December 28, 2007
The words "war on terror" will no longer be used by the British government to describe attacks on the public, the country's chief prosecutor said Dec. 27.
Sir Ken Macdonald said terrorist fanatics were not soldiers fighting a war but simply members of an aimless "death cult."
The Director of Public Prosecutions said: 'We resist the language of warfare, and I think the government has moved on this. It no longer uses this sort of language."
London is not a battlefield, he said.
"The people who were murdered on July 7 were not the victims of war. The men who killed them were not soldiers," Macdonald said. "They were fantasists, narcissists, murderers and criminals and need to be responded to in that way."
His remarks signal a change in emphasis across Whitehall, where the "war on terror" language has officially been ditched.
Officials were concerned it could act as a recruiting tool for Al Qaeda, which is determined to manufacture a battle between Islam and the West.
The term "Islamic terrorist" will also no longer be used. Officials believe it is unhelpful because it appears to directly link the religion to terrorist atrocities.
In an interview with BBC Radio's World at One, Macdonald made a fresh attack on plans to extend beyond 28 days the length of time a terror suspect can be held without trial.
He said that the evidence had shown that the existing limit was working well and he accused ministers of legislating on the basis of 'hypotheticals'.
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