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Terrible. But here is one solution to the ubiquitous and most un-Islamic terrorist problem: offer rewards for information leading to the prevention of major incidents. These should be life-changing rewards – say five million dollars – accompanied by witness-protection deals. The suicide-bombers are probably too deranged or brain-washed to be of any use; but their brothers, cousins, sisters and other relatives probably aren’t. They’re usually relatively young – some, like Salman Abidi, ate just kids – and the prospect of a life of ease is bound to entice someone to rat on what must seem to any sane person a fruitless and pointless endeavor, and one that will bring grief to many not so concerned with the grievances. Oh, I know there are grievances – the drone killings of innocents here and there – but they are surely not so keenly felt by people brought up in the comfort and security of Manchester? It’s not a guaranteed solution, true, but it ought to be tried; and it does seem better than the streets of England under virtual marshal law, no? These are not probably the most upstanding citizens; and any result would be worth far more than five million dollars spent on police and intelligence activity.

Paul William Roberts