I’m back a little early, primarly because this story was too important to put on the back burner at this blog til tomorrow.
By now, I’m sure you’ve already heard of the third attempted terrorist attack in the UK this weekend, that of the Jeep Cherokee that was driven into the Glasgow International Airport Saturday, where the vehicle burst into flames, causing five injuries in addition to the two terrorists in the vehicle. The Daily Telegraph has some close-up photos of the SUV up in flames, with one of the suspects in two of the photos.
Here’s all the latest: Authorities in the UK are saying this third attempted attack is related to the two thwarted attacks in London from Friday. Five suspects have been arrested (including two hospital doctors in the UK), and law enforcement in the UK are on the hunt for more, and the government has elevated their security alert level there from “severe” to “critical.” “Critical” is the highest level, and suggests that more attempted terror attacks are imminent.
The US, incidentally, had been warned about a potential terror attack in Glasgow a couple of weeks ago. Although security was tightened at several US airports this weekend in response to the attempted attacks overseas, the US isn’t raising its own terror alert level.
I don’t think it’s even questionable that these attacks were timed to coincide with the UK’s new Prime Minister Gordon Brown officially taking office this past Wednesday, in an effort to send him a message. The symbolism of the attack on Glasgow Airport can’t be overstated: Prime Minister Brown is Scottish, and “fiercely proud” of his heritage, as most Scots are.
Brown’s response to the attacks:
Here’s the text:
“Let me first of all thank the police, the security services and all the emergency services for the dedicated professionalism that has been shown in responding to the incidents yesterday in London and now today the attack on Glasgow Airport.
The first duty of the government is the security and safety of all the British people, so it is right to raise the level of security at airports and in crowded places in the light of the heightened threat.
I want all British people to be vigilant and I want them to support the police and all the authorities in the difficult decisions that they have to make. I know that the British people will stand together, united, resolute and strong.”
His statement has won him some “praise” from others in the UK, because, well, it wasn’t as dramatic as something Tony Blair might say:
Taking over from Tony Blair on Wednesday, Brown had pledged to end the politics of celebrity, where style came before substance and presentation was a substitute for policy — criticisms often levelled at his predecessor.
“Within hours of these events unfolding, I detect a measured tone which I think is a good thing,” said Nick Clegg, home affairs spokesman for the opposition Liberal Democrats.
“(It) certainly is a significant departure from the somewhat breathless way in which Tony Blair used to always rush to try and make, frankly, political points on the back of these events,” Clegg told Sky News television.
Respected human rights and civil liberties campaigner Shami Chakrabarti highlighted the contrast between Brown and Blair.
“Credit too to Mr Brown. His first serious outing yesterday, he addressed the nation, briefly, calmly, no cracking voice, no emotive statements, no lip quivering,” she said.
“At a moment like that, I think people want the solid father figure. I found it comforting myself, I have to say. But this is a test that goes on today, tomorrow … so far, no party politics,” she told Sky News.
I personally found the speech tepid and lacking, especially in light of the fact of what nearly happened in three different locations in the UK. This is definitely not the weak message the Prime Minister should be sending to Islamofascist thugs barely one week into his tenure in office. Contrast that with Tony Blair’s ‘stinging’ criticism of hypersensitive types in the UK, including Islamists and ‘civil liberties protectors’ on the eve of his last days in office, and it can be clearly seen that the differences are glaring between the two styles.
In any event, one of the first things I thought of after hearing about the Glasgow attack was whether or not something like this might be attempted here after next year’s elections in an effort to send a message to whoever is elected. And then I began to wonder if it would be more likely to happen if the person elected is a Republican rather than a Democrat. For any Democrats reading this blog who might get ‘offended’ by that remark, get over it. Al Qaeda expressed joy and took credit for the Dem wins in the 2006 election, so we know they pay attention to what goes on here and who wins at the ballot box.
Related: Read Greg Gutfield on 7 things he learned from the left about Friday’s bombing attempts in London (h/t: ST reader Sev).