Friday, August 17, 2007

The reign of terror.

The death toll in the co-ordinated suicide bomb attack on the minority Yazidi sect in northern Iraq could be as high as 500, medics have said. Five fuel tankers were driven by suicide bombers into two crowded villages belonging to Kurdish members of the Yazidi religious sect before they were detonated almost simultaneously. A vast number of clay-built homes in Al-Qataniyah and Al-Adnaniyah were levelled by the blast on Tuesday night which was followed by an enormous fireball. Television pictures showed badly burned and screaming survivors, many of them children, in hospital. More than 350 are thought to have been injured.

But Major Rodger Lemons, operations officer for a US brigade in the area, which is near the city of Mosul, said that rescue efforts are winding down. "My assessment is there’s probably no one left alive in the rubble," he said. "We’ve transitioned through to a clean-up phase." The US military has said the "al-Qa’eda in Iraq" group is the prime suspect for the attack on the Yazidis, seen by Sunni Muslim militants as infidels. Major Lemons said it appeared that two refuse trucks packed with explosives had been driven into each of the villages, Kahtaniya and al-Jazeera. In al-Jazeera, Iraqi security forces shot and killed the driver of one truck before it reached the village. Both trucks detonated in Kahtaniya village, he said.

The situation gets worse as time goes on with the reign of terror growing. I wrote about the problems in this region in May and now Al-Qa'eda in Iraq have chosen these villages as soft targets. I have feared before the threat posed by fuel tankers being driven by suicide bombers. The risk is there and I wondered just when it would happen. I see many fuel tankers driving along our roads here in the UK and wonder if a terrorist act of this type may happen in my lifetime. The heat and fire involved would be tremendous. These people were peacefully going about their daily lives, ordinary people not invading forces from another country. Their religion should have been their own private business but Al-Qa'eda consider them to be infidels and worthy only of slaughter. Can you imagine this happening in one of our cities?

Our towns and cities are getting worse with neighbourhoods being terrorised by unruly teenagers. I am not talking about the odd knocked over dustbin or moved traffic cone. I am talking about intimidation of whole communities by these lawless yobbos. This is more than a temporary nuisance, this can increase into cases of murder if these hooligans are rightly challenged over their behaviour. On Sunday, father-of-three Garry Newlove, 47, died after allegedly being attacked two days earlier by a gang who were throwing stones at a mechanical digger. Evren Anil, a 23-year-old science graduate, was killed when he challenged two teenagers who allegedly threw a half-eaten chocolate bar into his sister's car. Both incidents have added to fears that the risks of confronting drunken or aggressive youths is now too great. Commentators have claimed that law-abiding citizens are no longer willing to defend themselves or their property in case the police charge them with attacking the criminal. Last week Patrick Walsh, a homeowner, was arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm after a burglar fell 30ft from a window at his flat, although police have now told him no further action will be taken.

I agree with David Green, who is a Director of Civitas when he writes that an Alcohol ban is no answer; proper policing is to the problem of intimidating teenagers. The Police have enough powers already to deal effectively with the minority of teenagers who are a nuisance and who make peoples' lives a misery. Targeted policing of problem areas can bring back law and order to these communities. Young people must be told to respect everyone in our society and they are not above the law. Our streets are not a playground for them and they should be responsible for their own actions. They should not be allowed to intimidate other people by their physical fitness or superiority of numbers. Respect is earned and the minority of teenagers who abuse society should be put in their place by everyone, not just by uniformed Police Officers.

We must take a stand against all terrorism, large and small. We should not have to live our lives like frightened sheep nervous of wolves in our insecure communities.
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