Survivors and relatives form group to ‘defeat terror at source’

Mon, 2018-01-29 18:55

LONDON: Survivors of terrorist attacks in the UK and bereaved relatives have formed an action group to press for more effective anti-terrorism policies and more support for victims.
The founders of Survivors Against Terror include Travis Frain, who was hit by the car in the attack on Westminster Bridge in London, Dan Hett, whose brother Martin was killed in the Manchester Arena bombing last May, and Sajda Mughal and Martine Wiltshire, who both survived the 7/7 Tube and bus bombings in London in 2005.
But the founders are by no means restricted to those affected by terror attacks by Islamist extremists. Jo Berry’s father was killed when the Irish Republican Army bombed the Grand Hotel in Brighton in 1984 and Brendan Cox is the widower of member of parliament Jo Cox, who was stabbed to death by white supremacist Thomas Mair in June 2016.
Mr Cox said the group’s aim was to try “to defeat terrorism at its source” by uniting to not only support the police and security services but also to influence government policy and tackle inflammatory “hate speech,” especially on social media.
“What terrorists want is for us to turn against each other, to hate each other,” he said. Educating the public in how not to give in to hate would be a “central mission” of Survivors Against Terror.
“At its heart, it will be trying to make sure that we don’t just respond to terror but that we get ahed of it, defeat it at its core, at its source,” he said.
Other founders of the group include the widow of British soldier Lee Rigby, who was beheaded in a London street by extremists who filmed the murder, Mike Haines, whose brother David was held captive and beheaded by Daesh, and Yassin Hersi, who was injured in the attack on Finsbury Park mosque in London.
The group will meet regularly to lobby for effective policies, including better integration and more inclusiveness in communities. The support for survivors and bereaved relatives has been “mixed,” varying from “exemplary” to none.
“We will be reaching out to other survivors and bereaved families to build a better picture of what is and isn’t working and will be talking to the government and other service providers about the gaps we identify,” the group said.

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