A lone assailant killed four people and injured dozens more on Wednesday, March 22 near the United Kingdom Houses of Parliament in London. The attacker was shot and killed by police after the assailant stabbed an unarmed police officer. The Aamaq News Agency delivered a message from the Islamic State, which described the attacker “as a soldier of the Islamic State”.
The attacker plowed his car through the pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, injuring at least 40 people and killing two people, and then crashed the car into Parliament. He tried entering the complex, armed with knives. He fatally stabbed a police officer before being shot.
The British police suspect Khalid Masood, 52, a British born native, to be responsible for the attack. He was known by a number of aliases. The Metropolitan Police have stated that Masood was not involved in any current investigations. British Prime Minister Theresa May stated that it is believed the man was inspired by Islamist ideology. Masood was investigated by England’s domestic security agency, MI5, years ago due to his violent extremism. “He was a peripheral figure. The case is historic – he was not part of the current intelligence picture,” May said, adding that there was “no prior intelligence of his intent – or of the plot.”
According to USA Today, British police reported that four people were killed “one police officer, a woman in her 40s, a man in his 50s and a man in his 70s. About 40 people, including three police officers, were wounded.”
Among the four fatalities were a 75-year-old who was recently taken off life support, a Utah tourist who was celebrating his 25th wedding anniversary with his wife, a mother, and a police officer, Keith Palmer, who worked in the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command as a police officer for 15 years.
Among the wounded were a number of foreign tourists, 12 Britons, four South Koreans, three French high school students, two Romanians, two Greek, and a citizen from each of China, Germany, Ireland, Italy, and the United States. USA Today, “British port officials pulled a Romanian woman from the Thames River after the attack. She was listed in critical condition after surgery.”
Despite the terrorist being a British native, many European politicians are linking the attack on migration policies. Marine Le Pen, only one of many French anti-immigration politicians, said on Thursday, “We must control our borders,” the Front National leader told France’s BFM TV and RMC radio. “The problem we have today is this form of low-cost terrorism, radicalised individuals acting alone, without a network. It’s a new form of terrorism that requires all the measures we are not taking at present.” Le Pen explained that the attack showed the importance of countries being able to protect their borders and improve general security measures.
Poland’s prime minister, Beata Szydło, also spoke out about the connection between terrorist attacks and the EU migrant policies. Szydlo vindicated Warsaw’s refusal to accept refugees, under the EU quota scheme, saying “I hear in Europe very often: do not connect the migration policy with terrorism, but it is impossible not to connect them,”. She also added that the EU’s migration commissioner, Dimitris Avramopoulos, on a visit to Warsaw, was “trying to tell us: you have to take these migrants … And two days later another terrorist attack in London occurs”.