Day after terrorist kills 3 outside Parliament, PM delivers defiant message to the House of Commons, declaring: ‘We are not afraid’
LONDON (AP) — 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 terrorist attack, which killed three victims and forced a lockdown of 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 fatally stabbing a police officer. Police shot and killed the attacker.
“Yesterday an act of terrorism tried to silence our democracy,” May told MPs. “But today we meet as normal – as generations have done before us, and as future generations will continue to do – to deliver a simple message: we are not afraid. And our resolve will never waiver in the face of terrorism.”
While she honored 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.
Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street in London on her way to parliament, Thursday March 23, 2017, following the attack in London Wednesday. ( Jack Taylor/Pool via AP)
“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.”
Parliament began its moment of silence at 9:33 a.m. (5:33 a.m. EDT), honoring 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.
A police officer places flowers and a photo of fellow police officer Keith Palmer, who was killed in yesterdays attack, on Whitehall near the Houses of Parliament in London, Thursday March 23, 2017. (Dominic Lipinski/PA via AP)
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.
One of those killed was Aysha Frade, a British national whose mother is Spanish, the Spanish Foreign Ministry said.
May: London attacker ‘British-born,’ known to security services by Jill Lawless and Danika KirkaUndated handout photo released by Metropolitan Police on Wednesday, March 22, 2017, of police officer Keith Palmer who was killed during the attack on the Houses of Parliament in London. (Metropolitan Police via AP)
A doctor who treated the wounded from the bridge said some had “catastrophic” injuries. Three police officers returning from a ceremony to honor 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 UK was already listed at severe, meaning an attack was “highly likely.”
US 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.
A Sa’ar 4.5-class Corvette of the Israeli Navy fires its canons during a naval exercise off the coast of Israel.
Israel’s Defense Ministry on Sunday announced a series of deals for the purchase of combat systems from local defense industries in the amount of $420 million by the end of this year. This is part of a project to acquire warships whose mission would to protect natural gas platforms within Israel’s “economic waters” in the Mediterranean against military threats.
An Israeli soldier training in Krav Maga.
Several dozen members of the Indian military are currently learning how to protect themselves using the Israeli martial art of Krav Maga, India Today reported this weekend.
“I brought Krav Maga to India in year 2002 after intensive training in Israel,” Vikram Kapoor — the head instructor at the International Krav Maga Federation — was quoted as saying. “This is the only self-defense technique that is being evolved every moment and that is why it is the best.”
Culminating a three-year process, delegates at the Mennonite Church USA assembly in Orlando on Thursday adopted a resolution titled “Seeking Peace in Israel and Palestine,” with approximately 98 percent voting in favor. The resolution calls on members to “avoid purchase of products associated with the occupation or produced in settlements in occupied territories.” It also establishes a process for the church to review its investments “for the purpose of withdrawing investments from companies that are profiting from the occupation.”
Rabbi Steven Wernick says Netanyahu recruited progressive Jews to find a compromise for the holy site; now that the PM has reneged, world Jewry won’t be silent
The fight for pluralistic prayer at the Western Wall is a battle already won by Jewry’s Conservative movement. For some 20 years, Conservative Jews have inhabited a spiritual home at Jerusalem’s contentious holy site, which they won through a series of Supreme Court cases — in a section allocated to the Davidson Archaeological
Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. (Photo credit: hebron.com)
In a secret ballot held at the World Heritage Committee’s 41st annual summit in Krakow Poland, on Friday, UNESCO voted twelve to three in favor declaring the Holy City of Hebron and the Cave of the Patriarchs “Palestinian world heritage sites”.
The resolution described a Muslim history of the city while blatantly ignoring the Biblical narrative describing 3,000 years of Jewish connection to the site. Six countries abstained from the controversial vote which, at the request of Poland, Croatia, and Jamaica, was a secret ballot; a first for such a vote.
During last month’s 2017 Chicago Dyke March, the true face of “inclusion” among “progressives” finally surfaced. According to the Chicago based newspaper Windy City Times, the march proceeded calmly with people “of all races, genders and gender identities” attending, until “the Dyke March Collective ejected three people carrying Jewish Pride flags (a rainbow flag with a Star of David in the center).”
Something is terribly broken in the relationship between American and Israeli Jews. I say this as an American Jew who has lived in Israel for almost half a century. But if anyone thinks this started with Women of the Wall or PM Netanyahu’s recent – and I believe unfortunate – backtracking on the agreement over egalitarian prayer space at the Kotel, he is suffering from selective memory, if not total denial.
gentleman from times gone by. He was soft-spoken, courtly, and wore his pants hoisted high and held up by suspenders; clearly, a European who had personally endured horrors in the last century.
Indeed, he had personally survived the Holocaust in Poland. Therefore, I could not immediately understand why he now attends a very left-wing synagogue—but, totally incomprehensible, was his unexpected and rather passionate defense of Poland and of the Poles. He argued on their behalf as if his very life still depended upon it.
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s decision to visit Jerusalem but not Ramallah has prompted much comment.
The expectation of equal treatment goes back to the Oslo Accords’ signing in Sep. 1993, when the prime minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin, represented his government in the handshake with Yasir Arafat, the much-despised chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization. No one found it strange or inappropriate at the time but things look differently nearly a quarter century later.
Matthew Healy at the Atlantic, one of the few remaining liberal anti-censorship magazines, offers a disingenuous counterpoint to the debate over political correctness.
The attempts to silence dissenting points of view are counter-speech, according to Healy. And counter-speech is an important form of free expression.