TOMORROW marks the anniversary of the London Bridge terrorist attack.
It was part of a horrific three months which saw PC Keith Palmer murdered outside the House of Commons, the Manchester Arena bombing and a van attack on Finsbury Park Mosque.
Sajid Javid is a walking rejection of terrorist ideals that Britain is prejudiced against Muslims
Thankfully, the pace of these attacks has not been kept up.
There has been a period of relative calm, with the security services successfully thwarting several plots. But it would be dangerous to think the threat has gone away — it has not.
Next week, the Government will launch the latest version of its counter-terrorism strategy, Contest. It will also introduce a new bill to ensure longer prison sentences for terrorists and to make it easier to try returning ISIS fighters for offences in Iraq and Syria.
The counter-terrorism strategy will see more resources for the Prevent programme in high-priority areas such as London, Manchester, Birmingham and Bradford.
AFP or licensors Tomorrow marks the anniversary of the London Bridge terror attack
There are plans, too, to recruit more than 1,000 extra staff to the security services so a greater number of suspects can be kept under close surveillance at any one time.
There will be steps taken to ensure that those released from prison are monitored more closely once they have been let out. There will also be a fresh push to get tech companies to do more to combat terrorist material online.
Sajid Javid tells Andrew Marr that the Home Secretary will be announc ing a strategy on street violence
But perhaps the most powerful thing about this strategy is the Home Secretary introducing it.
Sajid Javid is a walking rejection of the extremists’ argument that Britain is inherently prejudiced against Muslims. He shows that Muslims can succeed in this country, rising to positions of power and prominence.
This counter-terror strategy is very much focused on the operational side of things, how to catch terrorists before they strike. But I understand that Javid is keen for the Government to do more work on countering extremism.
He understands that if you stop young people from accepting the extremists’ narrative, then they won’t turn into terrorists.
PA:Press Association Javid has shown he is not afraid to take on difficult issues
Javid is uniquely well-placed to take on this extremist narrative. It is far harder for critics to accuse him of being Islamophobic and the like when he talks about why the constant, anti-Western grievance narrative that is pumped out by a few Muslim preachers is wrong — and unhealthy.
When, as Communities Secretary, Javid argued that immigrants needed to learn English if they are to play a full role in society, he showed he is not afraid to take on difficult issues. One friend of his says that he will be the same on extremism, telling me “he won’t accept any excuses”.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid demands Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn denounce racist trolls calling him a ‘coconut’ and an ‘Uncle Tom’
However good and well- resourced your security services are, the terrorists will always get lucky once or twice.
The challenge, then, is to ensure that almost no one in your country is attracted to the terrorists, their warped world view and erroneous interpretation of Islam. The best way to ensure that kids don’t fall for this nonsense is to show them that this country is an open, tolerant place where people of all faiths can succeed.
Few politicians are better equipped to deliver that message than Javid, the first Muslim to hold one of the great offices of state. He must be given the opportunity to deliver this message loud and clear.