Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Terror attack in London kills 4 people and wounds 40 more in car and stabbing incident.

Police patrol the area around Parliament after the attack. NBC/AFP.

In a major terrorist attack in London, 4 were killed and 40 were wounded in a knife and car attack. NBC News. The attacker started the attack by plowing his vehicle into the crowds on the UK's famous Westminster bridge. He then crashed his car into Parliament, got out and stabbed an unarmed police officer. He was then shot by armed officers and died on the scene. National and international leaders condemned the attack, which has been confirmed by the UK to be terrorism. The attack comes on the one year anniversary of the Brussels attack in Belgium. 

ABC News has video of the attack and pictures from the scene. Be warned some of the pictures in that post and the below video have graphic content. 

My Comment:
Yet another horrible terror attack in Europe and one that falls into a recent pattern for Islamic terrorists. Much like Nice, Berlin and the Ohio State attacks, the suspect rammed a vehicle into a crowd of people and then stabbed people. This tactic has proven to be extremely effective for terrorists and allows anyone with the ability to drive to kill and wound multiple people. It can be done anywhere there are crowds and can be pulled off by even the least sophisticated of terrorists.

The second part of the attack was much less successful. Though a police officer died, tragically he was a husband and father, the terrorist died shortly afterwards. Indeed, the attack would have failed entirely, much like the Orly attack, had the officer been armed. Unfortunately, the UK still doesn't arm all of it's officers. Only specially trained ones are armed, even at a place as important as Parliament. Even with the one man killed though, attacking cops while only armed with a knife is a suckers game.

Still, even if the murdered police officer was armed, he would not have been able to prevent the ramming attack, even if he could have saved his own life. I am not sure what can be done to stop these ramming attacks, short of eliminating the people that want to attempt them. They are about the cheapest way to kill a large amount of people and are easy enough to pull off that anyone capable of driving is able to do it. Even armed guards won't necessarily stop such an attack, assuming they aren't the first ones hit. Killing the driver doesn't stop the vehicle as it will still have momentum.

This attack once again proves that mass murders can kill without the use of a gun. Indeed, given the fact that the UK's gun laws are draconian it just goes to show that guns aren't necessary to kill. Had the attacker tried to obtain a gun, he probably would have been caught and captured and nobody would have died. Not only was using a car effective, it was safer for the terrorist in terms of discovery.

The UK has largely been spared the string of terror attacks that have swept Europe in the past few years. As far as I remember this is the first major one that killed more than one person. Though I am obviously not supportive of this attack, it seemed that it was due for a terror attack. Given the large Muslim population who are often radicalized, it is amazing that the UK had been spared for so long.

The images I saw this morning of the attack were horrible. Unlike the Nice, Berlin or Ohio State attacks, images came out immediately of the dead and dying. This was probably a function of the location. As the seat of the government and a famous tourist location, there were many cameras and video equipment around. Either way, the broken bodies and wounded people might have more of an impact since the entire world saw them this time.

Personally, I stayed up too late watching this story unfold on social media and news. I had been expecting another major attack for quite some time and I was not surprised when this happened. There were no surprises here for me and I am sure such things will happen again...

As far as the suspect, I won't speculate too much. There has been some info floating around on social media but I haven't been able to confirm any of it, so I won't repeat it here. I do believe that this was probably a lone wolf, ISIS inspired terror attack. It seems that this tactic is the preferred option for that class of attacker and will probably be repeated in the future...

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