The London terror attack took place March 22 at 2:40 p.m. when an unidentified man plowed his car into people crossing Westminster Bridge before slamming his car into the gates of Parliament. The unidentified man used a kitchen knife to kill an unarmed policeman but was shot dead by one of the policeman’s backups shortly thereafter.
So far, the London terror attack has claimed at least four lives and injured up to 40 people, 29 of whom are currently in the hospital.
This event occurred on the one-year anniversary of the attack in Brussels, but it is unknown thus far if it was planned or a coincidence.
The notorious terrorist group ISIS (also known as ISIL) has claimed responsibility for the London terror attack, claiming that the man in the driver’s seat wielding a large kitchen knife was one of their soldiers.
While the attacker might have been a part of the terrorist group, investigators say that he is not an immigrant or refugee, and instead was born in the United Kingdom. If he does have ties to ISIS, it is likely he was radicalized within his own home country.
Police later raided his home, a flat in Birmingham in the West Midlands of the United Kingdom. Those who live near the flat said that they saw officers and officials wearing black and holding machine guns as they broke down the door to get in to gather as much evidence as possible.
Although the man carried out the London terror attack alone, it is clear he did not plan it all by himself. Thus far, eight people have been arrested in conjunction with the attack, both in London and his hometown of Birmingham. It is unclear at the moment how many of these eight people are born in the United Kingdom and how many may have been born elsewhere.
Many fear that the London terror attack is simply a precursor to further attacks, as British intelligence says that they have been expecting something like this to happen for quite some time. Since 2013, they claim to have stopped at least 13 terrorist attacks.
However, they say that it can be incredibly difficult to keep track of those involved in terror plots like the London terror attacks. Many, they say, can be investigated and then completely slip off the radar and never be heard from again until they perpetrate some deadly plot.
Theresa May, the British prime minister, confirmed that the man driving the car in the London terror attack was actually investigated several years prior in connection with terrorist activity, but officials simply lost track of him.
That blindside can make it much easier for individuals who may have even been suspected as being radicalized and participating in terrorist plots to slip back into society and never be noticed again.
Authorities also say that one of the major issues with countering terror attacks is that they often involve turning their attention toward those who might sympathize with them in the West, thus turning ordinary European and U.S. citizens into would-be attackers.
This means they can easily recruit people who have no criminal past or history, often young men, into their ranks. The lure is often done online through propaganda that touches a nerve with many who are tired of the status quo. This way, they can sneak past intelligence and create a terrorist attack no one ever saw coming.
Prime Minister Theresa May spoke out about the London Terror Attack, hoping to console the people of London.
“We will all move forward together. Never giving in to terror. And never allowing the voices of hate and evil to drive us apart,” she said.
[Featured Image by Matt Dunham/AP Images]