The BBC reports British Prime Minister David Cameron
has said it looks ‘increasingly likely’ a man thought to have been involved in a US journalist’s beheading is British, as UK police try to confirm the militant’s identity.
With that, I can’t help but think of my end-of-summer Netflix binge on the 2006 BBC series The State Within.
To me, The State Within was one part Homeland, one part House of Cards, and one part speculative fear of a sinister military-industrial complex that could straddle the Atlantic, with a foot in Washington, D.C., and a foot in London.
The series’ premise somewhat reflects today’s acknowledgment by Cameron.
In the series’ first episode, a British national, converted by Islamic extremists, manages to get an explosive device on a passenger jet and trigger its countdown via laptop just before the aircraft taxis for takeoff.
When the device explodes, the aircraft is above a busy D.C. roadway. Everyone on the aircraft, and several people in cars on the roadway, die.
Eventually, investigators realize the suspected bomber is a British national. The tensions between the U.S. and the U.K. build with dramatic effect.
Yet the 2006 series hinted at an underlying anxiety echoed in today’s comments from Cameron, who said, “This is not a time for a knee-jerk reaction.”
In other words, just as Jason Isaacs‘ character, Sir Mark Brydon, British ambassador to the U.S., must try to quell rising anti-British sentiment in The State Within, today Cameron tried to prevent it from starting.
The BBC report suggests Cameron is working hard to keep Great Britain from becoming associated with violent Islamic extremists — and to prevent British citizens from becoming enemies of the United States and the news media.
He also said the government would “redouble” efforts to stop Britons travelling to fight in Iraq and Syria.