Former Prime Minster Tony Blair warned that the threat posed by Islamist fanatics has spread and intensified across the world since the attacks in London ten years ago and urged Western leaders to combat the fanatics ‘on the ground’.
His warning came ahead of memorial to the 52 victims of the 7/7 attack in 2005.
Mr Blair said the threat was not going to go away and would intensify in time to come unless the West stood up and showed that it was prepared to fight.
The Mail Online report:
Mr Blair was in power 10 years ago when the single worst terrorist attack in British history killed 52 people in a series of bombings on London’s Tube and bus network on 7 July 2005.
The former Prime Minster joined David Cameron, Boris Johnson and other political leaders to pay tribute to the victims in a memorial service at St Paul’s today.
Speaking to the BBC, Mr Blair said the threat posed by Islamist terrorism had grown in the 10 years since 7/7 and was now a global problem.
Mr Blair warned that if the international community was not prepared to tackle extremists groups such as Islamic State head on they would continue to grow.
‘When you fight these people it’s going to be tough because they’re prepared to kill without mercy and die without regret and that makes them an enemy that may not have the same conventional military capability but has certainly got the determination to fight.’
Pressed over whether the response should involve British boots on the ground, he said: ‘This is maybe a discussion for another day.’
The former PM rejected claims the attacks had been prompted by the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan – which had themselves between a response to the September 11 terror attacks.
He said: ‘I think it’s very important to understand that the probable leader of the 7/7 attacks was someone who was first in a training camp in the middle of 2001, before 9/11, never mind before the invasion of Afghanistan or the invasion of Iraq and the difficulty is that there will always be reason and excuses that people use for terrorism.
‘You have countries like France today that’s the subject of terrorism or Norway or Belgium or Tunisia or Kuwait or countries across Africa, none of whom had anything to do with British or American foreign policy and yet whose citizens come under this type of violent and indiscriminate killing so I think in the end, the responsibility has got to lie with the people who carry this out and those who encourage them.’