A few hours ago, a knife-wielding man injured a few people at Leytonstone tube station. He yelled “this is for Syria” as he slashed his innocent victims. Police are treating it as a terrorist incident.
On Wednesday last week, Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, shot dead 14 people and left another 21 injured in San Bernardino, California.
Their victims were attending a holiday party of social services organisation The Inland Regional Center.
The FBI found an arsenal of weapons at the couple’s apartment, otherwise left as though they had just popped out to do the shopping.
They leave behind their 6 month old daughter, dropped off with Tashfeen’s mother before they went to the party.
On Friday 13th November, 130 people were killed in a series of meticulously planned attacks on soft targets in Paris…..a music venue, bars and restaurants. A football match at the Stade de France was also targeted.
But something else in the last few days has appalled me even more than all these ISIS-inspired attacks around the world.
Remember the innocence of our youth, playing hide-and-seek on the local common, or around the house?
ISIS have just released their latest propaganda video. It shows boys, as young as 8 years old, being given loaded guns with which to hunt down captured Syrian soldiers – “spies” – in a ruined castle. The children execute the bound and defenceless men.
The pièce de résistance, however, is the 6th boy beheading his victim.
It’s been reported that this updated version of hide-and-seek, played out like a computer video game, was a reward for the boys winning a competition.
The message is clear. You can bomb our training bases in the Syrian desert. You can attack us on the ground. You might in time return Syria to some kind of uneasy peace.
But around the world, our supporters will deliver our message wherever and whenever you least expect it.
It might be meticulously planned, It might be random and spontaneous. But it will be deadly. And we have already trained the next generation to continue the fight.
It’s hard to escape the feeling that this clash of ideologies is an insoluble conflict.