The news is sinking in in Britain that it will be many years before the threat of terrorism is lifted; “a generation” according to some experts who have studied the rise of Islamic militancy among the young. After the head of MI5 warned Britain’s problem was bigger than expected and growing, Interior Minister John Reid delivered a warning of his own: “I think it is better to say to the British public: we’re at a threat level which indicates that an attack is likely, we know the terrorists are trying to attack”.
Experts like Professor Michael Clarke from Kings College London fear the warning from MI5’s boss shows that the security services are playing catch-up in a race against time to stop the killers: “I think part of the motive for making this speech is that she, (M15 head Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller), is hedging against future failures, it is inevitable with so many groups out there that some of them will slip through the security net, they cannot track everybody.”
When Britain suffered its first Islamic terrorist attack last year, most thought such extremism was very limited to a tiny minority. Today many people are shocked at the numbers, and at how many more young Muslims, when interviewed, attempt to justify it.