‘UK govt didn’t learn lessons from 7/7 attacks’
RT:It's been 10 years since the deadly bombings. Is the terror threat in the UK now different from 2005? If yes, why?
Abdel Bari Atwan: It’s slightly different, but the UK is still involved in the Middle East by joining the alliance with the Americans, which is bombing now the Islamic State [IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL] positions in Syria and Iraq. This could actually create more problems for the British government. And I believe when 30 British tourists were killed in Tunisia just a week ago - this is a message that the IS is trying to take revenge on the British government and British citizens because of this kind of involvement, and this kind of bombardment and intervention in the Middle East. So the message is very clear.
We know that July 7 took place as a revenge of what’s happening in Iraq, and the British intervention and the Iraqi war. The people who are behind these atrocities, these crimes said clearly in one of the videotapes released… that they were influenced by the Iraq war and they were extremely angry because of the British participation in this war. So I wouldn’t be surprised if some people or IS sympathizers are trying to take revenge on Britain and other countries which managed to join the coalition against IS.
RT:Prime Minister David Cameron is firm in his decision to tackle the so-called home-grown jihadism. Is there a chance for success?
ABA: David Cameron, the British Prime minister, made a lot of mistakes. I believe he was behind the resolution to lift the sanctions on sending arms to Syria. So I believe now those people, the IS, is the outcome of this policy because lifting the European embargo and weapons to Syria play into the hands of the political organizations, especially IS.
I was really surprised and shocked when David Cameron said that the BBC should not use the terms ‘Islamic State’, and he wants the BBC and other media outlets to say ‘DAESH’, which is the Arabic name of IS. This is just the details. The British government should do more to fight terrorism and radical organizations. When I say they should do more, I believe first they should not blame the Muslim community and send them out as it is their duty to prevent the young people from joining ISIS. Second, they should cancel the policies of stripping passports from people who go and join the IS and arrest them when they come back. People, when they come back, sometimes don’t agree with the IS; they don’t want to live under the IS. So those people should be encouraged to come back and talk about their experience to the Muslim community and to the British public so the people can learn from their mistakes. This could be a deterrent for people not to go and join the IS. I believe the British government should refrain from intervening in the Middle East. Once is enough. Intervention in Iraq was a disaster; the intervention in Libya was another disaster...
RT:10 years on from this gravest tragedy in UK history. Have any lessons been learnt?
ABA: Unfortunately, the British government didn’t learn from the lessons from the atrocities, the terrorism of July 7 which took place 10 years ago. When I say they did not learn their lessons, they are still intervening in the Middle East, still joining military alliances fighting the terrorist organizations in that part of the world. I believe Britain should realize that it is not actually agreed anymore, and they should not follow all the steps of the US. Britain should take care of its security - internal security in particular - and stay away from the conflicts there because it could burn its fingers. We know that those terrorist organizations are very brutal, very vicious and they could take revenge. Maybe these atrocities, or the crimes and terrorist attacks which took place in Tunisia when 30 British were killed, I believe this is a message to the British government to be alerted and to learn from the lessons of July 7 and stay away from the Middle East.
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