Queen Elizabeth visited survivors of the Manchester bomb attack today in an expression of caring and comfort. The images I’ve seen of that visit are heartening, not just because the Queen is seen genuinely saddened by the unholy event. That she takes the time to go to her people in times like these is a credit to her wisdom. She provides some sense of hope that things will be well.
But, of course, for the families of the 22 victims who died, it will be a long time before they can feel again that things will be well. They will long remember that their loved ones were deliberately targeted by a twisted young man who apparently believed that he was carrying out some kind of valid work. The bomber, 22-year-old Salman Abedi, has caused the Terrorist threat level in the UK to rise to the most critical level for just the third time in recent history. At least eight arrests have been made, including members of his Libyan born family. Abedi, himself was born in Britain but is now known to have made numerous trips to Libya and probably also to Syria.
The investigation of this terrorist act has broadened considerably. It is now known Abedi was in Dusseldorf Germany just four days before his attack. He was apparently returning from Istanbul at that time. In Tripoli, Libya authorities arrested Hashem Abedi, a younger brother on suspicion that he was planning an attack in Tripoli. Hashem has confessed he helped his brother plan the Manchester attack. It is clear also from other arrests that a network of terrorism was involved.
Daesh has claimed credit for the Manchester body mangling. One might wonder if the claim of responsibility is valid. I see no reason to doubt that Daesh is increasingly engaged in localized acts of terror as they are increasingly pressed in their home territory. It seem entirely reasonable to understand that they are willing and prepared to spread terror in any way they can.
This particular attack is much more evil than many, perhaps even most, of the many other acts of terror sponsored by Daesh or those directly fomented. Children were targeted. Children whose innocence made them unwitting victims. Children whose lives had yet to face the ills of the world. In this case they had only wanted to escape into a delightful world of music performed by their idol Ariana Grande. What could be more innocent.
Despite the horrific quality of the Manchester Bombing, there is much to be encouraged about, in particular the bonds of unity being displayed by Manchester’s residents without regard to race or religion. Significant also is the joining force of the two dedicated rival soccer teams Manchester United and Manchester City, to raise funds to aid survivors and victims families. The desire of Manchester’s residents to be united and strong in the face of adversity is admirable.
It is always difficult for me to write these posts about terrorist attacks in various parts of the world, because there is always the cold hard realization that innocent victims have been targeted. This event is especially difficult because I can do nothing but weep for the children.
I normally end these posts with a few remarks about my other writing, the creation of anti-terrorism yarns in fiction form. For now I’ll only mention that “The Chechen’s Revenge” remains available from me or on Amazon. My second novel, “A Prairie Vendetta” remains a work in progress.
So for now: Thanks for your support. Good Reading Friends.
Ron Stotyn, PhD