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London attack paints a picture of a darker, more sinister world

The most frightening realisation which remains in the wake of the attack, is that it was as sudden as it was unexpected.

The lasting tragedy of the deaths on Westminster Bridge, on the very threshold of what is considered the birthplace of parliamentary democracy, is the certainty that innocent bystanders have unwittingly been press-ganged into the front line.

This is not just true for this week’s barbarous killing spree in London, but for the United States, Spain, Belgium, France and Germany, and equally so for the citizens held unwilling captives in places like the urban battleground of cities like Syria’s Aleppo.

But it must also be remembered that the Islamic holy city of Mecca itself was targeted, as have other countries across the Middle East.

It is an amorphous and unstable battleground which shifts shape like some shapeless satanic fog, a terror war fought with the irrationality of frenzied fanatics.

The British police have attributed the attack in the capital to “Islamist-related terrorism” and raids in London and Birmingham, in the West Midlands, England’s second biggest and most populous city, have resulted in seven arrests.

The attack left two pedestrians dead – a woman in her mid-40s and a man in his mid-50s – mowed down on the walkway next to the bridge and 48-year-old Constable Keith Palmer stabbed to death outside the Houses of Parliament as the assailant abandoned his car and fled before being shot by armed police.

The most frightening realisation which remains in the murderous wake of the attack, is that it was as sudden as it was unexpected.

This is the greatest threat in a terror war and extracts a toll on authorities, who have had to raise their ceaseless vigilance to levels unheard of in past decades.

London is just the latest target – and has been one in the past – in the chilling realisation that the world is becoming a darker, more threatening, place.

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