By Tyler Bauer
I’ve would’ve written about this yesterday, but I wanted to give extra time in case some facts came out.
August 14, 2018
Yesterday, a man in his late twenties driving a Ford Fiesta “hit a group of cyclists and pedestrians waiting for traffic lights to change” before colliding with a security barrier in front of the Houses of Parliament at the Palace of Westminster. According to witnesses, this was no accident – the man’s actions appeared to be intentional. The man – who was unknown to authorities and whose identity has not yet been released – was quickly taken to the police station.
Thankfully, the damage from this terrorist attack was relatively minor. There were no deaths, and only a handful of people were injured (at the time of writing, reports indicate “at least three” people were injured). This could’ve been much worse, as it happened in the morning when people were out and about trying to get to work. Thankfully, everyone appears to have survived, and the security barrier – along with the quick response of police officers nearby – stopped this attack before it could’ve become much worse.
There is currently no known motive behind the attack, but seeing as the attacker was captured alive, I suspect one will come out in the near future.
Sadly, this vehicular terrorist attacks are becoming a common occurrence in London.
March 22, 2017
On March 22, 2017, a similar terrorist attack took place outside the Palace of Westminster. In the 2017 Westminster Attack, fifty-two-year-old Khalid Masood – a native Brit – drove his car into pedestrians on the Westminster Bridge and Bridge Street, killing five people and injuring about fifty more. Then, Masood crashed his car into the fence around the Palace of Westminster, ran into New Palace Yard, and stabbed an unarmed police officer to death. Soon after, another police officer shot Masood, and he died at the scene.
ISIS claimed responsibility for this attack, but it is unclear whether Masood was inspired by ISIS. ISIS has claimed nearly every terrorist attack possible, and given ISIS’s fall from power, ISIS is likely claiming attacks to appear more powerful than it really is.
After the attack, it was revealed that Masood expressed his motive in a WhatsApp message. In this message, Masood said he was waging jihad in retaliation for Western military action in the Middle East (yet another example of blowback). Masood had also written a document called “Jihad in the Quran and Sunnah,” which included excerpts from the Quran and was supportive of jihad and martyrdom.
June 3, 2017
Not even three months later, a similar terrorist attack took place on London Bridge. In this attack, a van swerved into pedestrians on London Bridge and struck scores of people. The van’s three occupants then got out and stabbed pedestrians in a nearby borough around restaurants and pubs. Eventually, the three men were shot and killed by police. In total, eight people were killed and forty-eight people were injured. (As an aside, I highly recommend reading about Roy Larner, the “Lion of London Bridge.” He was unarmed, but fought off the attackers and likely saved countless lives that day. He also produced one of my favorite sports quotes ever by declaring his allegiance to his favorite soccer team and yelling, “F*ck you, I’m Millwall!” at the attackers. Surprisingly, he successfully fought off the terrorists after drinking somewhere between eighty and one hundred ounces of beer.)
The three men behind this attack were radicalized by ISIS at some point. British Home Secretary Amber Rudd confirmed soon after the attack that the attackers did indeed seem to be radicalized, but it was unclear exactly where, when, and by whom they were radicalized. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, and it appears as though ISIS may have been responsible for the attack.