Five dead – including the assailant, and a police officer who attempted to stop him – and 40 injured in a terrorist incident on Westminster Bridge and at the gates of the Houses of Parliament. Attacker is believed to have links to Islamic militancy.
“Five people died after a single terrorist attacked [the Houses of Parliament at] Westminster [in London, England], stabbing a police officer to death as he tried to storm parliament, and killing three members of the public as he careered through the heart of the capital in a 4×4 vehicle. The attacker was among those killed and at least 40 other civilians were wounded, in the first mass casualty terrorist attack on Britain in over a decade, with the Commons and Lords locked down for several hours because of fears there could have been further attacks…
“The Met’s head of counter-terrorism, Mark Rowley, said the motivation of the attacker was assumed to be ‘Islamist related’ and he had tried to enter parliament but had been stopped… The use of the vehicle to attack civilians was a direct copy of an Islamic State tactic used previously with murderous effect in Nice and Berlin… The Guardian understands the initial working theories of the police investigation are the attacker was inspired by ISIS and was most likely a ‘lone actor’. The attacker [who has not yet been named] was already known to counter-terrorism officials.”
Special respect to Police Constable Keith Palmer, a 48-year-old officer with 15 years service and a husband and father, who – though unarmed – intercepted and attempted to subdue and detain the knife-wielding perpetrator as the assailant tried to gain entrance to the Houses of Parliament. PC Palmer was stabbed multiple times and, sadly, succumbed to his injuries, but his courageous action may well have saved others from injury or death.
Special respect also to Tobias Ellwood, MP (Member of Parliament), a counter-terrorism minister in the Foreign Office and a former Captain in the Royal Army, who attempted to staunch the wounds of PC Palmer and provide him with CPR – sadly, in vain. Ellwood’s brother, Jon, was killed in the Bali terror attack in 2002. Ellwood continued to work alongside first responders, once arrived, in what proved an unsuccessful attempt to save the officer.
Pray for London.