On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” John Kerry spoke to host Chuck Todd about the Muslim terrorist attack that took the lives of eight people in central London. Todd started out on the June 4 broadcast by by noting a phrase that British Prime Minister said on the morning after the incident.
Todd said, “I want to focus on that specific phrase she used, Mr. Secretary. ‘There's been for too long too much tolerance of this extremism in the U.K.’ Is she right?”
In response, Kerry -- who served as Barack Obama’s secretary of state -- said, “Well, that's a judgment she's going to have to make about their own relationship with the Muslim community in Great Britain. And as Michael just said, they've had a longstanding problem with respect to greater levels of alienation, a harder time assimilating into the broader British society, a lack of similar opportunity.” Kerry was referring to Michael E. Leiter, who served in a counterterrorism capacity for both George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
Kerry said that preventing suicide attacks will be really hard for law enforcement. As to methods of allaying future attacks, he criticized the Trump administration’s proposed “travel ban” for Muslim-majority countries. “Travel ban will be cannon fodder to the recruiters. It's the worst thing we could do. But we do need to do and we do extraordinary screening. But a great deal more effort has to go into the building of community, the reaching out and working with these entities, with these sectors of society so that there is not as significant a gap as there is in many parts of the world, by the way. Not just in Britain. All over the world there’s too much distance between government and the people.”
The attack came just days before a general election in the United Kingdom. Currently, polls show that the Conservatives who are led by Prime Minister May lead Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party by just one percentage point. Corbyn and other Labourites, such as London Mayor Sadiq Khan, have been critical of May’s tenure as Home Secretary during David Cameron’s government. During that time, she reduced the police force by 20,000 members.