Sunday, June 4, 2017

Knife Attack

From the BBC:
"London attack: 12 arrested in Barking after van and knife attack"

Twelve people have been arrested after the London terror attack which left seven people dead and 48 injured. The arrests in Barking, east London, followed a raid at a flat belonging to one of the three attackers. A van hit pedestrians on London Bridge at 21:58 BST on Saturday. Three men then got out and stabbed people in nearby Borough Market. The attackers were shot dead by eight officers who fired 50 bullets. A member of the public was accidentally shot. The member of the public remains in hospital in a non-critical condition, Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said. "The situation these officers were confronted with was critical, a matter of life and death - three armed men wearing what appeared to be suicide belts," he said. "They had already attacked and killed members of the public and had to be stopped immediately." The suspected suicide vests were later found to be hoaxes. Thirty-six people are in hospital with a "range of injuries", he said, and 21 are in a critical condition. 
Elizabeth O'Neill, mother of Daniel O'Neill, who was stabbed, told the BBC that the 23-year-old has a seven-inch scar from the knife attack. "He had just stepped outside the bar for a second and a man ran up to him and said 'this is for my family, this is for Islam' and put a knife in him," Ms O'Neill said. "I'm still in shock. I can't quite believe it's happened."  Controlled explosions were carried out at the flat in Barking during the raids on Sunday morning. According to neighbours, the dead attacker lived there for about three years and was married with two children. It is the third terror attack in the UK in three months, following the car and knife attack in Westminster in March, in which five people were killed, and the Manchester bombing less than two weeks ago, in which 22 people were killed.  Most political parties have suspended national general election campaigning, but the prime minister said full campaigning would resume on Monday. The general election will go ahead as planned on Thursday.  Condemning the attack, Theresa May said it was "time to say enough is enough".  Eyewitnesses described a van travelling at high speed along London Bridge, hitting pedestrians, before crashing close to the Barrowboy and Banker pub. The white Renault van used was recently hired by one of the attackers, Mr Rowley said. Three men then got out wearing fake bomb vests and began attacking people in the nearby market - an area known for its bars and restaurants.   Four police officers who tried to stop the attack were among those injured, two of them seriously. One of them was an off-duty officer and amateur rugby player who tackled one of the terrorists, suffering stab wounds.  Another, a British Transport Police officer who joined the force less than two years ago, took on the attackers armed with only his baton. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick praised their "extraordinary bravery". The three suspects were shot dead within eight minutes of the first 999 call being received.

Among the main developments:
  • Prime Minister Theresa May has made a private visit to King's College Hospital in south London to visit some of the injured
  • There will be a minute's silence on Tuesday at 11:00 BST in remembrance of those who lost their lives and all others affected by the attacks
  • A Canadian national was among those killed, the country's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said
  • Two Australian citizens "have been directly impacted" says the country's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull
  • Four French citizens have been injured, one seriously, according to foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian
  • The Met Police has set up a casualty bureau on 0800 096 1233 and 020 7158 0197 for people concerned about friends or relatives
BBC reporter Holly Jones, who was on the bridge, said the van was "probably travelling at about 50 miles an hour" and hit "five or six people".  According to another witness, Eric, the men inside jumped out once the van crashed and "ran towards the people that they nearly ran over". "[Then] they literally just started kicking them, punching them, they took out knives... it was a rampage really," he said. One man, Gerard, told the BBC he saw a woman being stabbed "10 or 15 times" by men shouting "This is for Allah".  Steven Gibbs, who was drinking in a pub metres from the scene, told the BBC: "A black cab drove past and the driver shouted, 'Terrorist attack, run!'  "I stood up to take a look and then all of a sudden there were gunshots. Lots of people were screaming."  Hundreds of people were left stranded after being unable to return to their homes and hotels. As with the Manchester attack, there were stories of Londoners coming to each other's aide, offering free taxi rides, free accommodation or just the opportunity to call friends and family - many using the hashtag on social media #sofaforLondon.   Speaking in Downing Street after a meeting of the government's emergency Cobra committee, the prime minister said the country "cannot and must not pretend that things can continue as they are". "We believe we are experiencing a new trend in the threat we face as terrorism breeds terrorism," she said. Mrs May said the counter-terrorism strategy would be reviewed and the UK would work with other countries to prevent the internet being a "safe space" for terrorists.
She said there was "too much tolerance of extremism in our country" and while it would involve "some difficult and embarrassing conversations", that must change.  The country's terror level remains at severe - meaning an attack is highly likely - but has not been raised to critical as it was after the Manchester Arena bombing. Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: "We're staying at severe because we think they have got all the main perpetrators."

^ Sadly, it seems like this is becoming a trend for the UK and Europe. ^

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