LONDON TERROR UPDATE! Four Dead including Policeman and Terrorist
Britain is on its second-highest alert level of “severe” in the wake of what London now calls a “major terror attack.”
People screamed and bodies scattered as an Asian man in his 40s plowed his car into a large crowd of pedestrians on the Westminster Bridge in London. Two people died and 20 others were injured, some with “catastrophic” injuries.
Armed with two kitchen knives, the attacker then ran on foot through the gates of Parliament, stabbing an armed policeman there.
Responding quickly, officers shot the suspect. Foreign minister Tobias Ellwood fought in vain to save the injured officer, giving him mouth-to-mouth. And paramedics treated the terror suspect at the scene. Both later died from their injuries.
The car’s impact threw one woman into the River Thames. And the French government confirmed that three French school children are among the injured.
Prime Minister Theresa May is in a security meeting of COBR (Cabinet Office Briefing Rooms) where several bodies of government meet to coordinate their crises responses. Inspectors called bomb squad officers to deal with a suspicious package found in a vehicle on scene.
This terror attack comes on the one year anniversary of the Brussels attack that killed 32 and injured more than 320 people.
Security officials rushed Prime Minister Theresa May to a secure location. And Parliament was suspended as police evacuated MPs to Westminster Abbey in a full-scale lockdown.
Buckingham Palace declined comment, but precautions, such as closing the gates were obvious, as armed police patrolled the area.
For several hours, officials held dozens of school children inside the Parliament buildings for their safety. The grade-schoolers were there to tour Parliament.
Similarly, sightseers riding on a giant Ferris wheel called The London Eye were suspended inside viewing pods mid-ride, high above the River Thames for three hours while police cleared the area.
Only police officers guarding high profile places like Parliament are armed in the U.K. Some officials now opine that a thorough review of that gun policy is necessary.
Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said they believe there was only one attacker but a “full-scale” counter terrorist investigation is under way.
“This is a day we plan for but hoped would never happen. Sadly it is now a reality. We will continue to do all we can to protect the people of London.”
Press Secretary Sean Spicer issued a statement on behalf of the White House:
“We obviously condemn today’s attack in Westminster, which the United Kingdom is treating as an act of terrorism. And we applaud the quick response that the British police and their first responders made to the situation. The victims are in our thoughts and in our prayers. The city of London and Her Majesty’s government have the full support of the U.S. government in responding to the attack and bringing to justice those who are responsible.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declared:
“On behalf of the United States, I express my condolences to the victims and their families. The American people send their thoughts and prayers to the people of the United Kingdom. We condemn these horrific acts of violence, and whether they were carried out by troubled individuals or by terrorists, the victims know no difference.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said:
“Even if the background to these attacks has yet to be cleared up, I would like to emphasize on behalf of Germany and its citizens: we stand resolutely on Britain’s side in the fight against any form of terrorism.”
And EU President Donald Tusk tweeted:
“My thoughts are with the victims of the Westminster attack. Europe stands firm with the UK against terror and ready to help.”