Would preventive internment have prevented the Manchester horror? Last time we tried internment, in Northern Ireland it was approved by 'Grocer' Heath in 1971 and 350 paddies were banged up. The initial problems were twofold; there were 450 names on the list but 100 got away due to police and army incompetence, and only Catholics were interned - loyalist potential killers were left free. By the time the scheme - called 'Operation Demetrious' by the inept security bunglers - was ended four years later things had hardly changed. There were 1,874 Catholic thugs and only 107 proddy thugs banged up. Economic damage was incalculable, from mass civil disobedience, rent strikes, civic criminal damage and sabotage. Thirteen protesters had been shot dead by the Paras. It was universally agreed that internment was an utter failure, radicalising more terrorists than it took off the streets. Not one experienced police, security or armed forces officer will support it. The evidence is that it doesn't work.
Yet as far as the animal Abedi is concerned, our security bunglers have bungled again. Here was a classic social failure, so thick his mates called him 'Dumbo' with a brow so low he could have passed for a native in the states of the deep south. A classic subject for the evil fantasies of Islamism with its primitive, simple tenets that can be understood by even the very stupid. So well did he absorb the poison that his mates reported him to the terrorist security line twice and his own mosque once. He travelled to and from Libya, a hotbed of Islamism. His brothers and father were Islamists, their own brows hardly less Neanderthal than his own. Everyone who knew him classed him as a nut-job exploding jihadist, and the security bunglers knew it all. Surely, had he been banged up away from the internet, without his passport and his 3G phone, Manchester would have been prevented? The expert evidence suggests otherwise.
The domestic security service has around 4,000 workers and a budget of £3bn, with police forces across the country to do their legwork. Yet they and the police seem to spend more time and energy chasing Katie Hopkins for being rude about Islam than preventing terrorist killers. Abedi should not have slipped through the net. Someone screwed up.
It is fantasy to believe that any other than reasonable, justifiable and equitable measures can be taken in the fight against Islamism. Internment is a savage, sectarian and ultimately futile measure that satisfies populist anger but actually helps the Jihadists. Ankle tags, yes. Confiscation of passport and travel bans, yes. House arrest, possibly. Daily reporting, possibly. Internet bans, yes.
But above all the bungling security services need to apologise to the Muslims - Abedi's imam and his friends - who actually acted as responsible citizens and reported him to the government hotlines but these security agencies then did absolutely nothing. And someone must be sacked for that.