Colonel Richard Kemp, a former commander of British forces in Helmand, Afghanisan, and COBRA committee member, warned Breitbart London Editor-in-Chief Raheem Kassam that without routine arming of constables, Britain’s police will not be able “to protect either us or themselves” against would-be jihadists.
“The kind of terrorist attack we’ve been seeing recently in Europe, and most recently in the United Kingdom in London [is] vehicle rammings, and then stabbings, cutting people up with knives and other sharp implements,” explained Col Kemp, in an interview on Breitbart News Daily, Siriux XM.
“[This is] something that Israel has been enduring for a very long time now, and they’ve developed some impressive ways of quickly dealing with it.
“I think they would be the first to admit that it’s very hard to identify an attack of that nature developing before it actually starts, because people … simply have to get in the car or pick up a knife from their kitchen drawer, or anywhere, and attack with it.
“So they haven’t got a network, they haven’t got to talk on the phone, they haven’t got to communicate in any way with anybody,” he said, making it very hard for the authorities to anticipate them.
“But I think one thing that the Israelis have done very effectively and successfully is immediate reaction to it, and that’s partly because so many Israelis are armed.
“They’re either serving soldiers or ex-soldiers in almost every single case, and many of them carry sidearms – and, of course, their police are well-armed and ready to react, [as are] on- or off-duty military personnel.”
Armed with a baton, our brave officer faced the London Bridge attackers.
We're extremely proud of him and every single emergency responder. https://t.co/rwUj2EqFGk
— British Transport Police (@BTP) June 4, 2017
“My concern is in a country like England, where our police are not armed, we don’t have the ability to react as quickly,” the colonel observed.
“Although in London Bridge there was quite a good reaction, the first police officers were unarmed, so they couldn’t do a great deal. They were very brave; they wielded their truncheons at the attacker, but they couldn’t really prevent further loss of life.
“So one thing we in England need to do is learn from the Israelis, but also the U.S. and other countries, [and] arm our police as soon as we possibly can.”
— Sky News (@SkyNews) June 6, 2017
The colonel elaborated on the theme of learning from Israel in a joint op-ed for Breitbart London with Rafael Bardaji of the Gatestone Institute, in which the pair criticise the present “run, hide, tell” strategy and the refusal of London mayor Sadiq Khan to acknowledge that the people who have targeted the capital are “Islamic terrorists”.
“The still continuing state of denial of many European leaders about the link between Islamism and terrorism is at the root of a strategy to combat jihadism that falls short of what is required to preserve the safety of their citizens and the security of our societies,” they declared.