On June 20, as Brits basked in the mid-summer sunshine, terror struck with little warning. Armed with a knife, 25-year-old Khairi Saadallah walked into a park in Reading and stabbed to death three friends in a frenzied, indiscriminate attack, prosecutors allege.
It was — in the words of Neil Basu, head of UK counter-terror policing — the “re-emergence” of one disease, extremism, as another, COVID-19, recedes.
He is not alone in his concern. Deprived of social stimulation during lockdown, experts worry that idled, vulnerable minds with unrestricted internet access might’ve been easy prey for online radical groups or individuals.