Attack on London

When will Europe Wake Up?


The stunning Westminster Bridge, and the setting for this unfortunate attack.

Jonathan Asphaug

London in Peril

This last Wednesday, a horrific terrorist attack occurred on the Westminster Bridge, and continued into the Palace grounds in London. The man responsible, later identified as 52-year-old British-born Khalid Masood plowed his car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, mortally injuring three victims there and injuring at least 50 others. He then abandoned his Grey Hyundai Tucson and ran into the Palace grounds armed with two knives. There he fatally stabbed an unarmed police officer and was shot dead by other officers.

The Backstory

This tragic attack on London was eerily reminiscent of the attack in Nice, France just about 8 months ago, and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has claimed responsibility for this attack as well with the ISIS associated Amaq News Agency proclaimed that the attacker was “a soldier of the Islamic State, executing the operation in response to calls to target citizens of coalition nations.” The perpetrator, Khalid Masood was unlike the general fit for ISIS terrorists. He was not a foreign national slipping through border control and then attacking the country, but was instead a criminal who converted to Islam in jail. When he was released he moved to Saudi Arabia and we can only speculate that he became radicalized there. Upon returning to the UK, he plotted his attack. This is the new type of terrorist that is threatening Europe, as more than 3,000 Europeans have joined ISIS and Al-Queda in the past two years, the backwash of the refugee crisis.

What Now?

Several officials in the UK have been praising the strict firearms controls in the UK, and saying that it would have been much worse, like what happened in the US in Orlando last year. Several people have suggested that those firearm restrictions obviously made little difference preventing the attack. Many people in the US particularly, are stunned that the UK policeman was stabbed to death, and the fact that he was unarmed makes that astonishing to Americans. What Europe does in these next few months may make the difference between more, tragic and horrific attacks, or a safer, and more secure Europe. What they shall do to accomplish that is still up for debate…