Prime Minister David Cameron has promised a “full spectrum” British response to the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) shooting at a Tunisian hotel which killed at least 38 people.
Cameron told the BBC
that Home Secretary Theresa May is traveling to the North African
country on Monday to attend talks on tackling the threat of
extremism and visit the scene of the massacre.
He said the government and Foreign Office are working “as
fast as we can” to identify British victims and notify
An RAF C17 plane is also being deployed to aid stranded British
tourists and possibly repatriate victims’ bodies.
“I am keen that, as a nation, we show respect and our
condolences … and if [the families] would like for us to try
and bring back the bodies of their loved ones with dignity and
respect that is something we can do,” the told the Today
He further implored the public to stop referring to the
extremists as “Islamic State.”
“I wish the BBC would stop calling it ‘Islamic State’ because
it is not an Islamic state.”
“What it is is an appalling barbarous regime that is a
perversion of the religion of Islam and many Muslims listening to
this program will recoil every time they hear the words.”
Cameron added that the “poisonous death cult” was
“seducing too many young minds in Europe, in America, in the
Middle East and elsewhere and this is going to be the struggle of
our generation and we have to fight it with everything we
“There are people in Iraq and Syria who are plotting to carry
out terrible acts in Britain and elsewhere and as long as ISIL
exists in those two countries we are at threat,” he said.
The PM will chair another meeting of the emergency committee
COBRA on Monday afternoon to discuss Britain’s response to the
Some 15 British citizens have been unofficially identified among
the dead, but the total is likely to rise to more than 30 over
the course of the next few days.
“This is an absolutely horrific attack and I know it has
shocked the whole of the country. It has shocked the whole of the
world,” Cameron said.
“We are not going to engage with people who believe there
ought to be a caliphate and women should be subjugated.”
When asked whether British Muslims needed to be tougher on
extremists, he replied, “My point is some organizations set
themselves up as representative of Muslim communities when
actually they are not. Do not treat them as spokespeople for all
of the community.”