Yet another city – this time in Manchester, England – has been targeted by terrorists aiming to make citizens feel insecure engaging in the promises of an open, liberalized society: gathering in public to enjoy cultural events, intermingling among races, ages, and sexes.
Ed Caesar, writing for the New Yorker, strikes at this theme with a rhetorical question:
What was it about an arena full of teen and preteen children and their parents, listening to an American pop singer, that so offended the man who detonated the bomb in Manchester last night?
A suicide bomber – whose name, known by police, is still unknown to the public – detonated an explosive device filled with nails at the entrance of the Manchester Arena during an Ariana Grande concert. The American pop star is popular with youth, which is horrifyingly evident in the casualties of this barbaric act: 22 people – including an eight year old girl – are dead as a result, with a further 59 injured, many with potentially life-threatening injuries. At least 12 children are among the injuried. Many others are parents of concert-goers who were there to pick up their kids, as the event had just ended when the bomber struck.
The timing appears to have been chosen in order to maximize pain and damage.
ISIS claimed responsibility, though the terror group could be merely taking credit from a lone wolf attach (as it has done previously).
British Prime Minister Theresa May, who traveled to Manchester Tuesday, spoke on the events:
We struggle to comprehend the warped and twisted mind that sees a room packed with young children not as a scene to cherish but an opportunity for carnage. But we can continue to resolve to thwart such attacks in future, to take on and defeat the ideology that often fuels this violence. And if there turn out to be others responsible, to seek them out and bring them to justice.
Whatever the response, it must be measured and within the scope of the law. Justice is deserved by the victims, but terrorists can’t be rewarded with the dismantling of the open order they target.