London Mourns Following Terror Attack
London became the most recent victim of a terror attack on March 23. The attack resulted in the deaths of four civilians, including a police officer, and injured up to approximately 40 other passers-by.
At approximately 2:40pm, the perpetrator, recently identified as Khalid Masood, a 52-year-old Islamic convert with a 20-year record of offending and a history of investigation on the grounds of extremism, plowed through Westminster Bridge in an SUV, killing three individuals and injuring many other civilians. After crossing the bridge, Masood entered Parliament grounds, where he attacked and killed officer Keith Palmer before he was apprehended and shot dead by police.
The incident comes after a string of lone wolf attacks around Europe over the past few years. Two of the most recent Western European attacks include the July 14, 2016 attack in Nice, France, which resulted in the deaths of 86 people and injury of 434 others, and the December 19, 2016 attack in Berlin, Germany, which resulted in the deaths of 12 individuals and injured 56 others.
Since the London attack, ISIS has claimed responsibility for Masood’s actions, praising him as a “soldier of the Islamic state.” Both the United Kingdom and its allies have responded defiantly in this time of crisis.
British Prime Minister Theresa May, on a note of defiance, told Members of Parliament in an emergency statement that they would “meet as normal, as generations have done before [them] and as future generations will continue to do, to deliver a simple message: we are not afraid and our resolve will never waver in the face of terrorism.”
Furthermore, London Mayor Sadiq Khan called for all Londoners to take part in a candlelit vigil at Trafalgar Square on the evening of March 23 to show solidarity with the victims. He affirmed that the city remains united and dedicated to fighting the terror threat, adding that London will “never be cowed by terror.”
Many world leaders, including the likes of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President François Hollande, and President Donald Trump have offered their condolences and support for the British people. French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve offered "solidarity with our British friends” and full support for the wounded and their families after reports came out that three French students were included among those injured. Moreover, Chancellor Merkel expressed her deepest sorrow towards the attacks, claiming that Germany “will stand firmly and resolutely by Great Britain's side in the fight against all forms of terrorism,” while Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced "solidarity with the victims" of the attack. President Trump pledged the "full co-operation and support" of the U.S. government to the British people.
With so many horrifying attacks in recent memory, it is clear that the world is under the threat of a force progressively growing in power while instilling fear in civilians. While our leaders work towards finding a solution to the growing threat of pervasive terror, civilians of the world must also come together and show resilience against the threat that is being posed to their families and communities.