National Security

Here Are The Four Things The UK Plans To Change In Order Fight Terrorism

REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

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Russ Read Pentagon/Foreign Policy Reporter
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There are four key changes the U.K. must make in order to properly combat the threat posed by Islamic extremism, according to British Prime Minister Theresa May.

“We cannot and must not pretend that things can continue as they are,” May said in a statement Sunday, one day after a terrorist attack in London left seven dead and 48 injured. “Things need to change, and they need to change in four important ways.”

First, May pointed out the need to combat the ideology which leads to such attacks. She noted that Saturday’s attack and other recent attacks in Britain may not be directly connected, but they all shared the “evil ideology of Islamist extremism.” The British leader noted that military and counter-terrorism operations are important, but a permanent solution will only come when people are turned away from the ideology. They must be made to understand that “pluralistic, British values” are “superior” to extremist ideology.

Second, May called for clamping down on radical islamist propoganda on the internet. Extremists have a “safe space” on the internet that needs to be removed through international regulatory agreements with like-minded allies.

Third, the British leader added that safe spaces in the real world, both in the U.K. and abroad, must also be removed.

“While we have made significant progress in recent years, there is — to be frank — far too much tolerance of extremism in our country,” said May.

Finally, May said the current counter-terrorism strategy needs to be updated as the threat continues to evolve. This includes a review of the police and security agencies and possibly extending the sentences for terrorism-related crimes.

MI5, the U.K.’s domestic security service, is currently conducting a review to determine how it missed several red flags associated with the Manchester bombing two weeks ago.

The London attack is the third to hit Britain in the past three months. London suffered an attack near Westminster bridge in March which was similar to Saturday’s incident, in addition to the Manchester attack.

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