London Terror Attack

Josh Meador

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On Wednesday March 22, 2017 there was a terrorist attack near the Palace of Westminster in London. According to a Fox News article, at about 2:40pm attacker Khalid Masood, 52, drove a rented grey Hyundai Tucson at nearly 80mph into a group of pedestrians on the south side of the Westminster Bridge and Bridge Street. He then continued, crashing into the railings along Bridge Street and near the north edge of the Palace of Westminster before coming to a stop.

Following this Masood exited the vehicle, armed with two large knives, took off running into the Parliament Square through the open gates fatally stabbing unarmed police officer Keith Palmer. Then an armed police officer, who is believed to be the bodyguard of Defense Secretary Michael Fallon, rushed over and shot Masood three times. After failed attempts to resuscitate them, both Masood and officer Palmer were pronounced dead at the scene. From start to finish the horrific attack lasted a mere 82 seconds.

The attack left five people, including the perpetrator, dead and at least 50 injured, some severely. Three of the four people killed were British nationals. One casualty was a British teacher, Aysha Frade, who was struck by the car while walking along the bridge to pick her children up from school. A United States tourist, Kurt Cochran, who was visiting London with his wife from Utah to celebrate their 25th anniversary, was also hit and killed by the car. Another victim who was hit and later died at the hospital after being taken off life support was Leslie Rhodes, 75, from Clapham London. PC Keith Palmer, 48, the fatally stabbed police officer was on duty for the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection command and had served the Metropolitan Police Service for 15 years. Twelve people sustained serious injuries, a few described as catastrophic, and eight other people were treated at the scene for less serious injuries. One of two Romanian citizens injured had to be rescued from the River Thames after being struck by the vehicle and thrown off the bridge, injuring them severely. There was also a group of 15-16 year old French students injured during the attack.

The attacker, 52 year-old Briton Khalid Masood was born Adrian Russell Elms in Dartford, Kent in 1964. He had served two past prison terms, one for grievous bodily harm after a knife attack in 2000 and again in 2003 for possession of an offensive weapon after another knife attack. He changed his name to Khalid Masood and converted to Islam in 2005.

The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack according to the Amaq media agency. On March 23 Amaq announced that the attacker was “a soldier of the Islamic State, executing the operation in response to calls to target citizens of coalition nations”. Whether or not this is true is still under investigation. So far all of the 12 people that have been arrested in raids following this deadly terror attack have been released without charges. Pre-inquest reviews for cases into the deaths of both Masood and his victims are expected to be heard at the Royal Courts of Justice on May 19.

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London Terror Attack