Last Thursday, sickening cowardice struck again in the heart of Barcelona, causing the loss of life to many innocent victims, including a seven year old British boy. As with previous incidents, we all felt a mixture of horror, anger, defiance and determination to never be bowed by these horrific attacks. The terrorists responsible claim it was carried out in the name of Islam but in truth it is a highly distorted, extremist ideology that motivates these attacks.
Like the UK, the people of Spain have shown resilience; only the next day the streets of Barcelona re-opened to allow people to pay tribute. It was moving to see thousands of Muslims gathering in Barcelona in protest at this attack.
The Spanish police moved quickly to put an end to the activities of this terror cell and frightening details have emerged of the potential capabilities of the network of men involved.
Since July 2016, incidents like this have taken place in France, the UK, Sweden and Germany and have claimed hundreds of lives. Each of these incidents have represented an attack on our Western values and taken the innocent lives of people enjoying the freedoms we rightly cherish.
Whilst it is impossible to fully prevent this sort of attack, it doesn’t mean that we can’t take sensible steps to protect people. We have seen bollards erected alongside several bridges in London to prevent copycat attacks. Yet tackling the ideology behind these attacks is what is most important and this is neither a quick or easy solution.