Shoot first

Niven writes:

So… its happened – in London, a young Brazilian electrician was shot to death- 5 rounds in the head – as a supected suicide bomber.

Apparently, police were alerted when they noticed him wearing unseasonably warm clothing. Funny – who’d have thunk a brazilian would maybe find London summers a little nippy?

Mitigating factors offered include that the man didn’t stop when called to by police, and the heightened security situation in London. This is really a tough issue – but one that can potentially lead to a break down or at least degradation of civil society. On one hand, the police, anxious to save lives, clearly panicked and shot first. On the other hand, are we entering an era where one has to change their behaviour and/or appearance to remain free of suspicion?

Admittedly, i’d be a lot more outraged if this happened in America, instead of Britain – probably irrationally – but I have a greater trust for the British society and institutions. This made me much more dismayed to have seen it in London.

Some terrorist experts have said that the generally accepted notion of islamic fundamentalism being the root of terrorism, and the stereotypical terrorist – do not fit the reality of the situation. Authorities are grappling with this, as the London bombers seem to be a new breed of well-integrated, “home grown” terrorist. Perhaps, then, the decisionmakers shouldn’t start with a predefined standpoint, then fit counter-terrorism to that paradigm. Rather, perhaps its time to listen to the “experts” and academics, to find a better path to tackle this increasing problem.

At any rate, i’m beginning to question the wisdom keeping my beard, and my favourite trenchcoat.

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