No one expects terror strikes in broad day light in England. Such attacks have been a few and far between. We were shocked to hear about a recent attack in Woolwich in which a young British soldier , Drummer Lee Rigby, was beheaded. What was more shocking was that his assailants made no effort to escape. They stood there and proudly proclaimed their motive for killing the soldier. I am sure they had nothing against him personally but to them he represented something they were against.
I now see that one of the attackers, Michael Adebowale was said to have been “radicalised” when he was 17. It is now thought most likely that the two assailants of Drummer Rigby were linked to the banned extremist outfit, the Al Muhajiroun.
Clearly the new face of terror the world over is to expect the unexpected. If you carry a stereotype image of what a terrorist looks like in your head, you will be in for a shock. The terrorist may not be anything like what you imagined a terrorist would be. We saw it recently in the Boston Marathon bombings too in which the perpetrators, the Chechen Tsarnaev brothers, were not at all suspected until they tried to make a break for it.
In my second thriller, “Lucky For Some, 13” I have dwelt on how a terror network is formed and how susceptible young people are brainwashed into believing they are doing the right thing in carrying out terror strikes. We need to accept that today you can’t be sure of anybody. The well-educated, seemingly sophisticated man/woman working in your organization could well be a member of a sleeper cell waiting to be activated.
Yes, it is becoming increasingly difficult to recognize the new face of terror.