Two New Year Stabbings and an Urgent Lesson in How to React to Terrorism

Several people were stabbed in two separate and horrific incidents in the UK on New Year’s Eve. One took place in Manchester, where three people were hurt. The other was in London, where one person was hurt and one killed. Despite the only fatality occurring in the latter incident, it was the former that received worldwide media and political attention.

News alerts went out about the Manchester stabbings. The attacker had injured three people, including a policeman. The Washington Post had a headline in red on its homepage and it was a lead item on the BBC. People, including me, rushed to tweet about it. And it prompted public statements from the prime minister, the leader of the opposition and the home secretary. What drove the reaction was that the alleged perpetrator in Manchester shouted an Islamic religious slogan, which led the police to treat the attack as a potential terrorist incident.

Meanwhile, in London, doorman Tudor Simionov was killed outside a club, apparently after trying to stop a group of people entering the private party going on inside. A second person was stabbed. There was some limited news coverage but nothing on the scale of the Manchester incident and certainly no international interest.

Read more at The Conversation

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