London Attacker ‘May Not Have Fancied Martyrdom’

By Nick Fishwick

Nick Fishwick CMG retired after nearly thirty years in the British Foreign Service. His postings included Lagos, Istanbul and Kabul. His responsibilities in London included director of security and, after returning from Afghanistan in 2007, he served as director for counter-terrorism. His final role was as director general for international operations.

In an incident the British government has called a terrorist attack, a bomb detonated at Parsons Green tube station Friday morning. 29 people were injured; ISIS later claimed responsibility for the attack. The terrorist group’s Amaq news agency released a statement saying “the bombing of the IED in the London tube was carried out by a unit affiliated to the Islamic State.” This marks the fifth attack in the UK in one year. The Cipher Brief spoke with Nick Fishwick, a former member of the British Foreign office, about what the attack indicates for the future of counterterrorism in the UK.

 The Cipher Brief: An improvised device exploded on a London underground train, setting off a fire.  There are wires coming from the device and there are reports there was a timing device found. What does that tell you about this attack? 

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