Another vicious terror attack took place in London last night. Once again it was a vehicle-ramming: a van driven by 3 men plowed into pedestrians on London Bridge, killing 6 innocent people. When the van crashed the men got out and began stabbing people, chasing after them into pubs and restaurants.
There is extensive coverage at the Daily Mail link above, including some gruesome and graphic photos. Here is a summary:
Three Jihadi terrorists have been shot dead by armed police after killing six people and injuring 30 more during a horrific knife rampage in central London last night.
The men, described as being ‘of Mediterranean origin’, shouted ‘This is for Allah’ after they mowed down up to 20 revellers in a white van hurtling across London Bridge at 50mph on Saturday.
One of the dead terrorists was wearing an Arsenal shirt.
Attackers stabbed a police officer on the bridge and then used 12-inch hunting knives to attack revellers at busy bars and restaurants in the nearby Borough Market, in what authorities described as terrorist incidents. One man was reportedly stabbed five times in the chest.
Witnesses said the gang, who had metal canisters strapped to their chests, smashed pub windows and reportedly cut the throats of drinkers. A ‘dark-skinned’ man in a red tracksuit ‘calmly’ stabbed a man three times.
The male suspects were shot and killed by armed police in Borough Market within eight minutes of the first call. The attackers were wearing suicide vests, which turned out to be ‘hoaxes’, police said.
Armed police rushed to the scene where shots were heard and authorities urged panicked Londoners on Twitter to ‘run, hide, tell’ if they were caught in the ‘utter chaos’.
The tragedy comes just 12 days after the Manchester terror attack and 10 weeks after the Westminster atrocity.
Terrifying footage from the scene shows police officers shouting ‘Clear the scene now!’ as panicked pedestrians fled.
The car the three men were in veered in an ‘S shape’ across the bridge and drove towards the Shard and was south of the river at 10.08pm. There are unconfirmed reports that it is a B&Q and Hertz van.
One woman said she saw three people with what appeared to be their throats cut at London Bridge.
Thirty people have been taken to five hospitals across London after the horrific attack. One of the fatalities was at London bridge, it has been reported.
An on-duty British Transport Police officer who rushed to protect bystanders at London Bridge was stabbed by the terrorists.
He suffered ‘serious but not life-threatening injuries’ and his family has been informed.
‘The men said “This is for Allah” as they left the van and attacked victims. There were definitely three people sitting at the front of the van,’ witness Eric Seguenzo told BBC News.
He added: ‘I thought the van was travelling on wrong side of the road, as though the brakes had failed. The white van had yellow stripes, veered to the right and people tried to jump out the way.’
Witnesses to the terror attack heard at least 12 gunshots in the area, now believed to have been police firing at the attackers.
One witness said: ‘No one was hurt from the van impact but as the men got out the van they started kicking, punching and stabbing victims they ran over. It was a rampage.’
One of the men suspected of being an attacker was pictured lying on the ground after he was shot by the police outside the Wheatsheaf pub in Borough Market. Another man was seen lying on the ground a short distance away.
It was earlier reported that SAS helicopters were flown in from their Hereford headquarters to hunt for the deadly terrorists.
The bridge is in lock down and the area around it is closed with bus routes being diverted, as armed police and a bomb squad attended the scene and boats searched the Thames for bodies – amid reports that people were pushed into the water.
Fifty armed police also stormed nearby Monument and Bank station with police dogs. The stations were closed.
The British public reacted very well, as we have come to expect from the “Bulldog spirit”:
Will Orton, 25, said: ‘We were in the Sheaf pub. Basically lots of people came running inside, we didn’t really know what was going on.
‘We thought maybe there was a fight or something outside. And then there were almost hundreds of people coming inside.’
He added: ‘The bouncers did a really good job, they shut the doors and locked everyone in. There was panic – it seemed like it was literally outside the door. People were coming inside and saying they had witnessed people being stabbed.
‘They had seen and witnessed people being stabbed. It seemed like it was happening immediately outside the entrance.’
A bystander said a friend was in Applebee’s Restaurant – which is opposite Wheatsheaf pub in Borough Market – when suddenly the waiters pulled down all the shutters.
‘They looked outside and saw two men lying dead in the street, one had what looked like a suicide vest on him. Police told everyone in the restaurant to stay inside, then a minute or two later they heard two or three shots fired.’
There were also claims earlier in the evening that a topless man had been handcuffed and taken into custody.
Drinkers are said to have thrown chairs and glasses at the attacker as he stormed the pub. Video shows drinkers in the basement German-themed bar Katzenjammers hiding under tables as the terror attack unfolded around them.
My sincerest condolences to the bereaved and prayers for a speedy recovery to the injured.
I found the reactions in Israel to be particularly instructive for they point out the results of the weakness of Western responses to terror, particularly when it occurs in Israel.
First, the standard boiler-plate response from Israel:
Speaking to Army Radio, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan drew parallels between the London attacks and Palestinian terror attacks that have also involved car-rammings and stabbings.
“There is much greater understanding today that the terror Israel has experienced… is not much different from the motives of extremist Islam that causes these attacks [in London],” he said.
In messages posted to his Twitter feed, Erdan called for a “global alliance” to combat terror.
“Israel stands in solidarity with the UK and London in the fight against terror. It’s time for a new global alliance against terror,” he wrote. “This was an attack not just against the UK but against Western values and democracy. Our prayers are with the victims.”
And then the bald-faced truth from the Right (the left seem to have a problem with facing up to this, even in Israel):
MK Bezalel Smotrich, from the right-wing Jewish Home party, said the London attacks show Palestinian terrorism is unrelated to Israel’s control over the West Bank.
“Good morning to all the terror experts and analysts here in Israel. It is interesting what desperation motivates the terrorists in London. Is there an English occupation that we don’t know about?” he tweeted.
MK Yehudah Glick, of Erdan’s Likud party, also linked the rampage to past Palestinian terror attacks.
“Apparently the significant contribution by the Palestinians to the world is new methods of terror,” he wrote in Hebrew on Twitter. “These methods are now being used around the world.”
The tweet below sums up the situation in the West today:
Praying for London” (or Manchester, or Paris, or Brussels, or Berlin, or Stockholm or… or… or…) clearly isn’t enough. Pop group Oasis leading the crowds in a Manchester vigil with a rousing chorus of “Don’t look back in anger,” (as the French did with “Imagine” in Paris), is not only not enough, it is a dangerous repression of righteous rage in the name of “culture,” and an insult to those who buried their dead.
Hugging Muslims who show their solidarity with the horrors of terrorism isn’t enough. It is also patronizing, because it is the bar of low expectations. These Muslims should be protesting in their mosques, ridding their books stores of all the hateful material that demands and promotes Sharia, demonizes Jews, vilifies Christians, and is obsessed with the destruction of Israel. While they are at it, these Muslims should be handing over to security those in their mosques who preach of the evils of Western democracy.
Given the backdrop of slaughtered corpses pilling up on Europe’s streets, anyone with any common decency should be offended by the news anchors who apologize for the trembling, empty-eyed and pale-faced whose lives will never be the same, those in the background of the shot wearing blood splattered clothes, clenching their heads and can be heard saying, “Fuck them! Fuck them!”
British news anchors apologizing profusely for “the bad language” spoken by those who have just witnessed carnage is an inverted, delusional, trivial, misplaced and dangerous morality — as if clean speech is the dominating virtue. Although the people may not know it now, trust me, they are scarred for life.
Rage at carnage is the right psychological reaction. It is not a dirty word, or a moral failure. It is a moral necessity and it is a virtue.
And it is this righteous rage that will enable people to act, that is the answer to all those prayers.
Kay certainly knows what she is talking about, and she absolutely “gets it”. If only world leaders would learn a lesson or three from Kay, and from Israelis in general who have so much bitter experience in resisting terrorism.
The second post is (maybe surprisingly to you) from David Newman, professor of political geography at Ben Gurion University in Beer Sheva and currently on Sabbatical in the UK. He is a known leftist, and yet he is what Brian Goldfarb would term a “sane leftist”. Yes, he opposes the “occupation”, but when it comes to standing up to terrorism, he is as staunch as Kay Wilson. Here is the main excerpt from his Facebook post which hits the nail on the head: (emphases are mine):
It has nothing to do with the supposed “justice” of their causes (from the IRA to ISIS) but everything to do with the use of violence and terror as a means of advancing their cause rather than through that of the ballot box. Elections may not be the panacea for all evils and injustices, but they remain the best of all bad solutions. Terror – in whatever form and whatever location (Europe, the Middle East or elsewhere in the globe) can never be justified as innocent people in the streets, the restaurants, the buses, the shopping malls, the places of prayer and the mass events (concerts, sports stadia) – wishing to go about their normal lives – are needlessly killed or injured. No polemics or discussion can ever justify such actions and even those people whose minds are so open to every injustice and every cause that their brains sometimes fall out of their heads, should refrain from doing so. The word “but” should not be appearing in any of their commentaries or analysis. Evil is evil is evil wherever it happens and those who use violence, terror and murder to further their cause should be met with wall to wall opposition from anyone (regardless of their political and social views) who desire to be part of something we have loosely termed civilisation. Purveyors of violence, terror and murder are not part of a civilised society.
Well said! It should be obvious, but it is only obvious when the victims are not Israelis or Jews.
If the West had reacted so strongly, and stood stalwartly with Israel as we combatted the terrorist onslaught on our civilians, then maybe terrorism might never have reached Europe because the jihadis would have realized that they will receive no support from those quarters.
Maybe now the West will learn their lesson. On the other hand, we’ve been saying that since 9/11, over 15 years ago.