The failures of internment, segregation by faith schools and why the young don’t vote
Across western Europe in the 1970s and 1980s, the IRA, Spain’s Basque separatists, Italy’s Red Brigades, West Germany’s Baader-Meinhof gang and several others mounted many more terrorist attacks, leading to many more casualties, than Islamists have achieved since 2001.
However, recent outrages in London and Manchester, as well as those in Paris, Nice, Berlin and elsewhere, feel more personally threatening than attacks of previous times. The terrorism of the past was mostly directed against state, military, police or business and financial targets. The 9/11 attacks, horrific though they were, conformed to that pattern. Recent terrorist attacks are directed against leisure targets: pop concerts, holiday resorts, Christmas markets or just places where people eat and drink on a Saturday night. They are intended, like much aerial bombing in the Second World War, to undermine civilian morale.