relief

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Washington Examiner

Last week's stabbing attack aside, British counterterrorism services are sighing with relief

by Tom Rogan

Last week's terrorist attack in London took two innocent lives. But British counterterrorism services will have breathed a sigh of relief that this latest attack again involved knives, and not firearms or explosives.

Don't misunderstand me: Any successful terrorist attack is a cause for great lament. While the attacker was able to replicate the 2017 London Bridge terrorist attack, he inflicted fewer casualties and less terror on the British capital. Still, counterterrorism police and intelligence officers take their work personally, rightly viewing themselves as the shields for life against death. They will be saddened and frustrated by what has occurred.

Even then, they must balance their personal sense of loss in one incident against the prospect of far greater casualties.

When it comes to Britain, that prospect is hard to underestimate. After all, since the November 2015 ISIS attacks in Paris, British security services have most feared an attack in that vein coming to the streets of London. Namely, an attack involving multiple individuals armed with automatic rifles and equipped with explosive devices. To counter that threat, authorities have conducted significant operations to disrupt ISIS planning cells, to prevent the supply of firearms to terrorists on British soil, and to provide efficient response capabilities if the worst day ever comes.

Read more: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/last-weeks-stabbing-attack-aside-british-counterterrorism-services-are-sighing-with-relief