On Friday, terror returned to the British capital, and once again London Bridge became the scene of a bloody attack. Five people were injured by a knife attack in the center of the metropolis. Two of the victims later died in the hospital, the police said. Scotland Yard classified the attack as a terrorist attack.
The alleged attacker carried a bomb dummy under the security authorities and was shot dead at the scene. Details about the perpetrator and his motive was not disclosed by the police at first.
According to reports by The Times and the British news agency Press Association, citing security circles, the alleged perpetrator allegedly had connections to "Islamist terrorist groups". According to The Times, the man was released from prison about a year ago, after agreeing to wear an electronic shackle. The newspaper cites unnamed sources from the government.
According to the police, the suspect was shot and killed by a special unit. "We assume that an item strapped to his body was an explosive dummy," a police spokesman said.
Attack in London:
Terror on the bridge
In an amateur video you can see how the black-clad attacker is downed by police and passers-by. Shortly thereafter, at least one shot to be heard. "It was as if a gun went off, whether the shot came from the police or from someone else I did not know at the time," said an eyewitness. He was lying on the ground, trying not to endanger him.
Tour guide Stevie Hurst was one of the passers-by who stopped the attacker. He saw the man being held on the ground, he told British radio BBC: "We saw that the knife was still in his hand, I tried to kick him in the head, we tried everything we did could to remove the knife from his hand, so he can no longer harm anyone. " The people around him were "absolutely incredible," Hurst said, "heroes beyond belief."
Amateur video shows how attackers are overwhelmed
The scene was immediately closed after the attack. The police called on people in the streets and surrounding buildings to follow their instructions. Heavy armed units combed the neighborhood.
The helpers who opposed the suspected attacker are celebrated on Twitter by many users as "heroes". Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson also thanked the forces and passersby, "who intervene to protect the lives of others." They had proven "extraordinary courage".
In a first reaction, the Prime Minister said his thoughts were with the victims and their families. It was a terrible incident. Johnson later said at a Downing Street press conference that the investigation was in full swing: "Everyone involved in the crime and the attacks is being hunted down and brought to justice." The UK is "never intimidated or split by this type of attack," said the head of government. In the evening he led a crisis meeting of the government.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan also praised the helpers' courage: "What's remarkable about the images we've seen is the breathtaking heroism of passers-by who literally ran to danger." The humans risked their own safety. "They are the best of us," Khan said.
The Mayor of London also said, according to the Guardian, that no further suspects were wanted. It is assumed that the man acted alone. The police called for submitting photos or videos from the crime scene to speed up the investigation.
British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn wrote in a statement that he was at heart among the victims of the terrible attack: "We must remain united and we must not allow our democratic process to be destroyed by acts of terrorism." The Labor politician announced that his party would suspend their evening election campaign in London to pay tribute to the victims. Johnson's Tories also assumed that their campaign will be temporarily suspended. On Twitter, Corbyn also thanked the forces.
The latest attack on London Bridge brings back sad memories in the British capital. Only in June 2017, eleven people died after terrorists had hit three people on this same bridge with a transporter and then stabbed five more on the Borough Market. The three perpetrators were eventually shot dead by the police.
Just three months earlier, in March 2017, an assassin with an SUV had raced into a crowd on Westminster Bridge at the British Parliament. Five civilians were killed, more than 40 people were injured. The police shot the 52-year-old attacker. At that time the terrorist militia Islamic State (IS) took over the responsibility for the act.