UK terror attack: Why can’t we be friends?

Veronica Wernicke, Contributing Writer

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Editor’s Note: Veronica Wernicke is a freshman at UNCW majoring in Communication Studies and is a contributing writer for The Seahawk. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. Suggestions and inquires may be sent via email to vcw6007@uncw.edu. Veronica can be found on twitter @itsveronica98. 

When I visited London, England for the first time this past summer I fell in love with the charming city it is. When I saw Friday’s news headline that there had been a terror attack on the London underground District Line at Parsons Green station — a line that I had traveled through only a few months earlier — my heart ached. I simply couldn’t comprehend the fact that someone wanted to bring destruction and harm to this charming city.

On September 15, 2017, a bomb went off at around eight in the morning and injured at least 30 people, according to a New York Times article. ISIS has since taken responsibility for the attack, but terrorist analyst have yet to find sufficient proof of this claim. Two suspects have also been taken in and arrested according to the same article. This most recent terror attack has been the fourth for the UK just this year, before these recent spikes in attacks, the UK hadn’t had a serious terror attack in almost four years. Other attacks this past year included the Manchester bombing, Finsbury Park attacks, London Bridge attacks, and Westminster Bridge attack. Meanwhile, directly outside the UK in Barcelona, Cambrils, and Finland there have also been recent terror attacks this past year.

As a human being I cannot begin to fathom another human being wanting to set off a bomb in order to cause harm and destruction to others. Instead it just makes me sick to my stomach that we still live in a world where terror groups are proud to take claim in awful attacks like the ones listed above. These recent and gruesome terror attacks begin to bring up questions like why London and how can we better combat terror attacks in Europe and the rest of the world?

The first question of why London can be answered a little more simply. My guess — coming from a geographical standpoint — is that London is a much closer trip from where these Islamic terror groups are located in the Middle East than the United States which involves a much longer trip over the Atlantic Ocean. Another logical explanation would be that London is a major city and it’s also home to the Parliament Buildings and other important government figures and buildings in Europe. As sad as it is to hear this terror groups aim to attack larger and more major cities in order to try and cause the most damage. In addition, Britain is a major ally to the US, which causes Islamic terror groups to put a larger target on Britain’s back due to their negative views of the West.

Now to the loaded and obviously not as simply answered question concerning how we can better combat terror attacks in the future. There is no simple formula for this and in no way do I think I have all the answers to a question as ominous as this one.

One way those in the government can combat this issue is by preventing online attack planning and propaganda from circulating the Internet. If less people are exposed to the propaganda then hopefully less people will be persuaded to join terror groups thus giving them less manpower to perform these attacks. Also by preventing online attack planning to take place then this could either disrupt or stop the attack from taking place all together.

If we can stop at least one attack from happening then we can make the terror groups believe it isn’t as easy to plan and execute an attack because the more back to back attacks there are the easier it appears for terror groups to carry out their attacks.

We can also combat these terror groups by taking more of them out of the picture, which I know may seem like common sense to most, but we need to put more of an effort on this because it doesn’t seem like these terror groups are going away anytime soon at the rate of our current efforts to get rid of them.

My thoughts are with all those affected during these attacks. All in all, as a society we need to take a step back and really take a look at these recent terror attacks. We need to better understand why they keep happening and how we can better combat them and stop them from ever happening. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to live the rest of my life in fear of a terror attack. Instead I want to live in the most peaceful world I can and enjoy charming cities like London. I hope that one day we can put aside our hate and all our differences and just get along as clique as it sounds.