Who turned the world into a military barricade?

Turki Aldakhil

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A treacherous terror attack targeted the city of fog last week. This time the target was the British parliament, that old monument which dates back to the period between the 8th and 11th centuries AD. The oldest parliament in the world is considered a democratic council as Edward I (1272 AD) transformed it into an arena to discuss the British nation’s affairs.

Khaled Masood, a man in his 50s, took to London’s streets attacking and stabbing people in city that took him in. Masood had been convicted of criminal damage and possession of weapons. He lived in the area of West Midlands. His neighbors nicknamed him “the vampire” as they only saw him at nighttime and he only wore black jackets.

Masood was a lone wolf ISIS recruited. This is according to a statement by ISIS claiming the attack. The criminal was not conservative at all and was aggressive and fond of loud parties. Authorities think Masood acted alone like ISIS wolves who are either inspired to attack or attack after receiving instructions from the ISIS’ command in Raqqah. This is how the disaster unfolded.

Contrary to its habit, London slept sad as this was the most violent attack in 12 years. What had targeted Belgium, France and Germany has unfortunately sneaked into London, the country of John Locke, Richard Darwin and Bertrand Russell. The birds of darkness betrayed it.

Gadget ban

Meanwhile, the American government banned travelers on certain flights bound for the US from carrying tablets and laptops in the main cabin and forced them to put them in checked baggage. This is in addition to examining all equipment they carry. The ban has been imposed on travelers from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Morocco.

An expressive caricature showed how travelers in the future will be boarding planes wearing clothes that barely cover them as the world is shrinking because of terrorism. Globalization patterns and breaking borders which dominated in theory during the 1990s have become part of history as this “shrinking” behavior has become a global characteristic.

If someone holds Saudi Arabia accountable just because this criminal passed by the country, then let’s not forget that he grew up and lived in London for 50 years

Turki Aldakhil

The rise of the right-wing in Germany and France and the identity rhetoric in the US and Europe are only signs of a shrinking world. The world will start to look like a military barricade if terrorist operations gathers more pace.

It is a state’s duty to protect its people within the framework of sovereignty. The measures which the West took are a reaction to a previous action, meaning the blame falls on the terrorists and not on western countries. Terrorists want to transform the world into a security and military barricade. International measures and dialogue, and pretty much governments’ daily concern across the world, revolves around security, and all this is due to terrorism.

Saudi war against terror

During the past two decades, Saudi Arabia and its international allies have fought a war against terrorism and carried out decisive operations that have crippled al-Qaeda, and is now targeting ISIS in its stronghold. Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman warned US President Donald Trump of terror designs saying: “Terrorist groups focus on recruiting Saudis for the purpose of gaining legitimacy considering Saudi Arabia’s status in the Islamic world.”

Prince Faisal bin Farhan, the deputy crown prince’s advisor, said Prince Mohammed explained details of Saudi Arabia’s engagement in the war against ISIS and explained how the kingdom does not only contribute financially to the war but also plays a military role. The advisor revealed that during the Obama administration, the kingdom proposed sending troops to Syria to fight ISIS in its stronghold but Obama ignored the offer.

Desperate attempts are made to malign Saudi Arabia after every terrorist attack. When it was reported that the London attacker had visited Saudi Arabia, some media outlets tried to promote this piece of news as evidence against Saudi Arabia. Then, official statements revealed that Masood had no criminal record in the country and only visited Saudi Arabia to teach English.

If someone holds Saudi Arabia accountable just because this criminal passed by the country, then let’s not forget that he grew up and lived in London for 50 years. Why do they focus on his “unsuspicious” visit to Saudi Arabia and forget all about his long and “suspicious” stay in Britain?

London will rise and its wounds will heal. It is the city of historic enlightenment, which has enriched humanity. London has been loyal to everyone, in spite of some of its sons’ disobedience.

The article was first published in Al Sharq al-Awsat on March 28, 2016.
Turki Aldakhil is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. He began his career as a print journalist, covering politics and culture for the Saudi newspapers Okaz, Al-Riyadh and Al-Watan. He then moved to pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat and pan-Arab news magazine Al-Majalla. Turki later became a radio correspondent for the French-owned pan-Arab Radio Monte Carlo and MBC FM. He proceeded to Elaph, an online news magazine and Alarabiya.net, the news channel’s online platform. Over a ten-year period, Dakhil’s weekly Al Arabiya talk show “Edaat” (Spotlights) provided an opportunity for proponents of Arab and Islamic social reform to make their case to a mass audience. Turki also owns Al Mesbar Studies and Research Centre and Madarek Publishing House in Dubai. He has received several awards and honors, including the America Abroad Media annual award for his role in supporting civil society, human rights and advancing women’s roles in Gulf societies. He tweets @TurkiAldakhil.

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