London terror lockdown; Trump calls on courts to restore Americans' rights to safety

politics | Jun 03, 2017 | By Martin Barillas

At least five presumably Muslim terrorists cried “This is for Allah” as they killed at least seven people left dozens more injured in central London. A white van hurtled at about 50 mph on the historic London Bridge, mowing down pedestrians in much the same manner as the jihadi attack on Westminster Bridge on March 22. At least 20 injured people have been admitted to several hospitals in the British capital and present a variety of injuries. Some were run over by the speeding vehicle and suffered traumatic injuries, while others were stabbed and slashed by the Muslim marauders. At about 10 pm local time, a wounded woman went into a Borough Market pub seeking help. According to a witness, “She was bleeding heavily from the neck - it appeared that her throat had been cut. People sought to stem the bleeding and the pub was closed.”
 

The male assailants, who are described as being “of Mediterranean origin,” run over at least 20 people on London Bridge at approximately 10 pm local time. Descending from the vehicle, they then began randomly stabbing victims in the nearby Borough Market area, which is known for its bars and restaurants. One victims was reportedly stabbed five times in the chest. Another man was stabbed three times by a dark-skinned man wearing a red tracksuit. 
 

Two of the attackers were shot dead by police. They were wearing metal canisters strapped to their chests with duct tape. Police have not located the other three assailants. One man has been arrested on Borough High Street.
 
Police directed civilians to leave the Borough district with their hands held behind their heads. Some people are stuck in the area because London Bridge is now closed, as are several streets and intersections in the area. Some witnesses heard explosions. There are reports that security forces are using stun grenades to distract the terrorists who remain at large.

 
Video taken in the Borough Market district show a man believed to be one of the terrorists lying on the pavement. He was apparently shot and wounded or killed outside of the popular Wheatsheaf pub in Borough Market. Witnesses said he was still alive.
 
Approximately 50 police armed with automatic weapons have entered Monument station with police dogs. The public has been told to “Run, Hide, Tell” by the authorities. Both the Bank and Monument underground stations have been closed. There were also unconfirmed reports of gunfire on Southwark Street. One witness told SkyNews that he heard a significant amount of gunfire near London Bridge well before police responded.
 

A witness told Daily Mail that three people appeared to have had their throats slit at London Bridge. Another witness said that he saw bodies of dead and injured who had been apparently run over by the terrorists’ vehicle on London Bridge. There are also reports that a bystander was  shot in the head in the crossfire.
 
“The men said this is for Allah as they left the van and attacked victims. There were definitely three people sitting at the front of the van,” said eyewitness Eric Seguenzo to the BBC News. 
 
He added, 'I thought the van was travelling on wrong side of the road, as though the brakes had failed. The white van had yellow stripes, veered to the right and people tried to jump out the way.'
 
It has been reported that an SAS helicopter has been deployed to central London. A black unmarked helicopter was pictured at London Bridge. Security forces are searching for bodies in the Thames, following reports that victims were pushed into the water. A bomb squad has also been deployed. A witness said that waiters at an Applebee’s Restaurant in Borough Market suddenly pulled down all the shutters. “They looked outside and saw two men lying dead in the street, one had what looked like a suicide vest on him. Police told everyone in the restaurant to stay inside, then a minute or two later they heard two or three shots fired.”
 
Prime Minister Theresa May, speaking shortly after midnight local time, called the events in London a “potential act of terrorism” after the reports circulated. Home Secretary Amber Hurd has since confirmed that the incident is now considered a terrorist act. Londoners are opening their homes to strangers who have had to leave their hotels under police orders. Hotel guests were seen leaving the area wearing nightgowns and pyjamas. Dozens of police vehicles and unmarked vehicles are rushing through the streets of London in a search for the remaining terrorists.
 
Police wearing riot gear, helmets and shields, are searching the streets.Police have told the public to “remain calm, but be alert and vigilant.” A police statement added, “We are using all necessary skills and resources at London Bridge, Borough Market and Vauxhall.” Prime Minister May had already set the terror threat level to the “critical” mark, following the deadly terror attack in Manchester last week. Military patrols with thousands of troops have assisted the police in Manchester and London since then.
 
President Donald Trump has tweeted in the wake of the attack. He wrote, “We need to be smart, vigilant and tough. We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety.” He wrote further: “Whatever the United States can do to help out in London and the U. K., we will be there - WE ARE WITH YOU. GOD BLESS!”
 

 

 

 

 

 



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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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