The latest terrorist incident in London has galvanized the people of the UK as they preached solidarity and defiance after the attack on citizens Saturday.
A rented van rammed pedestrians on a crowded London bridge and terrorists who were later claimed to be part of ISIS then went on a stabbing spree that killed seven people and injured dozens of others.
Prime Minister Theresa May has called for the revamping of Britain’s anti-terror strategy and for the heightened action to combat what she categorized as “Islamist extremism.”
On Sunday, white-clad forensic technicians scoured for clues, and police in black body armor patrolled the scene of the assault, which began late Saturday when a rented white Renault van rammed pedestrians on the bridge and continued with a knife rampage by three attackers in the crowded nightlife district on the south bank of the River Thames.
Londoners of all creeds and visitors from across the globe flocked to the area — drawing as close as they could get behind police cordons — to lay flowers and express defiance amid their grief.
“It’s to show our solidarity,” said Chris Prentice, a 40-year-old British photographer who lives in the city. He was in jeans and stubble as he set down a bouquet. “It’s a message: You won’t break us. You won’t break us, ever.”
With the country still mourning a major assault less than two weeks ago, in the northern city of Manchester, London Mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted that “we will never be cowed by terrorism.”
With the investigation still in its early stages, May unleashed tough rhetoric against what she called “a single evil ideology of Islamist extremism” without linking a particular group or network to the latest strike.
“Enough is enough,” she said as expressions of sympathy and solidarity continued to pour in from around the world. At the Vatican, Pope Francis offered prayers for the victims at his weekly Sunday blessing.
In a televised statement from her official residence at 10 Downing St., where flags had been lowered to half-staff, the prime minister grimly cautioned that the attack marked a “new trend in the threat we face” — assaults in which methods and ideology echoed those of previous strikes.
“While the recent attacks are not connected by common networks, they are connected in one important sense. They are bound together by the single evil ideology of Islamist extremism that preaches hatred, sows division and promotes sectarianism,” said May, clad in a dark suit and peering into the cameras.
The police who killed the attackers in a fusillade of bullets just moments after the attack began have arrested a dozen people who are suspected of being involved in the incident.
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Photo courtesy Getty Images
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