Threat was real but no-one panicked

By Mark Gardner, July 26, 2012
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The trial coincided with news that last summer, an African Al Qaeda leader was found with attack plans against London Jews in Golders Green and Stamford Hill.

Also last year, two British synagogues were among potential targets for a letter bomb campaign.

All three cases were shared by police with the Community Security Trust, well before becoming public knowledge. Their core lesson is that all types of British Jews are at risk of targeting. This is precisely why CST provides security and personnel for Jewish communities and events across the UK.

In Manchester, police and CST met those directly targeted by the Khans. Later, we jointly briefed over 60 local communal locations and synagogues, reassuring them to keep leading their Jewish lives.

The community reacted splendidly: with calm dignity, aware of what could have happened, but certainly not panicked.

As the Manchester trial ended, Israelis were bombed in Bulgaria. It was the 18th anniversary of Hizbollah’s bombing of the Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires.

The threat is undeniable; it encompasses all Jews and Israelis; it comes from global actors, but also from lone, local extremists. Iranian state-backed antisemitism and terrorism may yet see it escalate further.

I would ask for a repeat of Manchester’s example: understanding the threats, but staying calm and still leading Jewish lives. Finally, play your part by co-operating with CST and police. If you see something unusual, please report it.

Mark Gardner is Communications Director of the CST

Last updated: 10:22am, July 26 2012