Homeland Security Network Blog
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Putting a stop to terror: how we must respond
The New Daily
I live between, and only a kilometre or so from, the last two terrorist attacks in London.
I was also in Liverpool Street station about to board a tube when the 7/7 bombings took place in 2005. On February 9, 1996, I was around the corner when the IRA set off their huge bomb in Canary Wharf, London.
In Islamabad, while I worked there for the United Nations, the windows of my apartment shook when, in 2008, terrorists threw a hand grenade into the garden of the Italian restaurant where I was about to go for dinner.
I know terrorism well. I have seen its impacts and consequences. I have felt the shockwaves of its bombs.
I have spoken to people who have been tempted to cross into the path of terrorism (see ‘Lessons From A Would-be Suicide Bomber’, here).
I know terrorism better than most, but not as well as some. I have written and spoken on terrorism and counter-terrorism for some time. I have a view on how we defeat this menace, but it will not be easy.
My main arguments run this way:
We need to embrace an alliance with ‘moderate’ and ‘normal’ people of Islamic faith and understand that they are our most powerful ally to counter extremism. However, ‘we’ often undermine the moderate and normal people of Islamic faith when our community chooses incendiary and inflammatory discourse in place of an embracing language.
I call this part “getting the ‘us’ v ‘them’ concentric circles right” and spoke about this on the ABC’s Q&A program following the Paris attacks.