The British Parliament was a scene of a terrorist attack Wednesday, where five were found dead and at least 40 were injured. A police officer was fatally stabbed by the attacker, who was then shot down by a fellow armed officer.
“Four people have died. That includes the police officer who was protecting parliament and one man we believe to be the attacker who was shot by a police firearms officer,” said Mark Rowley, assistant Metropolitan Police commissioner to reporters following the attack. “Officers – including firearms officers – remain on the scene and we are treating this as a terrorist incident until we know otherwise.”
“He said emergency services were called at 14.40 GMT after the car was driven over Westminster Bridge, hitting and injuring a number of members of the public and the three police officers, who were on their way back from a commendation ceremony,” writes BBC.
“After the car crashed into the railings of the Houses of Parliament, a man armed with a knife “continued the attack” and tried to enter the building.”
”We are satisfied at this stage that it looks like there was only one attacker. But it would be foolish to be overconfident early on,” said Rowley.
The UK’s level of international terrorism alert was listed as “severe” and Wednesday’s incident occurred on the first anniversary of the Islamic State’s attack in Brussels, that killed 32 a year ago.
“This is a day that we planned for but hoped would never happen. Sadly, it has now become a reality,” said Rowley.
Officials at first offered limited details about the identities of the attacker or the victims. The police officer has been identified as PC Keith Palmer. According to Britain’s Press Association, at least one of the others deceased was a woman in the crowd who was hit by a vehicle.
As of late last night, the attacker had not been named by authorities. Rowley said they think they know who the assailant is. UK’s Channel 4 News and The Independent had reported earlier that Abu Izzadeen, the radical Muslim cleric was the suspect. However, several sources told BBC that he is still in jail and could not be responsible.
Dennis Burns was at the Parliament for a meeting and watched officers rush out of the building.
“When I got inside I was wondering what the hell was going on and I saw dozens of panicked people running down the street,” said Burns to Britain’s Press Association. “The first stream was around 30 people and the second stream was 70 people. It looked like they were running for their lives.”
Reuters photographer was at the scene and documented the aftermath, where a dozen victims were lying on the ground wounded.
Another journalist, George Eaton of the New Statesman witnessed the police shooting at the attacker.
“A large crowd was seen fleeing the man before he entered the parliamentary estate,” wrote Eaton on the publication’s website. “After several officers evaded him he was swiftly shot by armed police.”
British Prime Minister Theresa May was at parliament at the time of the shooting, but was unharmed. She attended a meeting of the government’s emergency committee following the attack.
“The location of this attack was no accident. The terrorist chose to strike at the heart of our capital city, where people of all nationalities, religions and cultures come together to celebrate the values of liberty, democracy and freedom of speech,” said May.
She also said that “any attempt to defeat those values through violence and terror is doomed to failure” and that the government won’t be backing down and “Tomorrow morning, Parliament will meet as normal.”
White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that President Donald Trump had spoken on the phone to Prime Minister May and was briefed about the attack.
“We condemn today’s attack in Westminster,” said Spicer to reporters. “We applaud the quick response of the British police and the first responders.”
Spicer also offered “the full support of the U.S. government in responding to the attack and bringing to justice those who are responsible.”
Author’s note: This is a tragedy and just proves that all Western countries need to be on their guard. Britain even saw the writing on the wall and decided to “Brexit.” This was part of the country’s effort to get control of its mass immigration problem and better protect its citizens from allowing more terrorists into the country.