This is war. But the West is fighting it bound and gagged.
Manchester Arena bombing: Theresa May raises threat level, and troops to be deployed on Britain’s streets – live news
- Police name attacker as Salman Ramadan Abedi
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- Theresa May condemns ‘callous terrorist attack’
- Police begin to name victims; 12 children among 59 woundedCity in shock: families’ desperate search for missing victims
By Vikram Dodd, May 23, 2017 (thanks to Alan Sloan):
Government guidelines say military help will be provided to “the civil authorities when their capacity is overwhelmed”. The guidelines updated in 2016, say: “The armed forces can be brought in to deal with a range of situations including … after a terrorist attack where armed military personnel may be deployed to locations usually guarded by armed police officers, to enable those officers to undertake other duties.”
For instance, armed police officers assigned to guard nuclear plants can be replaced by soldiers, and directly assist their police colleagues in armed operations
Given that a “further attack may be imminent”, as Theresa May told the nation tonight, the threat level has been raised to critical. That allows military personnel to be deployed on the streets of Britain to free up armed police resources to hunt down suspects.
The arrangements are known as military assistance to civil powers. A key driver is that the numbers of police armed officers are limited, and they are best suited to hunt for any other terrorists, where the aim is to arrest if possible and try them in the courts.
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