Woolwich-style attacks to become one of the main ways people protest

Annie Machon
Annie Machon is a former intel­li­gence officer for MI5, the UK Secur­ity Ser­vice, who resigned in the late 1990s to blow the whistle on the spies’ incom­pet­ence and crimes with her ex-partner, David Shayler. Draw­ing on her var­ied exper­i­ences, she is now a pub­lic speaker, writer, media pun­dit, inter­na­tional tour and event organ­iser, polit­ical cam­paigner, and PR con­sult­ant. She has a rare per­spect­ive both on the inner work­ings of gov­ern­ments, intel­li­gence agen­cies and the media, as well as the wider implic­a­tions for the need for increased open­ness and account­ab­il­ity in both pub­lic and private sectors.
Woolwich-style attacks to become one of the main ways people protest
There is similarity between the Boston bombings and the Woolwich attack in its lone-wolf style,Annie Machon,former MI5 agent told RT,adding that the attacks are an ‘angry voice of the peoples mutualized by the interventionist policies of the US and UK’.

RT: The rhetoric sounds pretty much the same to the Boston bombings. Do you have a feeling of deja vu here?

Annie Machon: Somewhat yes, and I don’t think this problem is going to go away. The reported statement by one of the attackers in London about ‘an eye for an eye’ and everything, is definitely going to be a motivation [for future attacks]. These sort of individualistic, lone-wolf style attacks, that don’t require great planning, don’t require some sort of specialist equipment, will become one of the main ways that people make a protest. It is a horrific attack, no doubt about it, and my heart goes out to the family of the victim.  But what we are looking at is also an angry voice yelling out from N. Africa, the Middle East , Central Asia  - from all the peoples who have been mutualized  by the interventionist policies of the US, UK, NATO, France, not just Iraq and Afghanistan, but Libya and Mali and Somalia and Yemen. We are looking at whole countries that have been decimated by the CIA kill lists, which are presidentially approved in the US every week and also drone strikes which are not targeted and take out whole villages, communities. Of course there is going to be anger.

RT: Both suspects were part of an earlier police investigation - Why was it still impossible to prevent the attack?

AM: It’s difficult, because if you are investigating certain key people when you are on the inside then you will be doing in-depth investigations into those key targets that you think might be most dangerous. You will be aware of the networks around them, you will be picking up the communications and the social networks and everything. But unless someone seems to be indicating that they might tip over into violence you might not see them as key people to focus on deploy quite limited resources.  So it’s very easy for people to slip under the radar that way. I should  imagine there’s probably also a bit of a scrabble within the MI5 at the moment in the UK, the UK domestic security service, to ensure that they didn’t miss any key information that could have prevented this. Then of course they will be blamed for it.

RT:  Will the incident make Britain reconsider what it does abroad?

AM: One would hope so, but I think it’s unlikely. I suppose it was heartening to see today the British government and the British prime minister to come out and say he is not going to make any major security reactions. So he is not going to rush ahead with some data mining or endemic surveillance type measures. However I think it’s slightly disingenuous that the British government is not recognizing the very harmful impact that its foreign policy is having across the Middle East and Central Asia. Particularly one of the things that is a concernof the UK security services is the potentially of the British young men going off to fight in Syria, be radicalized and try to rebel against the Assad regime. And then of course they can come back to the UK and import those skills they’ve learned. So this is seen a threat by the security services on one side. On the other we are looking at the side where MI6 and the British government is now pushing to arm and help these rebels still further. So they are sort of producing the problem they want to fight.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.