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Hullabaloo


Sunday, June 04, 2017

 

Rampage in London

by Tom Sullivan


Photo by The Independent via Twitter.

Seven people have been killed and 48 sent to the hospital, some injured critically, in what British Prime Minister Theresa May described as a terrorist incident near London Bridge Saturday night. The attack began with a rented white van careening into pedestrians on the bridge, similar to the attack at London's Westminster Palace in March. It was the second terrorist attack in two weeks.

The attacks began just after 10 p.m. BST Saturday night (5 p.m. EDT).

Three suspects were shot dead by police within 8 minutes of the first reports. The knife-wielding men wore hoax explosive vests, the Independent reports:

Police said the suspects then made their way to Borough Market and started attacking people with people with knives. There were reports of Londoners out for a Saturday night, fending off the attackers with chairs and glasses.

[...]

A taxi driver, speaking the BBC, described the moment when it became clear that terrorists were attacking the city.

“A van came from London Bridge itself, went between the traffic light system and rammed it towards the steps," he said.

“It knocked loads of people down. Then three men got out with long blades, 12 inches long and went randomly along Borough High Street, stabbing people at random.”
In a statement this morning outside 10 Downing Street, May praised the “great courage and great speed” with which police and emergency workers responded. The Guardian reports:
Theresa May has warned there has been “far too much tolerance of extremism” in the UK and promised to step up the fight against Islamist terrorism in the wake of the London Bridge attack, saying “enough is enough”.

The prime minister struck a sombre and serious tone as she spoke outside No 10 on Sunday morning after chairing a meeting of the Cobra committee following the attack in the centre of the capital that left seven dead.

She said internet companies must not allow extremism a place to exist, but that there was also a need to tackle “safe spaces in real world”, which would require “difficult” conversations.

May also suggested the idea of increased prison terms for terrorism offences, even relatively minor ones.
But May specifically calling out social media firms for criticism suggested authorities may have information that the attackers were homegrown terrorists. (One eyewitness reported one attacker spoke in a British accent.)

The president of the United States, being a terrorism authority, last night tweeted a renewed call for what he explicitly now calls a "Travel Ban." This morning he responded as presidentially as we've come to expect:

And taking a shot at London's mayor:

Minutes ago, Reuters reported that London Metropolitan police have arrested 12 people today in Barking outside London in connection with at least one of the attackers. Neighbors report that one of the men police shot last night lived in the apartment block.