London attack

Written By: - Date published: 8:17 am, March 23rd, 2017 - 92 comments
Categories: uk politics - Tags: ,

A person has carried out an attack on Parliament in London. Guardian:

Here is what the Guardian has been able to confirm so far:

• Four people have died, including a police officer and one man believed to be the attacker, police said.
• At least 20 other people were injured in the attack, some with “catastrophic” wounds.
• The alleged assailant drove a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge before crashing it and then trying to enter the complex, armed with a knife.
• He was shot by armed police inside the security cordon of the Houses of Parliament.
• Police currently believe there was only one attacker, but have locked down the area around Westminster and are searching the area.


Update:

Britain’s Channel 4 News has backtracked on a report naming a known “hate-preacher” as the man behind an attack on parliament in London.

Channel 4 claimed Abu Izzadeen, also known as Trevor Brooks, from Hackney in London, was the suspect. The news was quickly also reported by mainstream newspapers including the Independent and the Daily Mirror.

But claims soon followed that the man is in fact currently serving time in jail.

Izzadeen’s solicitor was quoted by US channel ABC as saying his client was still in jail and could not have been the attacker.

92 comments on “London attack”

  1. r0b 1

    The dead appear to include school kids. Horrible – condolences to the families and friends of all victims.

    Naturally the identity of the attacker will be politically significant. Brexit Britain is an explosively fearful place. Likewise – when something like this happens in America, Trump will use it as an excuse to go nuts.

    • Enough is Enough 1.2

      How has Brexit Britian got anything to do with this?

      • J'Accuse 1.2.1

        “How has Brexit Britain got anything to do with this?”

        Britons rallying around the flag in the context of a fearful and dangerous world => easily manipulable.
        Oldest trick in the book, conditioned on the playing fields of Eton.

        One problem. Scotland has the same idea, as do the Irish and the Welsh.

        Is the concept of Britain still tenable ?

        We need another warrior queen. Ah, Teresa .. there you are. Are you sharpening something .. ?

        • Cemetery Jones 1.2.1.1

          Britons rallying around the flag in the context of a fearful and dangerous world => easily manipulable.
          Oldest trick in the book, conditioned on the playing fields of Eton.

          Well the oldest trick in the book is having your intelligence agencies infiltrate radical groups and goad them into doing it, so you can then rally everyone around the flag. It’s over a century since Joseph Conrad wrote his novel the Secret Agent, which was about just such things taking place in the capital cities of Europe by anarchist radicals making useful idiots of themselves in order to make such manipulations possible. Yet some still believe that radical Islamic terrorism isn’t from the same root: deep state agitators giving these groups the necessary nudge. And as for the playing fields of Eton, those were the playing fields which produced the likes of Lord Palmerston and Lord Lothian, who funded and turned loose those radical groups in the late 19th century and let them set Europe ablaze in the name of their controlled ‘revolutionary’ causes. Radical Islamists are just the deep state’s latest rubes.

  2. Keith 2

    Another terror attack, this time in Nigeria. You probably won’t find that in our media.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/03/multiple-bomb-blasts-rock-nigeria-maiduguri-170322074812422.html

  3. Neil 3

    “A person has carried out an attack on Parliament in London” is not really correct as reported by several news websites, the title should really read as “A person has carried out an attack outside Parliament buildings in London”

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      It was an attack directed at parliament and thus an attack upon parliament.

      The fact that it didn’t succeed doesn’t change that.

      • greywarshark 3.1.1

        How do you know it was directed at parliament? It is just a public place with special meaning for people, but it was on a bridge wasn’t it?

  4. One Two 4

    Numbers and dates are significant when seeking to identify the nature of the attack, and the intended purpose

  5. saveNZ 5

    Shocking!

  6. Sabine 6

    Maybe we should do a post on all the terrorist attacks that happened in the last few days, and that would include any bombing sorties by western forces.
    Would be interesting to see?

    sad, so sad all around.

  7. Siobhan 7

    Why is the Standard covering a story about one individual going on a rampage?. I know some of us may still consider the UK to be the Mother land, and we still have the Queen and all that….but we need some perspective
    If this is worth covering then we are going to need a whole extra blog covering such things.

    • r0b 7.1

      Because of its political significance in a tense Brexit / Trump world.

      • james 7.1.1

        10 to 1 it has nothing to do with Brexit or Trump and everything to do with religion.

        • Sabine 7.1.1.1

          are you saying the same about christian nutters that would kill a doctor for providing much needed abortion? Or about some christian nutters that would blow up a planned parenthood facility?

          Just asking.

      • One Two 7.1.2

        The claim of significance can only be weighed up once an irrifutable ‘position’ has been verified as to WHAT and WHY!

        Until that is established and ‘independently verfied’, the significance is under review…

        In the world of lies we are forced to exist within, it would be wise that people should take a neutral perspective as default

    • Motherland and Queen bollocks. It’s covered because stuff happening to people much like yourself in a country much like yours is of greater interest than stuff happening to people you have little in common with in countries you know little about. That’s true regardless of which ethnic group you belong to.

      • Siobhan 7.2.1

        Are you serious. That’s an amazingly sad comment. People is people…but lets go down that path shall we…as someone who doesn’t like the thought of being blown to smithereens and as a mother and someone with a close family I tend to relate to families…like these ones

        https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/22/dozens-dead-in-us-led-syria-airstrike-al-mansoura

        • Psycho Milt 7.2.1.1

          Are you serious. That’s an amazingly sad comment.

          Some people do find realism sad, but I’m not one of those people.

          People is people…

          Er, yes. I haven’t suggested otherwise. Every human having equal value != it’s wrong to have more personal interest in one human than another.

          • Siobhan 7.2.1.1.1

            “stuff happening to people much like yourself in a country much like yours is of greater interest than stuff happening to people you have little in common with in countries you know little about”

            ” Every human having equal value != it’s wrong to have more personal interest in one human than another.”

            Are you actually following what you’re saying here or is it one of those days???

            • Psycho Milt 7.2.1.1.1.1

              You imply some inconsistency between those statements but I’m not seeing it myself. What is the inconsistency you believe to exist?

          • Adrian Thornton 7.2.1.1.2

            Why would one persons sufferings have more interest to you because they have a similar cultural background and live in the same type of house or neighborhood as you, have more interest to you than another person sufferings who does not share this perceived cultural similarity with you?

            Is making those cultural and ethnic divisions a natural reality that you just make instinctively?

            And BTW you are exactly right “People is people…” I think that is our point.

            • Psycho Milt 7.2.1.1.2.1

              I get that it’s your point, but don’t get how it’s relevant to my comment, unless you’re using “people is people” as shorthand for “family, ethnic and cultural differences don’t actually exist,” which would just be silly.

              • Adrian Thornton

                Of course ethnic and cultural differences exist, however National radio (for example) making the call to spend half it’s morning on 3-4 deaths by some loon because ‘we’ can relate to those deaths, while failing to report a single word on the 33 civilians killed in a US-led coalition air strike in Syria….or the dead and dying in Nigeria from multiple suicide attacks in a refugee camp is the problem ( that you seem to endorse).

                We all know that if violence and war are covered with at least a semblance of impartiality in the media, real positive outcomes can be forced to happen..Vietnam is a good example of this, not that the the coverage ended the war, but it certainly changed public perception toward the North Vietnamese people in the US, and helped bring the conflict to an end.
                I know that Vietnam was only covered because the US were involved, but it shows that if people of one culture are made to walk in another cultures shoes and see their suffering in an equivalence of their own…then empathy and solidarity will naturally develop…because people are people, and given the chance will usually relate to one another as just that…another human person.
                This is why the ‘news’ needs to cover world news events evenly and without cultural bias..to encourage and build this cultural and ethnic understanding and not entrench ethnic/cultural/religious singularity.

        • Muttonbird 7.2.1.2

          You have to understand what Psycho Milt is going through at the moment. As a supporter of Western interference in the Middle East he’s conflicted after learning that the National Government may have sanctioned a SAS hit on Afghani civilians.

          It must be very very confusing for him.

      • One Two 7.2.2

        “…is of greater interest to stuff happening to people YOU have little in common with”

        Are those people subhuman in your mind?

        The comment says , yes but in case it was the musings of a poorly written thought process…

        Clearly state what you meant…

        • Psycho Milt 7.2.2.1

          Are those people subhuman in your mind?

          No. Are they subhuman in yours?

          • One Two 7.2.2.1.1

            Clearly state what you meant then. Go on

            I know you read the request, and I know you deliberately ignored responding to it, and instead ran with the ‘cowards choice’

            It was your comment…own it!

            • Psycho Milt 7.2.2.1.1.1

              How much more clearly could it be stated? People are more interested in the doings of people they feel they have things in common with or have some relationship with. What exactly do you find confusing about that?

              • One Two

                I am ‘people’…We are ‘people’

                And I do not view events the way you so ineloquently claimed

                Looking through the archives, shows you have previous when it comes to using generic stereotypes which could be interpreted in ways which expose you…

                Explanation of ‘why’ the icon you use, is less than convincing…

                There is nothing to confuse about what it is behind your handle…

                You know what you are, and so do I !

      • Adrian Thornton 7.2.3

        That my freind, is the most fucked up thing I have ever seen you come out with, it is so offensive and deeply racist that I don’t even know where to start….so I won’t.

      • McFlock 7.2.4

        Well, I think I understand what you’re saying, and I think I generally agree with what I think you said, but maybe your use of the second-person pronoun has thrown some folks.

        My understanding is that it was merely an observation of human nature that is generally true: the more things someone has in common with a news event, the greater attention one tends to pay to it, regardless of the relative significance in the greater scheme of things (and insert a feedback loop of public attention into significance).

        A tendency that probably had no small part in the contrasting responses to Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

        • Psycho Milt 7.2.4.1

          It would be pretty funny if the commenters proudly declaring themselves above such things had made the mistake of thinking the generic terms “you” and “yourself” could only mean White people.

        • weka 7.2.4.2

          If people on TS truly thought that everyone was equally interested in everyone we would spend as much time talking about earthquakes overseas as we do about Chch and Kaikoura.

          I see it at the smaller level. People look after themselves and their families before others. When themselves and their families are taken care of, compassionate people extend their care outwards.

  8. Bill 8

    And the ‘fear beast’ is poked from its slumbers to shuffle forth yet again.

    Tweet from the Met – “Incident in #Westminster: We are treating this as a terrorist incident until we know otherwise
    4:32 AM – 23 Mar 2017”

    and from Metropolitan Police acting deputy commissioner Mark Rowley

    “Looking forward, people of London will see extra police officers on our streets, and we could call on the support of military,”

    I’m not the only one who’s becoming utterly sickened by the playing of the terrorist card every time something shit happens, right?

    I mean, a guy mounts a crowded pavement in a car and then proceeds to stab someone with, it wouldn’t seem unreasonable to assume, the intention to stab others. What’s the initial take on that?

    Something along the lines of some arguably poor deranged person has flipped out and inflicted fairly random hurt, anguish and death? Or T for Terror and let’s make like Doctor Zoidberg?

    • McFlock 8.1

      “lone wolf” sounds so much better than “final act of desperate person who slipped through the cracks of social or mental health services”

      • Bill 8.1.1

        And “lone wolf” requires no reflection whatsoever – demands no questions * whatsoever. Shoot them. Return to ‘normal’.

        *caveat. How do we deepen and broaden the reach of the surveillance state into society because security? Questions revolving around that one get asked. And answered. And acted on.

    • weka 8.2

      “Looking forward, people of London will see extra police officers on our streets, and we could call on the support of military,”

      wtf?

      I think terrorism now means for the Police etc any act of violence that looks politically motivated. Not is politically motivated, but looks. MSM too, who have a pretty big chunk of culpability in this, esp regards needing to be first with the breaking news. Ffs, why do we even need to know what happened in the first day? Unless it’s a big, ongoing attack, let the authorities investigate and see what happened before parading it across the flatscreen.

      It’s not really any wonder that someone wanting to kill themselves might choose to take out others and shout some stuff as they do it. Reality TV.

    • Gabby 8.3

      Sure, let’s wait and see if the murderer was part of a bigger attack. Good thinking.

      • weka 8.3.1

        Assuming you are being sarcastic, it’s not our job to judge if the murderer was part of a bigger attack. Unless one is in London in the vicinity of Parliament, it’s not going to affect ‘us’ and we have no need to know immediately.

        It’s the job of the Police and govt agencies to determine what is going on. It’s not their job to up the ante and scare the fuck out of everyone again.

        • Gabby 8.3.1.1

          Job? What are you talking about?

          • weka 8.3.1.1.1

            I used the word job in a couple of instances, you’d have to be more specific. I suggest you don’t troll me, the moderators are out with the ban hammers this week.

            • Gabby 8.3.1.1.1.1

              To be more specific, in the comment to which I replied. How could that not be obvious?

              [Just had a look at your comments for March and I’m seeing a lot of similar 1 line smart arse trolly type comments. 1 month ban for wasting my time. Might want to up your game when you get back – weka]

      • McFlock 8.3.2

        That’s the funny thing about attacks: if the dude were part of a bigger, more organised campaign, he would have had more than a car and a knife.

        Heck, you get enough drivers running amok, you might even cause a statistical blip in the UK road toll /sarc

        Really, I’d be waiting for information as to whether the individual was someone in extremis who had targetted parliament because of some random legislation, and then asking whether there were any ideological motives (and if they were, did the individual merely fixate on them as a product of their pre-existing issues around power and notoriety) before getting all worked up over the t-word.

        The Australian authorities seem to have a much more reasonable approach than the yanks or English.

        • MikeS 8.3.2.1

          “.. if the dude were part of a bigger, more organised campaign, he would have had more than a car and a knife.”

          Not necessarily. Use of a car can be far more fear inducing in a population because it is such a common everyday thing which anyone has access too. Most people will live their entire lives and never even see a real ak47, let alone one brandished by a criminal. Cars of course are everywhere so it brings the violence that much closer to everyday people. Use of a knife, well, many people find knives / blades scarier than even guns.

          So assuming the purpose of the attack is to terrorise the population then cars and knives are excellent choices.

          • McFlock 8.3.2.1.1

            Up until a cop with a gun arrives, this being a case in point.

            Compare with Orlando, where armed folk were actually on the scene when he started, ISTR.

    • One Two 8.4

      Not so much sickened (anymore), as it has become predictable by the numbers

      322 has meanings for those who represent ‘fear beast’

      An event was a literal certainty…once enough time has been spent observating the cycles and patterns

  9. millsy 9

    Oh god, more terrorism hysteria.

    • Bill 9.1

      Dunno why you’d be thinking that millsy. /sarc

      Here’s some measured comments/quotes from a quick scroll down ‘The Guardian’s’ “Westminster Attack Live” thang.

      Metropolitan Police acting deputy commissioner Mark Rowley.

      Terrorists have a clear aim and that is to create discord, distrust and to create fear.

      We ask the public to be alert and to report any suspicious activity to the police by calling 0800 789 321, or dialling 999.

      Boris Johnson

      Heartbreaking. This is not the first attack on London or our Parliament – and won’t be the last – but our values will prevail.

      Donald Trump pledged the “full cooperation and support of the United States government in responding to the attack and bringing those responsible to justice”.

      The leader of the Democrats in the US House of Representatives, Nancy PelosiThe American people share in the outrage and horror at this brutal terrorist attack in London.

      Theresa May I have just chaired a meeting of the government’s emergency committee, Cobra, following the sick and depraved terrorist attack on the streets of our capital this afternoon…

      The terrorist was also shot dead. The United Kingdom’s threat level has been set at severe for some time and this will not change.

      The terrorists chose to strike at the heart of our capital city…

      Jeremy Corbyn This was not only an attack on innocent people. It was also an attack on our democracy.But I know that Londoners and people across the country will stand together in defence of our values and diversity.

      Justin Trudeau Today’s attack on the UK parliament is an attack on democracies around the world.

      And sickeningly on it goes…framing, pushing and hyping.

  10. Siobhan 10

    “Terrorists have a clear aim and that is to create discord, distrust and to create fear.”

    Is he calling a goodly number of politicians, Government officials, media organisations and journalists – terrorists??

    Because if the perpetrator turns out to be some marginalised individual with the usual array of social and mental health issues then I guess you could argue that the real terrorists in this situation are the people calling this ‘terrorism’ before any actual facts about the individual and their motives have been established.

    • Bill 10.1

      I didn’t know that a petard was a small bomb made of a metal or wooden box filled with powder, used to blast down a door or to make a hole in a wall.

      Anyway, Hoist and petard and all of that, while looking at the general tone of many of the comments here when compared to (my memory of) a few years back…..;-)

    • Bill 10.2

      Meanwhile, some of the very same outlets that are hyping stuff in line with their agendas are condemning Tommy Robinson for…exploiting a situation in order to hype stuff in line with his agenda.

      The hypocrisy…the lack of…. Me head hurts.

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/tommy-robinson-london-terror-attack-islamic-extremism-westminster-bridge-a7644676.html

    • Poission 10.3

      Because if the perpetrator turns out to be some marginalised individual

      The Guardian is saying he was known to the counter terrorism authorities.

      The Germans are now invoking the precautionary principle.

      http://www.dw.com/en/two-german-born-terror-suspects-to-be-deported-from-country/a-38060107

      The word of the day is Jus sanguinis

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jus_sanguinis

      • weka 10.3.1

        That’s confusing. Are they not Germans because place of birth doesn’t establish citizenship?

        • Psycho Milt 10.3.1.1

          Yes, German citizenship is based on ancestry rather than place of birth. If you’re an ethnic German whose ancestors moved to Romania 300 years ago, you can get citizenship easily. If you’re a Nigerian born in Germany, you’ll be pushing it uphill wanting citizenship.

          EDIT: I see they changed the law since I lived there, making it easier for non-Germans to get citizenship. Still not guaranteed though.

          • weka 10.3.1.1.1

            “If you’re a Nigerian born in Germany, you’ll be pushing it uphill wanting citizenship.”

            You mean if your parents were Nigerian who didn’t have German citizenship?

            • Psycho Milt 10.3.1.1.1.1

              Yes. My son was born in Germany, but that just made him a New Zealander or Brit who happened to have been born in Germany. That situation wouldn’t have changed over time. But when I looked it up earlier, they changed the law a few years after we left – non-Germans born in Germany are now entitled to citizenship if they meet certain criteria. Presumably the two in the news story didn’t.

              There are paths to naturalisation for immigrants, but Germany doesn’t allow dual citizenship with most non-EU countries, so a lot of immigrants remain citizens of wherever their family emigrated from. The Turkish people I worked with in Germany all considered themselves Turks, even the ones born in Germany.

      • Siobhan 10.3.2

        Be interesting to see a list of people ‘known to counter terrorism authorities’. probably more than half the population in some areas of London. An entirely pointless approach to any problem.

        • Bill 10.3.2.1

          Various animal rights activists, probably some greenpeace members, probably a few quakers… and just keep adding more or less anyone with any political involvement that runs counter to the interests of established power in any way.

          And the more paranoid or insecure the state portrays itself to be, the longer the list of ‘likely suspects’ will become.

  11. Yeah, wildly implausible it was a terrorist attack – from the Guardian:

    The attacker’s identity was already known to counter-terrorism officials. Rowley said investigators were trying to establish the attacker’s associates and his preparations for the attack.

    Mind you, I doubt the “preparations for the attack” are going to make riveting reading:

    Car? Check!
    Knife? Check!

    Er… preparations complete!

    • weka 11.1

      Being already known doesn’t make it a terrorist attack.

      London mayor Sadiq Khan said: “London is the greatest city in the world and we stand together in the face of those who seek to harm us and destroy our way of life. We always have, and we always will. Londoners will never be cowed by terrorism.”

      I guess that makes some people feel better. Less macho might be called for in this situation though.

      • Psycho Milt 11.1.1

        Being already known doesn’t make it a terrorist attack.

        It doesn’t necessarily make it a terrorist attack, no. But then, if a guy caught kicking over headstones in a Jewish cemetery is a known neo-nazi, that doesn’t necessarily make it an anti-semitic hate crime, and yet I’m going to consider it an anti-semitic hate crime until someone demonstrates otherwise. Even I can only take pedantry so far.

        • weka 11.1.1.1

          I was thinking more about someone who was on the fringes of a terror network, who robs a dairy. Is that a terrorist attack if he goes off an edge and kills people? (not suggesting in this case that there was a different kind of crime being committed, just looking for a situation where it’s clear that being known by the authorities doesn’t make one’s violence automatically terrorism).

          In other words, I think it’s far to soon to call it terrorism, although I can certainly understand why the authorities would be erring on the side of caution until they know for sure. But if we are talking about the public good here, it’s pretty clear that upping the ante and broadening what terrorism is, is part of the play. It’s not like there is going to be the same kind of coverage or interest in the MSM or public if it turns out he had a mental health crisis. Nor much focus on the overlaps between terrorism and mental health crises.

          • gsays 11.1.1.1.1

            I had a yak with a mate today and 2 things came up:
            A terrorist is a person with a bomb/gun/knife who doesn’t have an airforce,
            and how the word terrorism did not come up describing our SAS ‘botched’ raid in Afghanistan.

            • weka 11.1.1.1.1.1

              I haven’t read the book nor followed the details, but if it was a revenge raid, then terrorism seems to fit.

              Of course ultimately all war is terrorism 🙁

            • Psycho Milt 11.1.1.1.1.2

              … the word terrorism did not come up describing our SAS ‘botched’ raid in Afghanistan.

              Well, yes – just like the word “pizza” does not come up describing that curry I made. Different things have different words for them, even when both things fit into some broader category.

      • Tui 11.1.2

        my very close friend Carol says lets not rush and call it a terrorist attack because then we’re giving power to real terrorists.

        ~ Tui

    • McFlock 11.2

      Which also shows the actualisation problems that many less-healthy individuals have with their plans: they get the car, turns out they can’t drive a manual.

      Like the Sydney guy bringing the wrong flag to his event.

      • MikeS 11.2.1

        Yea, like all those Saudis years ago not being able to fly Cessna’s suddenly having to fly jet airliners.

        • McFlock 11.2.1.1

          They weren’t having serious mental health episodes, though. They were just massive dicks.

          Contrast their efforts with samuel Byck, who had a similar plan but major coherence issues when it came to specifics.

          • weka 11.2.1.1.1

            That was a sad read.

            Presumably terrorist organisations won’t work with people in those states, so let’s see what the actual connections are with the London guy.

  12. Adrian Thornton 12

    Just sent this to RNZ morning report…

    I assume you won’t read this out….

    When is RNZ going to show the maturity to treat the suffering of people from all races and cultures with the same level of reportage and understanding as we do white cultures?, or is RNZ happy to be entrenching cultural divides, and relentlessly portraying one peoples lives and suffering as having higher values than others…because that is exactly what RNZ now does, and is now doing re; London attacks.

    RNZ instantly reads out the names of the London dead this morning, however, even though RNZ has the names of the innocent civilians killed in the NZ SAS debacle, no names where given…not even the little girl…just faceless, nameless foreigners killed in what for them,and their families, must have been a moment of pure final terror.

    This week….

    -At least eight people killed, including refugees, by series of explosions along highway in Maiduguri..not a word

    -Dozens of people were killed earlier this week in a suspected US-led coalition air raid that hit a school sheltering displaced people near Raqqa….not a word

    -Roadside bombs kill 10 Egyptian soldiers….Not a word…..or maybe just not white skinned enough for RNZ’s interest.

    This must change, RNZ has a serious social responsibility to help break down these ethnic and cultural divides..not further entrench them…if not RNZ in NZ then who?

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