This opinion piece is the opinion of the author and not that of UK Defence Journal.

I’m going to agree with Donald Trump on something and it’s by describing those that carried out these attacks as ‘losers’ – because that is what they are now, that is what they have always been and that is what they will be in future.

Manchester Arena should have been like any other concert, enjoyable for anyone that goes, an amazing experience for those people that really like Ariana Grande and an electrifying night overall.

It was all of that until, at the end of the concert, a potential suicide bomber let off his explosive device in the foyer area of the Manchester Arena and plunged the entire stadium into chaos and fear.

The first victims, Georgina Callander and Saffie-Rose Roussos, have been named and there are more to come but even knowing who these two girls are is only going to be an indication of what is to come – Georgina was only 16 years old, was a big fan of Ariana Grande and, like many of the other people there, was excited to see her – Saffie-Rose was only 8 years old and was separated from her mother and sister (who were also at the concert) when the bomb went off only to be found later in the worse case scenairo. And that’s just where this is beginning, there are currently 20 other confirmed deaths and nearly 60 others injured and taken to local hospitals. You don’t have to go far to see the injuries, they are all over the news right now showing people being treated at the scene and taken from the scene.

As for the bomber, who’s motives have already been condemned by everyone from English Prime Minister Teresea May to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, we still don’t know the core personal motive or whether or not he was affiliated with the Islamic State – we probably won’t know for days to come. One thing is clear, and you can see this in the eyes of the people in videos that are all over the Internet now, it worked, it’s scared people, made people run for their lives and put fear into the heart of an event.

Even with the goal of terrorism being to strike fear into the heart of a community and aiming to pit us against each other, it didn’t work. We saw the bravery of those both at the concert and the emergency services who, knowing there was a chance there could be another bomb, ran into the explosion to help others in need. On top of that, it was generosity of those that opened their homes to people that had no where to go and were scared, even local businesses and taxi drivers who helped shelter or transport people away out of generosity without any need for payment.

Here are some things we do know right now; 22 people have died and 59 are injured, a man has been arrested in relation to the attack, Manchester Arena and its surrounding area has been cut off from public access and police and security services in Britain are working towards uncovering what happened and why it happened. On top of that, and in an election season, the general election campaign has been suspended into the foreseeable future out of respect.

This is going to take time before we all know the full picture and what we know so far isn’t a lot. Here’s the thing though, there are a few things we can do to make sure that we don’t spread misinformation or have the wrong conclusions before the evidence is gathered. Don’t share news articles that are ‘fake news’ – there were no 50 unaccompanied children at the Manchester Hotel nor was there a gunman outside the ‘Royal Oldham Hospital’; these things didn’t happen.

Also after these attacks, it’s not ok to create fake missing persons reports on Twitter just to generate re-tweets or followers (there are actual people missing) and it’s not helping people by tweeting or posting on social media news reports that are form reliable sources or outright false. Now, two last things, the memes are inappropriate (none of which I will post with this story) and also, if you think that using the laughing emoticon to like statuses about victims thinking that this is all funny then you are no better than the terrorist and his accomplishes that condemned an 18 year old, an 8 year old and 20 other people to death.

This is all hard to swallow especially since the victims are so young and this type of terrorist attack hasn’t hit the western world until now. We question now whether stadiums or concert halls are safe or whether we can allow our kids to leave home to do the things they want to do but that’s the wrong mentality to have. We can be scared and its fair to be but when we move on with life and show that we won’t be stopped in our every day lives by terrorism, we win.

Whilst Ariana Grande has cancelled her concerts, something I believe she should have pushed on with to show we won’t be bullied into stopping (also that she demonstrates with her style, independence and tendency to show skin, everything Islamic State hates), life is going to go on and in doing so we should never forget those who’s lives were taken, what has happened in Manchester or how those there (such as the brave first responders and those in audience) ran to help others; we can’t stop because that’s what the terrorists want.

Finally, before I finish this off, Islamic State has taken responsibility for the attack in Manchester. Just a few quick things about that; its highly unlikely IS planned or carried out the attack and more likely that they have taken credit for the terrorists actions; also IS is in a bad state literally, they are loosing ground against the Iraqi Army, their territories have shrunk and their recruitment is down. Whilst this puts IS in a more dangerous situation as they may strike out against others more frequency as they loose ground, they are nothing but a bunch of disgruntled men using social media to hate on everything. As Ariana Grande would say, ‘I got one less problem without ya’.

10 COMMENTS

  1. I’m amazed to find myself also agreeing with Trump and it might even be more than just words and be a sensible strategy. If the characterisation of these people as sad, lonely, pathetic, inadequate losers can be made widespread and sticks in the public consciousness then just maybe for a few of the potential attackers, probably especially the ones contemplating the low-tech attacks, it might defuse some of the glamour (for want of a better word) that some of these losers presumably see in thinking that they are a terrorist (which they’re not – they’re just pathetic losers).

    Having said that, Trump needs to get his administration in order. It’s nice that so many countries offer to stand side by side with the UK and offer all the help that they can. Embarrassing then when the USA almost immediately leaks information shared by the UK in confidence, namely the name of the attacker, to the media and potentially compromises the first 48 hours of the UK operation. Idiots.

    • His administration is fine. They do have problems with leakers and they don’t have loyalties to Trump or the well being of the US. They serve the Deepstate.
      The US would love to help the Uk as much as they can, but let’s realize that the Manchester bombing was a FF first. What the US did or maybe did not do, was get the information out before the UK authorities could shape the narrative.

  2. We are hurting ISIS. A cornered animal will strike back. Every Isil fighter is a mind cornered; imprisoned by the reductionist model of humanity as winners and losers. They need to hear the alternative narrative of of life in which success is judged not by power or sexual prowess or wealth but by service of your fellow man.

  3. Uk needs a Guantanamo Bay all supected people who are known to security forces should be arrested and placed at the detention centre. In 2015 – 3,000 Islamist extremists in Britain where known to police. I dont see any more Border guards being recruited and any more resources being given to them. In 2016 Uk will have six patrol boats which guard the British border against migrant smugglers. Italy has 600 hundred even Greece has 240 with UK Leaving EU we have had no mention of any more resources given to Border security and this is election year

    • That just isn’t workable. How do you define “known to the security forces”? When they admit that people were known it often means that they were vetted and put into a low risk category. Computers and big data make that much easier to do. Locking up everyone “known to the security forces” would be at least tens of thousands of people and probably hundreds of thousands people. It might even include you if you were unlucky enough to at some point have a travel pattern that completely coincidentally had a close overlap with that of someone considered high threat or you have a phone number close enough to some bad guy’s such that you were once called as a wrong number. You would almost certainly be in a database somewhere even though you would have been quickly discounted. It would also create such social disruption and anger that it would be like watering a plant, new would-be-terrorists would spring up to take the place of those detained. Internment didn’t work in Apartheid South Africa and it has no place in a civilised society.

      The thing I regret is Snowden blowing the GCHQ mass data slurping operations where GCHQ was keeping 3 days of all communications content and something like 2 or 3 weeks of meta data. Imagine how valuable that data would be now if they could search against it using the bomber’s contact details. It’s almost science fiction, like being able to travel back in time to see what the bomber was doing in the few days before anyone knew who he was. GCHQ claimed that operation was suspended after the Snowden disclosures but I really hope that they were lying, or twisting the truth such that it was tweaked slightly but still exists in essentially the same form.

  4. Typical right-winger agreeing with Trump’s evil ideologies and backwards regime.

    You are creating fear with articles like this. There was no need to mention religion, race or even gender.

    It’s as simple as this: mentally unstable individual bombs concert.

    Next time try not to be so immature and intentially create fear by bringing religion into this.

  5. When I was working in Germany it was and I believe it still is the case, that any material promoting Nazi ideology is a offence . It should apply also to Isis and all extremist ideology.
    Apparently the bomber had a jihad flag on his roof before going to Libya ? If true there is the clue something bad was going to happen.

    • Completley agree. If you download terrorist content or visit ISIS websites you should be jailed if you a UK national and if you are not then deportation is ok by me. This was our september 11. People need to realise that there is a war being waged against our culture by barbarous cowards. A softer target cannot be imagined. They are killing our children. It must end.

  6. With Chuchillian eloquence, Trump describes ISIS as “losers” (sigh). I suppose he is generally, awkwardly, on-point, though. I think it’s time for a shock and awe campaign to wipe ISIS off the map. It’s time for the massive deployment of British and U.S ground forces to take Raqqa and the remainder of territory held by ISIS. There’s no point in having armed forces if we won’t use them when attacked. Islamist extremist groups should know that when they attack us, an overwhelming response will result. Russian and Syrian objections be damned.

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