In the heart of London last night, at least 5 terrorists went on a rampage. The men began their carnage in a white cargo van, running over pedestrians on a bridge of the river Thames. Three men then jumped from the van and began stabbing people at random. It took 8 minutes for armed police to respond to the scene.
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Two of the attackers are thought to be at large.
British Prime Minister Theresa May blasted what she refereed to as an “evil ideology” lurking in the extremism that inspires attacks like these. She’s calling for a tougher stance on terrorists, including an attempt to find them online. She’s also endorsing a ramped up military campaign and tougher sentences for even minor terror related charges.
The London Metropolitan Police have called these “terrorist incidents.” Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley has stated publicly that the attackers were killed, though other official channels are still saying there were possibly two more unaccounted for.
“We believe three people were involved, but we still have got some more inquiries to do to be 100 percent confident in that,” Rowley said.
“The suspects were wearing what looked like explosive vests,” Rowley said. “But these were later established to hoaxes.”
It is this last detail that many are saying points to desperation on the part of the attackers. Initial reports of gunmen attacking multiple locations and suicide bombings increased the level of panic in the heavily populated civilian area of the city.
Yet this attack may be evidence that Britain’s attempts to route out terror are succeeding. These men, clearly working together, had to improvise. Knives and a van are easy to come by. With no guns, and no explosives, they had to do what they could, and it is highly likely that they had to act spontaneously. As odd as it may sound, a much bigger incident, like the recent bombing in Manchester, may have been averted.
Still, 7 people are dead. 48 are hospitalized. 3 terrorists are dead. And the country is again terrorized.
“They kept coming to try to stab me. They were stabbing everyone. Evil, evil people,” Gerard Vowls told The Guardian. “I want to know if this girl is still alive. I’ve been walking around for an hour and a half crying my eyes out. I don’t know what to do.”
May’s speech to the people of Britain is inspiring.