Terrorist attack in London
March 22, 2017
Categories: Travel intelligence,
At least three people were killed and 20 others injured in a terrorist attack near Parliament in central London on 22 March. The assailant was also killed by police during the attack. One police officer is among those killed. The assailant reportedly began the attack at around 14:30 local time by using his vehicle to ram into dozens of people on Westminster Bridge before crashing into the railings outside the Palace of Westminster, home of the British Houses of Parliament. The assailant then reportedly ran onto the grounds of the Palace of Westminster and stabbed a police officer before being shot by police. An investigation into the attack, including the identity and motivation of the assailant, remains ongoing.
The attack in London occurred on the one-year anniversary of an attack in Brussels, Belgium in which suicide bombers attacked an airport terminal and a metro terminal, killing 32 people and injuring scores more. The terrorist group the Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attack in Belgium. It remains unknown at this point whether today’s attack in London is linked in any way to IS or to the attack in Brussels.
There have been a number of vehicular ramming attacks within the past year as groups like IS have encouraged their followers to use this tactic, which requires little in terms of training or equipment. Recently, on 19 December 2016, 12 people were killed when a truck drove into a Christmas market in Berlin, Germany in an attack claimed by IS. On 28 November 2016, a student at Ohio State University drove into a crowd of people on a sidewalk on campus before he got out and began stabbing people. Eleven people were injured in the attack, and the assailant was shot and killed by police. IS claimed the assailant was one of their soldiers. On 14 July 2016, 86 people were killed when a truck drove into a crowd of people in Nice, France in an attack also claimed by IS.
Global Rescue members in London should expect to see an increased security presence in and around the city in the coming days, particularly on public transportation and near government buildings and tourist sites. Many officers will be heavily armed. The heightened security measures may also disrupt travel plans, so it is advisable to allow more time for trips around the city than usual. Comply with all directions given by police, and always remain alert while in large crowds or near popular sites.
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