Whenever there is a terrorist attack the intelligence services use it to demand more resources and powers.
And they usually get them. But the spooks and clampdowns have done nothing to stop terrorism.
After the attacks on Charlie Hebdo in France in January, the government there increased attacks on civil liberties.
It didn’t stop last week’s attack.
Here David Cameron is making provision for 1,900 extra security and intelligence staff.
But we don’t need more torture and rendition.
The media gloated over the “extra-judicial assassination” of “Jihadi John” last week.
There was little mention that Mohammed Emwazi had been in contact with the spooks before he joined Isis.
The spooks were also involved with the killer of Lee Rigby, Michael Adebolajo.
Adebolajo said that he had been detained and tortured in Kenya, and that MI5 tried to turn him into an informer.
British governments have brought in seven major counter-terror laws since the 9/11 attacks.
The last was the draconian Counter-Terrorism and Security Act.
This escalated the Islamophobic Prevent strategy and gave far-reaching powers to the cops, government and spooks.
Isis is a reactionary sectarian group built among Sunni Muslims in the wake of the destruction left by the Western war in Iraq.
The West installed a Shia-dominated regime and Isis seemed to offer protection to disaffected Sunni Muslims facing discrimination from the Iraqi state.
Western attacks allow Isis to portray itself as anti-imperialist. But it thrives on sectarianism and has helped crush popular opposition to dictatorships.
Unlike other groups, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, Isis is not organised among the mass of ordinary people.
In Syria, president Bashar al-Assad’s bloody crackdown against the popular revolt militarised the revolution. Isis grew to be the most powerful military opposition to Assad.
Its rise partly reflects the defeat of the Arab revolutions and the weakness of the left in the region.
Isis has received funding from the monarchies of the Gulf regimes.
And with every military victory its greater geographical reach has increased its ability to raise taxes and trade.
In the West it recruits among Muslim youth alienated by years of imperialist wars and rabid racism from the state, politicians and the media.
Historian John Newsinger writes
All out for Palestine