Manchester Bombing – Terror Spares None

The Manchester bombing shows a method in madness. The killer intended to slaughter young teenagers and their families with bolts and nails. His aim was to sow the deepest form of shock and disgust. Armed with a deadly homemade bomb, the assailant chose as his target a site where he knew he could inflict large-scale casualties amongst defenceless children and teenagers enjoying a night out. The youngest victim was eight-year-old. Terror spares none. Just as in Paris, Nice, Istanbul, Brussels and countless other cities in recent years, the senseless attack has left families bereft, populations shocked and security services rattled.

The concert bombing may not have been as sophisticated as the co-ordinated attacks that struck Paris in November 2015, but it will alarm the authorities that the killer and his accomplices, if any, had the capacity to build, store, deliver and detonate an improvised explosive device in the heart of one of Britain’s largest cities. Was he acting alone? Had he trained overseas? And was he dispatched by a terror network or self radicalised, inspired from afar? If Islamic State was responsible as it claims, it will underline a growing fear among intelligence services in the West and the Middle East: the more the group’s territory contracts on the battlefield in Syria and Iraq, the more devastatingly it will lash out elsewhere. Manchester, though, has reacted with wisdom and warmth, refusing to blame the whole Muslim community and declining to betray its own long tradition of social solidarity and tolerance.

Manchester’s profoundly civilised response is an act of defiance to the terrorists, who want to sow rage and despair and doubt. Britan has not suffered a mass killing on this scale in more than a decade. Terrorism is no longer nation-specific or regionspecific. Every act of terrorism in any part of the world is an act of cruelty — the pain of which is felt across the world. More so, an act of terrorism — either by the Islamic State or the Taliban or the Haqqani Network or the Al Qaeda or the Laskhar-eTayeeba — has a common binding factor. All such organisations have one goal: To instill shock and fear in their minds of the people. The attack is not personal. It is but an attack on a nation, on humanity and its values.

The Manchester attack that claimed the lives of over 20 people and injured over 50, was one of the deadliest in the history of Britain ever since FEATURE the 7/7 London bombings in 2005. It was an act that was most brutal, barbaric and horrifying.

The fact remains that we are living in an age of terror. In Manchester itself, the fact that the bomber chose a pop concert, packed with children, teenagers and women, is in itself symptomatic of the motive of the attacker. Britain cannot run away from the fact that terrorism is slowly but gradually spreading its tentacles there. It was only recently that a Parliament attack was averted. The audacity of the 22-year-old man who hit hard at the heart of Manchester cannot be missed. Making a bomb work is no easy game. It requires training and the requisite skills.

In this case, there could be two possibilities. First, as investigators have suspected, the attack was very much an IS kind of act. But there has been no concrete evidence that the teenager had links with the IS, though the IS has claimed responsibility. Second, it may also be the case that the teenager may have been influenced by the radical thought of the IS but had on his own carried out this attack. The blast comes just weeks before the snap UK general election, campaigning for which was hotting up over the issue of Brexit — the UK’s exit from the European Union.

Prime Minister Theresa May said the people of Manchester have fallen victim to a “callous terrorist attack”. US President Donald Trump condemned the “evil losers” behind the bomb attack. “So many young, beautiful, innocent people living and enjoying their lives murdered by evil losers,” Trump said. For years, India has been asking the United Nations to reach a definitive narrative on terror. President Pranab Mukherjee said the recurring terror attacks across the globe are a “grim reminder” of the need to intensify the global fight against terrorism. In a letter to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, Mukherjee conveyed his condolences on the lives lost in the Manchester terror attack. “We are deeply shocked by the terror attack in Manchester.

India condemns this heinous attack in strongest terms. We stand in solidarity with the people and the government of the United Kingdom in this difficult hour,” he said. The president said this is not an attack just against the UK and its people but it is against humanity and “the values that we all live for”. “These repeated terror attacks are a grim reminder, yet again, of the need for us to intensify the global fight against terrorism. India is fully committed to working with the UK and the international community in defeating these evil forces,” Mukherjee said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a tweet condemned the blast. “Pained by the attack in Manchester. We strongly condemn it. Our thoughts are with the families of the deceased & prayers with the injured,” he tweeted. (PTI)

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