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Parliament attack suspect born in Britain, says prime minister

Theresa May says suspect in attack was investigated for extremism links, but considered a peripheral figure


 
The Houses of Parliament seen from the Royal Festival Hall, in London, Britain June 24, 2016. REUTERS/Rob Stothard/Pool - RTX2HWGB

REUTERS/Rob Stothard/Pool – RTX2HWGB

LONDON – The man who mowed down pedestrians on a London bridge and fatally stabbed a police officer on Parliament’s grounds was born in Britain and was known to intelligence services, the prime minister said Thursday.

Theresa May, who didn’t disclose the man’s name, said that he was once investigated for extremism links, but was considered a peripheral figure.

The revelation came moments after Parliament held a minute of silence and reconvened less than 24 hours after Wednesday’s brutal attack, which killed three victims and forced a lockdown of the British government’s seat of power.

May delivered a defiant message to the House of Commons, declaring simply: “We are not afraid.”

In a sweeping statement, she set an unyielding tone, promising answers as to why a British-born national drove an SUV into innocent pedestrians along Westminster Bridge before charging into a parliamentary courtyard and stabbing a police officer. Police shot and killed the attacker.

While she honoured the police, she also saluted the everyday actions of millions who went about their lives in London as normal and describing it as proof that the attack failed to break the determination of Londoners and Britons.

“As I speak millions will be boarding trains and airplanes to travel to London, and to see for themselves the greatest city on Earth,” she told the House. “It is in these actions – millions of acts of normality – that we find the best response to terrorism _a response that denies our enemies their victory, that refuses to let them win, that shows we will never give in.”

A body is covered by a sheet outside the Palace of Westminster, London, after a policeman was stabbed and his apparent attacker shot by officers in a major security incident at the Houses of Parliament. (Stefan Rousseau/PA Images/Getty Images)

A body is covered by a sheet outside the Palace of Westminster, London, after a policeman was stabbed and his apparent attacker shot by officers in a major security incident at the Houses of Parliament. (Stefan Rousseau/PA Images/Getty Images)

Parliament began its moment of silence at 9:33 a.m. (5:33 a.m. EDT), honouring the slain police officer, 48-year-old Keith Palmer, a 15-year veteran of the Metropolitan Police and a former soldier. Parliament then returned to business, an act of defiance to those who had attacked British democracy.

“Those who carry out such wicked and depraved acts as we saw yesterday can never triumph in our country and we must ensure it is not violence, hatred or division but decency and tolerance that prevails in our country,” Trade Secretary Liam Fox said.

“Hear, hear!” lawmakers from all parties responded in unison.

Authorities know the identity of the man who went on the car and gun rampage at Parliament on Thursday, but police and the prime minister didn’t disclose his name.

Police believe that the man acted alone and there is no reason to believe “imminent further attacks” are planned, she said.

Mayor Sadiq Khan called for Londoners to attend a candlelit vigil at Trafalgar Square on Thursday evening in solidarity with the victims and their families and to show that the city remains united.

Parliament Square, Westminster Bridge and several surrounding streets remain cordoned off by police. Scores of unarmed officers in bright yellow jackets were staffing the perimeter tape, guiding confused civil servants trying to get to work. In Parliament’s New Palace Yard, a blue police tent was erected over the spot where the stabbing and shooting occurred, and two forensic officers worked at a trestle table nearby.

Metropolitan Police counterterrorism chief Mark Rowley revised the death toll from five to four, including the attacker, the police officer and two civilians. He said that 29 people required hospitalization and seven of them were in critical condition. He also said that authorities were still working out the number of “walking wounded.” Police had previously given the total number of injured as around 40.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 22:  Commander BJ Harrington of the Metropolitan Police makes a statement outside of New Scotland Yard on March 22, 2017 in London, England.  A police officer has been stabbed near to the British Parliament and the alleged assailant shot by armed police. Scotland Yard report they have been called to an incident on Westminster Bridge where several people have been injured by a car.  (Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 22: Commander BJ Harrington of the Metropolitan Police makes a statement outside of New Scotland Yard on March 22, 2017 in London, England. A police officer has been stabbed near to the British Parliament and the alleged assailant shot by armed police. Scotland Yard report they have been called to an incident on Westminster Bridge where several people have been injured by a car. (Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

One of those killed was Aysha Frade, a British national whose mother is Spanish, the Spanish Foreign Ministry said.

A doctor who treated the wounded from the bridge said some had “catastrophic” injuries. Three police officers returning from a ceremony to honour their bravery were among the injured.

May said people from 11 countries were among the victims. They included: 12 Britons, 3 French, 2 Romanians, 4 South Koreans, 1 German, 1 Pole, 1 Irish, 1 Chinese, 1 Italian, 1 American and two Greeks required hospital treatment. Police earlier said that seven of the 29 who are hospitalized are in critical condition.

The threat level for international terrorism in the U.K. was already listed at severe, meaning an attack was “highly likely.”

President Donald Trump was among world leaders offering condolences.

London has been a target for terrorism many times over past decades. Just this weekend, hundreds of armed police took part in an exercise simulating a “marauding” terrorist attack on the River Thames.

May said underscored that the attack targeted “free people everywhere,” and she said she had a response: “You will not defeat us.”

“Let this be the message from this House and this nation today: our values will prevail,” she said.

Associated Press Writers Paisley Dodds, Greg Katz and Frank Griffiths contributed to this report.


 
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Parliament attack suspect born in Britain, says prime minister

  1. It’s beliefs that make the difference, no where you’re born.

    • Exactly. Muslims are compelled by their religion to wage jihad, wherever they are. Not surprising that they’re working hard to try and turn Dar al-Kufr into Dar al-Islam.

        • What? Of course it is. You’ve never read the Quran or the Hadiths, obviously. Anyway this case shows how Islamic immigration is a long-term problem for Western countries. Future generations, born in the Western country and supposedly “integrated”, still worship the Pedo (piss be upon him) and continue to wage jihad.

          • I read it before you were born John……you haven’t read them at all. Or the bible

            The West caused the problem in the ME….this is blowback

            Does all this have to be explained to you every time you’re on here?

          • Em, just for the sake of argument, if Muslims hate us for the historical mistreatment in the M.E., then why is there a mass exodus to the lands of their oppressors (West) … other than jihad?

          • There are 1.5 Muslims in the world……they live in every country and they vary as much as Christians and Jews do.

            Biggest Muslim country is Indonesia. They have no political history like the ME.

  2. Another example of how peaceful the “Religion of Peace” is becoming.

    • Christianity is supposed to be a ‘religion of peace’……but it never stopped the west from waging war.

      What we’re getting is blowback from all the ‘peace’ we sent them in crusading and world wars.

      • that makes sense, a 7th century, backward religion, that has produced nothing but mayhem for the last 1400 years would behave like that, unable to drag its sorry rump into, the 21st century

        • Christianity has held us back for 2000 years…….

        • and the road goes on forever and the party never ends

          • You guys big soap opera fans or what?

      • Your reply(s) suggest you are in agreement with these unprovoked attacks on innocent people. You seem to be protecting and even supporting them. Is there relocation to Syria in your immediate future?

        • You are no longer in grade school, so give the nonsense a rest.

          • Dimly1 … “The lady doth protest to much methinks” … and we all know how guilt Queen Gertrude, Hamletès mother was ….

        • Discuss the topic, and skip the silliness.

          • Dimly … your comments are generally, crude, inaccurate, unfounded, insulting, juvenile, and generally abusive. Your online replies are probably a result of a poor or non existent education. Self pity is hidden throughout your rants. Take a break, get a job or go see an analyst. You need help.

  3. Ah, “… born in Britain”, in the infamous madinat Birmingham.
    Thus, there’s a whole family to be deported. Perfect.
    Shall we stand by for a ‘born in Canada’ announcement (of a citizen who can’t be deported).

    • We have a legal system……we won’t be deporting Canadians.

      • Therefore, when the next attack occurs here, let us hope that the perpetrator/s travels downwards.

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