Risk Intel Report

G-8 Leaders Vow Victory Against Terrorism

The beginning of the G8 Summit was eagerly awaited with both anticipation and dread. The Live 8 Concert event in London the weekend before was the high point, as concerts were held to promote the eradication of poverty and for world leaders to take notice at the G8 Summit. Indeed, the G8 Summit was supposed to discuss issues such as the global economy, aid to Africa, and climate change — far more altruistic issues than the preoccupation with Iraq and the Global War on Terror (GWOT). Previous G8s and other economic summits have been met with much antipathy with protests and demonstrations that have, at times, become violent by direct action and anti-globalization groups complaining that the G8 member states, in particular, were the economic bullies of the world. Indeed, these types of events have also attracted protest groups that are angry about other issues as well. The Live 8 Concerts were meant to be a more positive method of highlighting economic disparities of poverty, but it was a unique, albeit upbeat, occurrence before the summit. The other events leading up to the summit were not unique, and there was an immense security presence to deal with the protests and marches prior to the summit as well as an extremely tight security operation at Gleneagles, Scotland, the Summit meeting location . Yet, despite the type of security nightmare these summits evoke, there seemed to be something more prescient about this summit. Trouble was expected, and trouble did come, just not quite in the manner most suspected. Anti-poverty marches, anti-capitalist marches, anti-war marches were mixed in to the run-up to the Summit. In Edinburgh, many storefronts boarded up their windows in anticipation of violence, and many workers were told to stay put because of the protests. The ensuing violence started to mar the goodwill of the Live 8 Concerts along with the UK Olympic win. Unfortunately, the situation was only to get worse. Organizers of Live 8 and other peaceful protesters wanted the G8 to stay on point and address the issues of poverty. Many have felt that the war in Iraq and the GWOT have overshadowed these issues. Yet, on the second day of the Summit, terrorism did, indeed, overshadow the aims of the G8. The attacks on the London Underground immediately brought condemnation from the G8 leaders and, indeed, worldwide condemnation. Countries that had been experiencing less-than-warm relations shortly before the Summit almost immediately came out of their diplomatic sulks to join uniformly to denounce this act of terrorism. If one event was designed to mar a meeting of the world?s leading nations, it was an attack on the host of the G8 Summit, which represents a symbolic target as representative of decadence and corruption that many radicalized elements — and even some non-radicalized elements in the world — like to scream about. While security at the Summit was extremely tight, the host nation?s capital city made an attractive target and was an embarrassing blow to the British government. It would be na?ve to assume this act was not timed to the G8. While the G8 members were discussing other pressing economic and environmental issues, it seemed as if security issues could take a respite for a short time. However, the terrorists who perpetrated this act made sure this was not to be. Sadly, any outputs or progress on economic disparity issues may have been overshadowed by a terrorist act. Yet, if the intention of this act was to divide G8 and other world leaders, already divided over Iraq, then the intention may have backfired. While many states disagree

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