Writing in the 1970s, Brian Michael Jenkins concluded that “terrorism was theatre”, and that those who perpetrated it “want a lot of people watching, not a lot of people dead”.
Monday night’s attack in Manchester underscores how much things have changed. More than 20 people are dead, and scores more are injured. Equally damaged is a concept familiar to all: safety in numbers. Early evidence suggests that the suicide bomber sought to maximise suffering by lying in wait between the Manchester Arena and Victoria train station, and timed the explosion to coincide with those leaving the venue.
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