Why would anyone deliberately target children?
It is a particularly despicable act to detonate a bomb where you know people will be harmed but it’s even worse when the majority of those in the area are children.
But the act of terror committed in Manchester Arena was meant to cause the maximum horror and outrage amongst ordinary people, that was the whole point of it. It was meant to provoke a reaction.
There is a vicious circle here which must be broken if we are to have peace, but I can see no way to break it.
It goes like this.
Acts of terror are meant to provoke a reaction. When some idiot in Syria makes the demand that America should cease all hostilities in the Middle East or they are going to behead an aid worker or journalist they do not expect their demands to be met, in fact it would be very disruptive for them if America did meet their demands. They don’t want their demands met. The demand is just there to give them an excuse to commit a horrific act.
The reaction to these horrific acts is the whole point, that is why they do them, to provoke a reaction.
The purpose of the acts is to provoke a military response so they can portray themselves as being in a legitimate military struggle with the forces of western democracy (or Christianity depending on which set of propaganda you read).
When western political leaders say that they are at war with IS or Daesh they give them legitimacy, when they carry out air strikes against Daesh (IS, ISIS, ISIL or whatever) in Syria or Iraq they give them legitimacy, which is what Daesh want. Daesh want the Jihadi cause to be seen as legitimate by Muslim communities both in the Middle East and here in Europe and Great Britain. Donald Trump with his stupid ill thought out verbal attacks and his travel ban has been great for Daesh recruitment.
Western political leaders are playing to the crowd, their response is meant for their home audience, with one eye on the next election they feel that they must be seen to be doing something, but this is exactly what the Daesh terrorists want.
Daesh recruit young men (almost always young men) to blow themselves up or drive a truck along a crowded pavement to further the cause of global Jihad, but what does it achieve ? Nothing except a lot of pain and misery. The young men they recruit are as much the victims as the people they slaughter. They have been tricked into killing themselves by perfidious promises of rewards in heaven after they die. Living in paradise with a number of virgins at their disposal (the number varies), but this is not what is written in the Quran which promises a reward beyond man’s comprehension without actually saying what it is. The virgins are just Daesh’s misogynistic interpretation of these ambiguous verses.
The acts of random terror in Europe or Great Britain are designed to cause alienation of the Islamic communities. To drive wedges between people and between communities, to cause suspicion and doubt. From their point of view it would be even better if there is a backlash against Muslims after the atrocity in Manchester.
Alienation leads to radicalisation, not of the many but of a few vulnerable individuals who are susceptible to the message of the radicals, people who are seeking certainty in their lives. People who feel that they have no future, people who have lost hope, these are the ones who are most vulnerable to the brain washing of radical Islam. The radical message promises them that a certainty but it is a specious message.
Global Jihad uses the Internet as the main method for communication and ideological advancement. Western media feeds on the events terrorists create. Daesh understands this and have become more sophisticated in the way they carry out their recruiting activities and targeting.
And so there are more recruits to the cause and they commit acts of terror both here in the west and in the Middle East and this provokes a reaction and so the whole bloody cycle repeats over and over again.