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UK Attacks: Immediate Lessons Learned

Again, with little time to reflect on the most recent series of attacks in the UK, some initial thoughts come to mind that will be further developed as events and time allows:
  • The aspiration for large attacks continues unabated. This is knowledge that is readily shared and easily available, and while desire still appears to exceed expertise, the learning curve is flattening and recall that blind squirrels still find nuts.
  • Again: Their words resonate. The latest reports indicate that at least in Glasgow the perpetrators are not downtrodden who are acting out in response to real or perceived oppression. If the professional-class is beginning to join in the fight, the learning curve for truly deadly action flattens even more.
  • Surveillance is not a failsafe. Domestic intelligence and security in the UK can be tough; tougher in some ways than we can implement here. Yet indications are that the perpetrators were already under scrutiny and were able to move freely even after the first attack. Restricting the liberty of the malicious is a much lesser evil than relieving life from the innocent.
  • Their motives are clear. The second bomb in London was reportedly placed to target first responders; a tactic employed by those we are fighting “over there” is moving steadily westward. Now would be a good time to start sharing battlefield lessons-learned with the defenders of our respective homelands.


"Restricting the liberty of the malicious is a much lesser evil than relieving life from the innocent."

Uh-oh----that statement may indeed be prophetic. How do you restrict the liberty of the malicious without affecting us all? Personal "Liberty" is a very elusive and fragile concept. Once lost or broken it is difficult to restore. Under the guise of protection, our liberty can be slowly eroded---is that what we want?

I don't mean anything so nefarious but I can see how it can be interpreted that way.

These were not unknown quantities. The control order should have restricted their freedom of movement. Anyone under a control order (in my estimation) should have been under intense scrutiny. No one noticed the material acquisition? Building the devices? Loading the vehicles? Perhaps there was a manpower issue, who knows?

If you warrant enough attention to merit a control order, you ought not to be left to your own devices. I'm not saying Gitmo-ize them, I'm saying make the events of this weekend much more difficult than they were.