Manchester terror attack: What the UK can learn from Israel

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Manchester terror attack: What the UK can learn from Israel

Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld reflects on how his country's citizens have had to make tough compromises to limit the terror threat

Superintendent Micky Rosenfeld, Israel Police Foreign Press Spokesman
Superintendent Micky Rosenfeld, Israel Police Foreign Press Spokesman

The response of the Manchester Police was good.

It was swift, all emergency services arrived in the area quickly, there was a rapid response, and the seriousness of the situation was immediately understood.

It was clear in the first few moments that it was an explosion. That the hospitals were open was significantly important.

In order to prevent this type of attack, you need concrete intelligence.

You need to know if he worked on his own or as part of a cell.

It seems at this point that there must have been others who knew or were involved, who could have helped him get a bomb.

If there were others, there are obviously still a lot of threats to be dealt with.

In Israel we always dealt with the possibility of a second terror attack, although each scenario is different, it doesn’t always follow that one is closely followed by another.

What needs to happen now is a lockdown to find those others, those cells, and to find out if there’s a secondary attack planned.

It’s not just Manchester but Britain that should be invested in this.

This was a planned terror attack. It wasn’t sporadic; it was something much more sophisticated.

You need to know, and know quickly, how he get hold of the explosive device, how he planned it, for instance, did he walk around the area beforehand, why did he choose that venue etc.

There are lots of issues to be looked into.

Police close to the Manchester Arena the morning after a suspected terrorist attack at the end of a concert by US star Ariana Grande left 22 dead. Photo credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Police close to the Manchester Arena the morning after a suspected terrorist attack at the end of a concert by US star Ariana Grande left 22 dead.
Photo credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

At the moment, there is no doubt that heightened security needs to continue for days if not weeks.

The British intelligence services need to use technology to pick up on all relevant individuals, even those who were not active but who may have known about it, and/or know what’s being planned.

You have to react and respond quickly, and use the intelligence you get immediately.

In terms of what to expect, I’m sure that there will be more units on the ground, especially for big events.

You may even get more security in places like shopping centres, with guards checking bags, as happens routinely here.

In terms of the suspects, they’re probably lying low, maybe moving around. They will realise that they’re now on the counter-terrorism radar.

The thing to deal with is public awareness. People need to know that there are threats and that those threats are realistic.

There’s obviously a reason why the threat level has been raised. More support lines could be opened, as in Israel, where we receive hundreds of calls a day, alerting us to anything suspicious.

That will help everyone, including the police, and will give the public extra confidence.

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