Terror in London. Again. After Nantes, Nice, Berlin, Istanbul and Jerusalem, an attack on London, sadly, seemed inevitable.
This time a British-born lone attacker mows down civilians on Westminster Bridge before he makes his way to Parliament and fatally stabs a respected unarmed police officer, PC Keith Palmer. The assailant was then shot down by other officers.
The last major terrorist incident was the Al-Qaida-inspired 7/7 bombings; a sophisticated, coordinated attack that resulted in 52 killed and hundreds maimed for life. New Labour was faced with a situation that was unfamiliar with no clear sense of what was needed except that the ‘rules had changed’.
Fast-forward to 2017, this Islamic State-inspired attacked has killed four with, sadly, at least seven critical, which would result in a count of at least 11. No longer a technological or clever attack but a simple act of sheer barbarity. Ramming a motor vehicle into pedestrians is uncomplicated, but also brutally effective as it does the job intended – it terrorises people.
At this stage, it is too early to explain the motivations of the attacker. His full identity is being concealed from the public. Rightly so, there will be a backlash, as there is always is in a charged political and cultural environment, where matters of ethnic and religious differences are being exploited by populist media and political voices.
Already leaders are coming forward, and standing up for what is right, Theresa May, Sadiq Khan, Tobias Ellwood and Brendon Cox to name the most prominent, but also hundreds of dedicated police officers and security professional who have been working through the night as raids and seven arrests were made in Birmingham and in other cities across the Britain.
Now is not the time for intolerance and bigotry but a coming together as one people. Let us not do the work of the haters.