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Will Simultaneous ISIS Attacks On London Strengthen Or Break The Premiership Of Theresa May?

Theresa May

Five days before Election Day in the UK, terrorists have once again challenged the UK. Will this help or hinder the premiership of Theresa May?

The UK has been challenged by three terrorist attacks since March. On Saturday, June 3, 2017,  five days before Election Day, the latest of these terrorists hit London.

The Saturday night attack came about less than two weeks after the Manchester attack at the concert of Ariana Grande. It is clear that the timing is aimed at challenging the UK state, and in the hope of dismantling a strong political leadership just five days before Election Day.

Can Theresa May protect the state?

A logical question that many UK voters ahead of Election Day on June 8th will have is whether or not the Tories can protect Britain.

Irrespective of the answer, the truth is that the predictability of these types of attacks is not easy to make. The problem is not so much the leader in power, but the failure of intelligence in the context of the terrorist attacks. We have seen this from Pearl Harbor to 9/11 to June 3, 2017.

Following the Manchester attack, it was clear that the new ISIS attacks were imminent and Theresa May has done every single thing in her power in order to keep Britain safe. The threat level has been increased to critical and the military was mobilized for the first time in ten years. However, this CT measure was not welcomed by the Labour Party, who used the terrorist attack to formulate their own blaming rhetoric against the Tories in order to gain public support ahead of the UK Election.  

The fact that the Labor is using terrorist attacks to undermine the leadership of the Conservatives is expected but at the same time, utterly futile populist rhetoric. As any CT expert will tell you,  these types of attacks are extremely difficult to stop, irrespective of who is in power.

Timing of the terrorist attack

The timing of the attack corresponds with the UK Election on Thursday and is happening during Ramadan. The symbolic nature of the attacks is twofold and it aims at the displacement not only of the UK state but also of the liberal world order. The nature of such asymmetrical warfare is not only about ISIS aiming at the geographical territories ( Raqqa, Mosul)  but also about gaining the power in numbers in public support across the Muslim world.

A new normal

President Trump has sent out public support to the UK and at the same time used an opportunity to reiterate his EO regarding extra safety measures with the blanket travel ban.

“We need to be smart, vigilant and tough. We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!”

As the new dawn arises on London, the world is awaking to “a new normal”. Terrorist attacks have become our daily reality. And with this reality, we may soon expect to see the military on the streets of Britain as a permanent fixture. If elected, is this CT  decision something Labour will be able to uphold? Tread carefully.



Click here to post a comment

  • I think the Tories are burning through their reputation as being strong on security with remarkable speed. They’ve bled police services, MI5 and the Army dry with their public spending cuts. Blowback from that will be inevitable.

  • Last one didn’t go well for her and she has a bad record with the police, so I’m going to go out on a limb and say it will damage her. However, how much so is the real question, and I’m not sure much because people tend to scream for reform after an attack, only to go back to normal.

About the author

Ksenija Pavlovic

Ksenija Pavlovic

Ksenija Pavlovic is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Pavlovic Today, The Chief White House Correspondent.

Pavlovic was a Teaching Fellow and Doctoral Fellow in the Political Science department at Yale University, Lead Instructor in International Affairs and Security and Politics Law and Economics programs at Yale Global Scholars, Head Writing Fellow at the Yale Graduate Writing Center, Fellow of the “Research and Travel Award in Grand Strategy” from International Security Studies (ISS) at Yale University, Fellow of the Roger Hertog Global Strategy Initiative in Religious Violence at Columbia University, a Doctoral candidate in Political Conflict and Peace Building Processes at Complutense University in Madrid, Fellow of the OSI Global Supplementary Grant Program, and a Visiting Doctoral Fellow at the Juan March Institute. She holds an M.Sc. in European Politics from the London School of Economics, an M.A. in American Politics, and a B.A. in Journalism and Communication from the University of Belgrade. She speaks English, Serbian, Croatian, and Spanish.

Pavlovic has interviewed exclusively pivotal figures including Arianna Huffington, Sir Richard Branson, President of the World Bank Jim Yong Kim, Karlie Kloss, filmmaker and founder of the Webby awards Tiffany Shlain, film director Lars von Trier, actors Adam Brody, Monica Bellucci, fashion designers Adolfo Dominguez, Tommy Hilfiger and Donna Karan, publisher and former presidential candidate Steve Forbes; the world No.1 tennis player Novak Djokovic; novelist Martin Amis, as well as big names in the governmental arena such as the former President of Serbia Boris Tadic, the leading members of the first democratic Serbian government and Milorad Dodik, President of the Serbian entity of BIH. Moreover, Ms. Pavlovic has exclusively covered the Cannes Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, Sarajevo Film Festival, London Film Festival, Madrid Fashion Week, The Madrid Open, and a range of other international benefit and political events.


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