The father of the youngest victim of the Manchester Arena bombing has told the public inquiry that lessons on terrorist attacks “should have been learned and in place” after 9/11 and the 7 July 2005 bombings in London.
After tearfully listening to his wife recall how she had pleaded with him to let her die when she learned of their daughter’s death, Roussos stood up at Manchester magistrates court and interjected.
“With the highest respect I feel I need to say this,” he told the inquiry. “What we are all going through, the failures we are all listening to and the excuses we will all sit through, needs to stop.
“Enough is enough, sir. At present in 2020, if we are still learning lessons then nothing will ever change. The biggest lesson and wake-up call should have come from 7/7 and 9/11.”
"Saffie's life is not a practice exercise for the security or emergency services. Lessons should have already been learnt."
Speaking after the hearing Andrew, of Leyland, Lancs, said: "Everything went wrong and it's not good enough. It's so, so dreadful." Referring to a mock terror attack staged by the authorities in the Arena foyer the year before Abedi's attack, he said: "Why have these exercises? Ticking boxes? I'm sorry, but Saffie is not a box to tick."
His wife revealed the moment she woke from a coma to be told Saffie had died. Lisa said: "The day I woke up Andrew held my hand and looked up at me, I instantly knew. 'Saffie has gone, hasn't she?' He replied: 'Yes.' I cried and pleaded with him to let me die too. 'I can look after her', I cried. Inside I am dead. My heart is so heavy, it weighs me down. I am so desperate to hold her close."
Saffie Roussos was 8 years old.
Her father is right, but the biggest mistake of all is not the logistics of that terrible night. It's not that Greater Manchester Police did not even know that a big concert was taking place because it was the responsibility of the British Transport Police who work Victoria Station into which the Arena foyer directly opens. It's not whatever reason ambulances sat outside for half an hour while one lone paramedic struggled inside with the dying.
It's not just that the Abedi brothers were known to MI5, although that is getting closer to the core flaw. Closer still is that Abedi's suspicious behaviour was reported to security but was ignored. Closest is that the first security guard appraised was himself a Muslim.
The real mistake is that the authorities constantly play down the fifth column of violent jihadists who walk among us, and the hundreds of thousands of non violent jihadists, islamists, rape gang groomers, taqiyya merchants and whatever who are the sea within which they safely swim.
Just another innocent murdered. Others to follow, ever again. Ever hear of the Koran commands to murder/mutilate the Other? Tommy Robinson, Asia Bibi, Geert Wilders, .. .voices calling out in the wilderness of our uncaring. Who is murdered next? Is prevention a priority? Don't lie to me again.
Amazon donates to World Encounter Institute Inc when you shop at smile.amazon.com/ch/56-2572448. #AmazonSmile #StartWithaSmile