Terrorist attack in London: pedestrians run down, police officer stabbed

March 22, 2017 • 12:30 pm

FURTHER UPDATE FROM THE BBC (Sadly, the policeman, and two others hit by the vehicle, have died. GCM):


  • A police officer has died after being stabbed outside the Houses of Parliament
  • Two other people have died and at least 20 others are injured after the attacker drove into them in a car on Westminster Bridge
  • The alleged assailant was shot and killed by armed police
  • Metropolitan Police say they are treating it as a terrorist incident and buildings are in lockdown
  • Theresa May condemns the attack as “sick and deprived”
  • The PM insists attempts to undermine British values are ‘doomed to failure’


UPDATE FROM CNN (with link to live blog; there’s also livestreamed video):

One woman has died and many people were injured, the British Press Association reported, in what police are treating as a terrorist incident at the Houses of Parliament.

“Officers — including firearms officers — remain on the scene and we are treating this as a terrorist incident until we know otherwise,” police said.

Follow the live blog and watch CNN.

A female has been recovered from the River Thames alive but with injuries, a Port of London Authority spokesman told CNN.

Images showed a car crashed into the perimeter gate of Parliament, and witnesses later told CNN that they had seen the vehicle mow down pedestrians.

David Lidington, leader of the House of Commons, also reported a stabbing.

“It seems that a police officer has been stabbed, that the alleged assailant was shot by armed police,” he said.


There were either one or two terrorist attacks today outside Parliament and on Westminster Bridge nearby. A policeman was stabbed, not fatally, and the assailant shot and killed (apparently British police near Parliament are armed). At least one of the five pedestrians deliberately struck by a speeding car has died.

I am calling this a “terrorist attack” because a.) the British police are calling it that and b.) it’s the first anniversary of the Brussels bombings. I don’t like to rush to judgment when this kind of thing happens, but this time I’ll predict it’s the hand of Islamic terrorism. You can read the New York Times report here. An excerpt:

LONDON — Britain’s Parliament was placed on lockdown on Wednesday, plunging the country’s seat of power into turmoil, after an assailant stabbed a police officer outside the building before he was shot, and a motorist on an adjacent bridge plowed over at least five pedestrians, killing at least one.

The Metropolitan Police described the attack as a “a terrorist incident,” but many details, as well as the sequence of events, remained unclear. Security officers shot the assailant outside Parliament. But it was not yet known whether the assailant was the same person who ran over the pedestrians on the bridge. The police also responded to reports of a person in the River Thames.

. . . Ambulances and other emergency vehicles thronged the scene, and helicopters flew ahead, as one of the busiest sections of London was cordoned off and evacuated. The Westminster station on the Tube, London’s subway system, was closed. Prime Minister Theresa May was rushed into a vehicle and spirited back to her office, where her aides reported that she was safe.

A map from the NYT:

And a tweeted picture Grania sent me, just in:

You know this is going to happen in the U.S. sooner or later, and it will be awful when it does—not only for the innocent people killed or injured, but for the backlash on peaceful Muslims that will ensue when Donald Trump claims he was right all along. I have no idea how it will play out when it happens, but if you want to see true Islamophobia—bigotry against Muslims—be whipped into a frenzy by our President, that will be the time.

As for these incidents, is this the price we must ultimately pay for relatively open immigration, or is there anything we can do? I ask readers for their response. And don’t tell me that handguns kill a gazillion more people in the U.S. than do Muslim terrorists, which of course is true; that is not the issue I’m talking about, and I’ve had my say on guns. Remember, this is a problem not limited to America, not by a long shot.

133 thoughts on “Terrorist attack in London: pedestrians run down, police officer stabbed

  1. I had an anti-terrorism seminar this morning on what the police advise us to do in the square mile if there’s a terrorist attack.

    They reminded us all that the threat level was still at severe but not to get complacent even though it had been at severe level for a while now

    I’m not sure how a tightened immigration policy would help especially if it turns out it’s home grown. Maybe this is the price for certain freedoms we desire. The tightening of those freedoms for greater security isn’t something i think we want

    1. A friend, who was visiting France, posted a picture on her FB of a “what to do in case of a terrorist attack” sign that was at the subway. We are all Israel now.

    2. It is indeed the price of freedom and what’s to tighten? Ban cars? Ban kitchen knives?

      From what I can make out there seems to have been quite a gap in security at Westminster, the knife weilding car driver should never have been able to get in and certainly should not have been able to stab a police officer without hinderance, which is what appears to have happened going by the eye witness report from an MP who saw what was happening from his office window.

      I can’t see how you can stop someone in a car or lorry mowing down pedestrians.

      1. There was a gap in security; this gate was open because there was a vote taking place, so MPs had to get to the Chamber from their offices. However, the attacker was stopped and killed immediately inside that first cordon, in a courtyard within the fenceline but outside the buildings themselves.

        How to stop cars or lorries killing pedestrians? There has been talk of pedestrianizing Parliament Square before, which would enable more barriers to be placed there. As a longer-term, more general solution, autonomous car?

  2. is this the price we must ultimately pay for relatively open immigration [?]

    I think it’s the price we pay for freedom of movement and not living in a police state. Because as Adam points out, the odds are good that the next such attack in the US will be homegrown, not immigrant. I do agree however that it is very difficult to maintain a reasoned defense of a reasonable immigration policy when faced with such a horrible and powerful anecdote. We operate by stories, and when a story like this comes along, we can’t help but think it’s more important than any dry table of statistics.

    Not to take away from the terrible tragedy of London, but to give another example of the same issue; last week in Maryland, two HS students raped a third in school. One of the rapists was an illegal immigrant. I’m sure the affected community is struggling with the same issue; faced with such a powerful and terrible anecdote, how can you not give it huge weight in your thinking? How can one think DOJ statistics are more important than rape of a local teen girl?

    These are tough situations. It’s important to assess lessons from these tragedies and how we can do better. But although it may sound callous, it is still true that anecdotes are not data.

    1. The price comes at this expense: Certainty about the afterlife is incompatible with tolerance. (S. Harris)

      Religion is not the only price we all have to endure, but it’s a high and unnecessary price.

    2. “I think it’s the price we pay for freedom of movement and not living in a police state.”

      Does it occur to you that living with this is how you GET a police state?

  3. This is an horrific attack, and it’s a tragedy that two innocent people have died, but when people over-react to this kind of incident, I’m minded to observe that I lived in London during the 1980s when the IRA was setting off bombs indiscriminately. We didn’t react hysterically, because we knew that it played into the hands of the terrorists. We got on with our lives. In the end, the IRA abandoned terror attacks because it was clear that they were never going to achieve their aims by killing people.

    1. I am not really familiar with IRA terrorist activities, but I got the impression that psychological terror was the policy rather than actually the killing of civilians.
      Was the modus operandi not typically to plant a bomb and then phone the police?

      1. Yes, and often to give a deliberately misleading account of where the device was planted. David Harper’s account is correct: I worked in the centre of London, and as he says we got on with things.

        1. ” and as he says we got on with things.”
          I do not think anyone disagrees with such an attitude.

          It does not however exclude accurately defining the problem/causes and pursuing solutions.
          Many people get the impression that is exactly what the left does not want us to do and thus “right wing” parties get traction.

        1. The largest casualty attack was the Omagh bombing in northern Ireland that killed 37 people. the IRA concentrated attack on one country and NI for nationalist reasons, and tho Catholicism was part of the identity, were overwhelmingly secular.

      2. Hi ,i spent 1988 to 97 in London as a motorbike courier ,i heard at least 3 bombs go off .
        Can’t say it preyed on my mind much ,i was more scared of being killed by Black Cab drivers .
        We are in danger of getting into a vicious circle ,extremist Muslims carry out terror attacks which lead to right wing extremists calling for all Muslims to be sent home ,which makes young Muslims think they are not wanted ,so the fall under the influence of radical Muslims ,and so on .

  4. From The Guardian:

    The Muslim Council of Britain has issued the following statement:

    We are shocked and saddened by the incident at Westminster. We condemn this attack and while it is still too early to speculate on the motives, our thoughts and prayers are for the victims and those affected. We pay tribute too to the police and emergency services who handled this with bravery. The Palace of Westminster is the centre of our democracy and we must all ensure that it continues to serve our country and its people with safety and security.

    1. Diana, I spent thirty years as a police officer in the UK and this type of response is to be expected from the so called Muslim Council of Britain. They are not. They are a self-appointed self-styled group of British Muslims who call themselves ‘The Muslim Council of Britain’, and claim to represent all Muslims, they don’t; but they have the ear of the Government.

      How did the assailant get to where he was killed? Having driven on the footpath across Westminster Bridge, that’s sidewalk for those who don’t speaka da English, and having mown down around 20 people, many with horrendous injuries, he crashed the SUV that he was driven into the railings surrounding The Palace of Westminster and ran. People of course were concentrating of the events on Westminster Bridge. He then attacked one of the two police officers who were at the entrance to driveway leading to the underground car park. They were unarmed and not wearing stab-proof vests. Within seconds two officers from the Metropolitan Police armed response unit were present, challenged and when he refused to stop, shot him.

      It’s a pity that it takes a disaster to hi-light a problem.

      1. I have to say I share your concerns.

        The Muslim PR machine is very sophisticated and, as we see with monotonous regularity, they are happy to tell us how peace-loving Islam is whilst happily ignoring the fact that these terrorists are simply following the instructions of their god as given to them in their holy text. Until we understand that we cannot integrate such an ideology into our society we will continue to suffer in this way.

        I am extremely concerned that two policemen on duty in what appears to be such a critical area of Westminster, the PMs car was waiting for her in that very spot, should be unarmed even with simple pepper spray, tasers or batons, and apparently not wearing stab vests.

        Worse, I cannot for the life of me understand how an assailant could have been left free to press home his attack on one officer without the other officer at least making some attempt to hinder him. Someone should be having to answer some very hard questions about how such an important area could have been so open to an attack by a lone man with a knife.

        A few minutes later and the PM herself could have been open to attack.

      2. theres no end of material on ExMuslim sites on how illiberal and anti integration the Muslim Council of Britain is

        1. A South-Sudan priest told me a history. A a pact with a group of Muslim prisoners: we forgive your life but you cant flee or help other Muslims during the trip if they attack the column. In the first opportunity they treason and the only solution was to kill all of them… “Look: when they feel weak, they pact. But their fidelity is ONLY to their god and religion. As soon as they feel strong, they will kill you”
          Lets not loose our time: the only solution for us is to counter-doctrine them or soon or late die.

          1. If I read that aright the only solution is to kill all Muslims first? Pre-emptive pacification? That would indeed be a, ahem, Final Solution.


    2. Thanks for posting this Diana.

      I have two quibbles with their statement, however:

      1) “Our thoughts and PRAYERS” – a fat lot of good prayers are going to do. That always makes me laugh.

      I saw a meme the other day:
      -Astronauts to ground control: “Houston, we have a problem.”
      -Houston: “Thoughts and prayers.”

      That’s how ridiculous it sounds to me when people, governments and groups like the M.C. of B. say it after a tragedy.

      2) “still too early to speculate on the motives” – really? Anyone want to venture a guess, besides me, that it has something to do with Allah?

      The Muslim Council of Britain might want to have a good long look at what’s going on and do a little more than issue a ‘thoughts and prayers’ statement.

      How about supporting ex-muslims? Or, giving women total freedom. Or, speaking out against imams who preach violence? Speaking out against all violence instigated by Islam, anywhere in the world?

      But no, we get ‘thoughts and prayers’ ffs.

      1. “Thoughts and prayers” is generally what we hear offered to victims of gun violence in the US, by those who are completely opposed to any form of gun control. I think that it should be interpreted to mean “to hell with you”. To put it politely.

  5. Knee-jerk near-hysteria is not the answer (well, it is for Trump!), and we must remember the old addage “Freedom is not free!” We give up something to live the open lifestyle that we have, so we make a deal, a tradeoff. This is the price we pay to live in an open society, where, hopefully, we follow the rules of common sense, and the simple understanding that we cannot overreact when (not IF) that happens here in the US. Blaming a whole group of people for the senseless acts of one or a few is not American, or even human…

      1. Has anyone offered a viable way to integrate into our society a religion which is completely intolerant of the freedoms we have fought hard for over decades if not centuries?

        How can we find an acceptable way to work with a creed which demands subservience to its principles or death of those who refuse?

        It’s all very well saying that many followers of Islam choose to ignore some of its more extreme tenets but choosing to go against some parts of their religion does not make that religion any the more acceptable. Nor, as we see with increasing frequency, is it something we can continue to allow to thrive unless we want to see our freedoms eroded and eventually removed.

        1. Certainly some forms of that religion are terribly intolerant of 21st century Western freedoms. The same argument can be made for Christianity, though. It wouldn’t surprise me if it could be made for almost any religion, but I’m not familiar with most of them.

          I live in Silicon Valley, a strange place with an interesting and unusual mix of diverse ethnicities. My own city is home to a large population of Muslim immigrants from various countries. So far, we all seem to get along, and from my days as an engineer I would argue that my Muslim colleague in the next cubicle spent his/her days worrying about the same things as our colleagues from China, Russia, India, and Israel in the cubicles beyond: whether our jobs were in trouble due to company mismanagement, the health and safety of our families, the price of college tuition, the insanity of affording local housing, and the latest impossible deadline that some fool in management had dictated to us.

          I have a really hard time connecting that next-cubicle colleague with radical Islam. Certainly it is possible, but it seems equally possible (and equally improbable) to me that the Christian colleague in the cubicle on the other side of me was planning to bomb an abortion clinic.

          1. It’s just as likely that the guy in the cubicle next to you could be the perpetrator of the next 911. The pilots of those fateful planes were not AK-47 toting turban wearing wild eyed radicals. They were well off college educated outwardly nice normal people who drank wine and were not ostensibly radical.

            I don’t think christianity is any better as a religion but fortunately most of the crazy in their book appears to be ignored, though of course not all. In many ways, though, it presents as great if not a greater threat with a hard core of fundamentalists actively striving, with some success, to position themselves in offices of influence where they could trigger the rapture by starting a major war.

            In Islam the crazy is highlighted and adherents are encouraged to act on it to spread their religion. There is no sign of any willingness or intention to compromise their beliefs, only to disguise their intentions until they have dismantled our democracy. Once an extreme religion is voted in you will not be allowed to vote it out again.

            Certainly we should be doing all we can to eradicate every religion but let’s start with the most extreme and imminently threatening one.

            1. I read somewhere that Jihad amongst other meanings is a call for a struggle to be a better Muslim ,and not a call to kill all non Muslims

              1. “struggle to be a better Muslim”
                True, but I prefer bad Muslims over good Muslims.
                Jokes aside, are you aware that if you die a Martyr’s death you can nominate members of your family to avoid judgement after death, thus ensuring paradise irrespective how sinful they were.

              2. Depending on wich koran versus you chose, the saint war (last part of the book, when the founder won both in Meca and Medinah) or the respect to other credos (when their founder was in trouble, in the begining of his preaching) are the rule to follow. Be sure that –as I wrote up– when they get the power acusations of being demonic, apostate etc will be the rule.

    1. The first thing to do in case of an incident such as this is to remove Trump from any access to twitter. Leave all the speculation to the other 7 billion on the planet.

        1. Well, good for the both of them – unless they have evidence that Islam is somehow involved. I would prefer that the media report facts rather than speculation.

          1. “I would prefer that the media report facts rather than speculation.”

            I concede – valid point.

        2. So they believe ,doesn’t make it true ,and according to Sam Harris that bit about 72 Virgins ,is a mistake ,it refers to raisins ,i think.

    2. ” . . . is not American, or even human…”

      I assume that it is no less reasonable to say that it is also not Italian, or Norwegian, or Ethiopian, or Andorran, or Canadian, or Japanese, or Bolivian . . . .

  6. I’d say that the people who would commit this kind of crime in the US are either already here or might arrive anytime in the future. These latest attacks seem to be the acts of self-made terrorists. There’s no plot or plan on an organized scale…so it’s as likely to happen as any other crime.

    Keeping Muslim people out might decrease the likelihood of an event to some degree. But we’d be punishing many for the deeds of a few.

    I know it’s an unpopular position these days, but i’m an equal opportunity Atheist. Religions, in general, are breeding grounds for intolerance. The amount of mayhem they commit depends (imo) more on when and where they are than on who they are.

    1. “…so it’s as likely to happen as any other crime.”
      Are you serious?

      If you hear on the news that gunmen attacked an airport and killed 50 people would it be “racist” or irrational to suspect Islamists at this point in history?

    2. “I know it’s an unpopular position these days, but i’m an equal opportunity Atheist.”

      I am also an atheist but viewing all religions as equally dangerous sounds like a post modernist view.

      “Keeping Muslim people out might decrease the likelihood of an event to some degree”
      Too be honest, terrorist attacks in Europe scares me far less than long term demograhic changes.
      There is a real possibility that Europe will have substantial Muslim populations that are not integrated with high unemployment rates which would not be good for the Muslims themselves or the host nations.

      1. Much like now? Extremism on the grand scale does not appear to be related in any way to unemployment. A major terrorism act is far more likely to be carried out by a comfortably off, educated person previously considered to be moderate and well integrated into western society.

        The apologists who manipulate our tolerant free society are skilful experts in PR whi have succeeded in making misogyny, homophobia and other attitudes considered hate crime anywhere else acceptable when packaged as Islam.

        1. Agreed.
          The policies of tolerance practised by most Western Governments is regarded as weakness in the face of Satanic temptation and infidel apostacy.
          Too many could not care what a Government does as long as it is in agreement with the Sunnah and Koran.
          This nonsense has cost the Islamic world six centuries of progress and still hangs on like a leech.
          Perhaps the flame of reason kindled by modern research into the true origins of Islam will burn off this parasite.

  7. The acting commissioner of the met police has said there are four dead, including one police officer and the assailant. It appears that there was only one attacker.

  8. I am finding it increasingly difficult, well actually impossible, to reconcile the combination of the words peaceful and moslem. The only reason a moslem is peaceful is because he or she is choosing to ignore the dictates of their religion.

    I am unable to see how we can move forward with an element in our society which is committed to forcing us to choose between accepting their religion or being killed. This is not Islamophobic or racist, simply a rational interpretation of the facts.

    1. I agree with your sentiments.

      I do think this is however a “perfect storm”, the early socialist (modernist) arab movements failed and the youth view a jihadi revival as the alternative.
      At the same time the West is consumed with self loathing and post modernist/marxist ideas of a “evil white male culture” and if this is not enough we have falling birth rates.
      When Britain faced the Nazi threat they were confident in their “moral” superiority.
      Today we seem to elevate what is decadent in our culture and demonize what is virtues.

      1. Indeed. We are, it appears, doomed to repeat history. All great civilizations go the same way and it looks like we’ve learned nothing from the past. We get comfortable and have no way to defend ourselves against those who have no use for reason and tolerance. C’est la vie.

    2. “The only reason a moslem is peaceful is because he or she is choosing to ignore the dictates of their religion.”

      May I point out that the overwhelming majority of Moslems, therefore, ignore the more extreme dictates of their religion. As do the overwhelming majority of Xtians, too. There’s plenty of shit in the Bible about killing unbelievers, I think.

      I think we should be *encouraging* the ‘no true Muslim’ apologists, for entirely pragmatic reasons, rather than telling them they’re liars and ISIS have got it right. What do we care about the intellectual consistency and doctrinal purity of Islam?
      Which way would we want some – undecided – Muslim youth to go?


      1. Because if not exposed and challenged in the first place so that Muslims acknowledge why change is needed – then some watered down Islam will always head back towards its normal doctrinal tendency that is in 90% of the Orthodox, accepted doctrine that has lasted (or been built upon since 7th century). From the beginning it was not moderate.

        As one example

        SECULAR JIHADISTS (PT 1) – What is a Liberal Muslim??

        As another “In The Shadow of the Sword” by Tom Holland. A good precise at:

        1. “From the beginning it was not moderate.”

          And Christianity was?

          I agree that much of Islam needs to be coaxed into being more civilised. I’m just pretty sure that the best way to do that does NOT include insisting to them that “true” Islam is the extremist version and all the moderate ones – like those described in your link at
          – have got it wrong.


          1. Sorry I can’t agree. I don’t think Christianity was as violent. It always had a considerable element of turn the other cheek, blessed are the meek message. Pagan culture -Roman and Western “barbarian” influenced a lot of the violence. Also Christianity always formed amongst settled culture – initially as an outsider, poor people culture but always with a strong element of responsibility for charity. Islam was strongly influenced by the bedouin raiding settled cultures and blood feuding culture. Tom Hollands book is good on this.

            1. which is not to say christianity does not have a lot of flaws and its own violence but is not as extremely inclined as islam. Christianity has the toxic evangelism (though it never explicitly recommends this occur by the sword) and it has the horrible end times eschatology of heaven and hell. and all the superstitious terror of demons etc. But the ancient arabs believed in demons (Jinn) whilst the quran and hadith revel in graphic descriptions of hell torture missing in Christianity, and actually recommend violent means to spread the faith.

              Much of western culture is roman and pre Christian influenced.

              Slavery partly ended as religious movement against it – fact is William Wilberforce was very devout, and the leading figures in abolishing slavery in the US were religious. Islam does not have that history. The Jesuits in South America battled mightily with the Portuguese and Spanish authorities to protect indigenous people from being enslaved.

            2. Tom Holland tells only part of the story of Islam see also Norbert G Pressburg,
              Karl Heinz-Ohlig, Chistopher Luxenberg, Ibn Warraq, Gerd L Puin and others

  9. “price we must ultimately pay for relatively open immigration”

    I do not think many people realize how many Western European nations have larger per capita Muslim polulations than Britain – even countries without a colonial past in the Muslim World.
    I think the actual percentages are higher than reported especially in countries like Sweden.

    France: 8-10%
    Sweden. 4-6%
    Netherlands: 6%
    Belgium: 6%
    Germany: 4-6% (in 2011 it was reported 2%??)
    Austria: 5.5%
    UK: 5% (3% in 2001 census)
    Denmark: 4.5%
    Italy: 4%
    Spain: 2.5%
    Ireland: 1.2%

    Canada: 3.2% (2% in 2001 census)
    US: 1%

    Note – it is very dufficult to get accurate figures.

  10. Not exactly an immigrant, the attacker was a British-born man of Jamaican parents. His pre-conversion name was Trevor Brook, and he is a former ‘right-hand man’ (no pun intended) of Abu Hamza.

    1. Further to the above comment, it has just been announced that the attacker may have been mis-identified, the man originally named is now thought to actually be in prison.

      1. “the man originally named is now thought to actually be in prison.”

        Yes apparently his solicitor confirmed he is still in jail.

      2. Looking forward to hearing how this misidentification came to pass. Somebody said so, so it must be so, eh?

        1. “Channel 4 News later admitted the error made in its 7 p.m. bulletin. Editor Ben de Pear said award-winning reporter Simon Israel named the wrong man”

          Mainstream media not the blogosphere!

    2. Does Abu Hamza have a left hand man as well. It’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it 😉

  11. Handguns owned and triggered by Americans kill a gazillion more people in the US than Muslim terrorists.

    You asked for it, there it is.

    1. And your point is?

      Ah now I remember, the flu of 1917 killed way more people than the War itself.

      1. yes. Seems a shame to go to all the expense and trouble of a war when we could wait for nature to cull us for nothing.

        1. It arose and was spread around by wartime conditions. People weakened by the fighting and conditions and then travelling both to the theatres of war and then back home or as refugees

      2. Jerry asked readers not to mention the gazillion deaths caused by handguns in the US.

        I did not comply with his command, and mentioned it.

        It is important to remind Americans where their risks of dying unnaturally come from.

        But the main goal was to tease Jerry. Stop telling readers what not to write.

        1. “It is important to remind Americans where their risks of dying unnaturally come from”
          Fair enough.

          Now how big a problem do you think Islam is to a Secular Europe? Not in terms of terrorism, but rather demographic and cultural?

          1. I think Islam is a huge issue for Secular Europe.

            There is no easy or obvious way forward, unfortunately decades of absolutely useless social tension lie ahead.

            One attitude though is mandatory for Europe: reciprocity of adaptation.

            If Westerners emigrate, or move temporarily, to Muslim countries, they are supposed to respect local habits, laws, ethos, mores, etc.

            If immigrants or expats do not comply, bad outcomes are certain.

            Tit for tat, at the Western end. Either adapt fully, or get back, get back to where you once belonged.

            1. I visit Germany on a regular basis, because of their sordid history they cannot think about the challenge clearly.

              On the subject of why Merkel annouced to the world that all refugees are welcome without any rational plan to integrate them, I would say something like this just to annoy them:

              “Ah, I see through your secret plan – you found a way to finally get rid of the European Jews!”

              That really confuses them!

        2. It seems that many of societies problems can be traced to the fact that many people have very poor impulse control and often do things just because they were told not to.

          1. Yep, that is exactly the case. I don’t like being ordered what to do or not to do.

            I decide. And take full responsibility for my acts.

              1. No need to insult Paolo.

                That applies to me too. I frequently do things precisely because somebody ordered me not to, for no very good reason. Too many damned sheeple in this country.

                (In this specific case I can see why Jerry banned the mention of handguns, so I, myself, wouldn’t have breached it. Paolo’s choice, Paolo’s risk).

            1. Errm, I think Alpha Neil’s comment was actually aimed at Paolo, not at the terrorist.

              Interesting article though.


              1. thanks, my mistake an appeals to Alpha Neill who was commenting about handgun proliferation and gun killings!

  12. This is a failure of nearly 50 years of historically unprecedentedly high immigration across the west, without giving new immigrants a chance to be properly digested into their new host nation.

    Enoch Powell’s claims turned out to be an understatement, and that should worry us all.

    1. Except here in Britain, in spite of “white people being a minority in London” etc we do not have rivers of blood.

      We don’t actually know if this crime is related to immigration anyway.

      Look at the list of mass killings in the UK. We have about one every few years and they are almost never perpetrated by immigrants.

      1. This crime may or may not have been perpetrated by an immigrant and it would say little about immigration if it were.

        The problem we face with high levels of immigration of Moslems who refuse to assimilate is the way they skew the society around them. As numbers thier increase by a combination of immigration, high birth rates and intimidation or manipulation of less extreme adherents we face the very real prospect of our democracy allowing religious leaders to gain control and impose their standards on the rest of us.

        How can it be bad for the KKK to preach white superiority but okay for Moslems to preach that women are inferior, that homosexuals, adulterers, apostates and anyone who they consider insults their religion should die?

        We cannot afford to allow intolerance the freedom to grow unfettered. I don’t believe that violence or draconian measures are the way forward, history teaches us that rarely works out well. On the other hand if we allow things to continue to get out of had by pretending nothing bad is happening then I see the prospect of religious civil wars flaring up all over Europe as they are currently doing in other parts of the world.

        It is the refusal of the so called liberal left and even many in the political center ground to speak up against what is considered to be wrong in every other walk of life through fear of being branded a bigot that is allowing those on the right to build a strong following from a broad spectrum of the public and rewarding us with leaders like Drumpf.

    2. Enoch Powell was a foul racist, and totally wrong in what he said. Here was his prediction: “In this country in 15 or 20 years’ time the black man will have the whip hand over the white man.” I suggest you try telling that to black people living here!

      1. The problem is that many, many ordinary white people believe it has or is very close to coming about because the liberal left are unwilling to call a misogynist homophobic religious bigot out because of their skin colour or religion.

        People are not completely stupid and history is filled with lessons of what happens when a discontented mass is given a scapegoat to blame but somehow we never seem to learn from them.

    3. “This is a failure of nearly 50 years of historically unprecedentedly high immigration across the west, without giving new immigrants a chance to be properly digested into their new host nation.”

      Just wait till the war/famine/poverty-fleeing refugees are joined by all those pushing northward to escape the worst of global warming…

      1. Indeed. Or a pandemic of a magnitude of the Asian flue of the early 1900s breaks out.

        The future is not as bright as it once was, or it certainly won’t be if the willfully ignorant continue to grow in power.

  13. I think that, in shaping their immigration policies, Britain and other former colonial powers give too much preference to citizens of their former colonies. I find such immigration policy wrong.

          1. Yes, but when the USA gained its independence by a war, the British government and people were not yet infected by guilt, so they did not feel obliged to open their doors wide to Americans. This is what I meant.
            I think that the guilt feeling, and the psychological need to soothe the loss of the Empire, led the British to some very bad decisions in immigration policy. In this respect, the Ottoman rulers were much better. When we split off from the Ottoman Empire, it accepted only Muslim refugees. (Not that many other people wanted to move to the remaining territory of the Empire.)
            After all, if people have led a passionate and often bloody independence struggle against you, this strongly suggests that they either do not agree to live together with you, or if they do, they will insist it to be on their terms.
            I know that my comment sounds heartless. The British haven’t yet buried the victims, and I am blaming them. I am rude in order to counteract the many opinions who say, “Those who hate us are killing us, but this will not dissuade us in our determination to invite more and more of them!”

            1. I think British history of treating people badly goes far beyond recent colonialism. One has only to look at the Irish and Scottish.

              1. I do not deny it. My point is that British people should not atone for the sins of their fathers by self-destructively inviting the most backward and aggressive religion they can find.

            2. You speak as if the people engaging in struggles for independence were the *exact same people* who wanted to emigrate to Britain.

              May I suggest that, for the most part, those most eager to move to Britain were those who did NOT demand independence?


              1. Of course, things are more nuanced than I sketched them.
                I know that, when France pulled out of Algeria, there were many locals, called “black feet”, who had worked for the French colonial authorities and were now fearing for their lives. France had a moral duty to take them and it did take some (unfortunately, not all). If some e.g. Indians were in a similar relation to Britain, it was the right thing to accept them.
                There are also many others who could – and did – become good immigrants, despite a general anti-British mood in the population. However, I cannot suggest a method to recognize them. What we know for sure about immigrants is that they seek better opportunities for themselves. This may include admiration of the host culture, but may also include just better economic opportunities combined with utter contempt of the host culture, which will grow into hostile action as soon as the immigrants find out that the host population does not intend to defend itself and its culture.
                I find unwise the policy of general preferential immigration to Commonwealth members. I think it would be good only if these countries were similar to UK in culture and economy, or very small. Some match these conditions but others don’t. There is a Commonwealth member with population over twice as numerous as that of UK, where a Christian woman was sentenced to death for saying that Christ was better than Muhammad. Immigrants from said country in the UK preyed on Christian girls for years.

  14. So far there hasn’t been a second strike, which leans towards the “lone wolf” interpretation.

    1. A “lone wolf” inspired by ISIS. ISIS constantly advocate on their site that any muslim can do attacks like this. It tells people to drive into western civilians, attack them with knives or anything to hand. etc etc.

        1. Bit bloody pathetic, isn’t it?

          Started with the World Trade Center, then the London Underground bombings, Charlie Hebdo, the Paris Bataclan attack, now they’re down to encouraging random morons to run people over and knife policemen. Isn’t it a bit anticlimactic?

          How long before they’re down to malicious littering and parking on yellow lines?

          (I loathe and detest ISIS and all it stands for, but I think treating it with scorn, derision and contempt is the appropriate reaction).


          1. No its not pathetic – its a radical reaching out and poisoning of youth though the internet and spread of culture of alienation and enmity to liberalisation that el quaeda -w hit its more organised, less personal cell based approach – could not match.

            Declaring war on regions doesnt help I agree, but failing to participate in the ideological struggle going on here re forcefully arguing for liberalism and rejecting excuses doesnt help either. We are ignoring the effects of scriptures and beliefs which need to be constantly pointed out that the Muslim world is creating bloodshed (sectarian extremism) and poverty for itself and it is not the wests fault and it they have to stop looking for scapegoats and blaming the west for everything. Instead the left tells it the opposite.

            1. Al qaeda was never an organised thing, it was a banner the Americans, namely George Dubbya, gave to a disparate bunch of radical moslems which allowed them to take on the appearance of an extensive international organisation.

              It seems the good old philosophy of faking it until you make it may well have some basis in fact since it has focused radical efforts and created coalitions which might not otherwise have come into being.

              Throw in a fair bit of Saudi money to allow things to carry on from where the CIA money left off and it won’t be long before a strong and united force of Islamic radicals will gather more and more of the moderate to their banners through religious manipulation and or fear and intimidation and there will be another power in the world which knows it’s right and everyone else is wrong.

              We might be glad of the Chinese extreme intolerance of religion if that should come about. Shame we look like allowing things to get to the point where we have to choose between the lesser of two pretty big evils.

              1. I disagree. They were well-organized, they had a hierarchy, they had already committed major acts of terror in different countries, and they had Afghanistan under their control. Bush Jr. did a mess in Iraq (this is the result when you elect as president a family member of an ex-president), but he has not created al-Qaeda.

              2. However, al-Qaeda was virtually non-existent in Iraq until *after* Dubya ‘liberated’ the country…


      1. “Shrug” on who it’s inspired by. Someone made the choice, inspired by their psychotic confidence in the rightness of their religious ideas over other people’s ideas to kill some people. Christians (I grew up with the Irish murderers active in my home country, and being searched on entry into public buildings in consequence ; these days, just look to your average abortion-clinic murdering maniac, and they’ll be a “Christian” too.)
        The evil is in the presence of a religion, not particularly in any one religion. Though the monotheists do seem to be a little more active on the psychotic self-confidence front than polytheistic religions. Though the BJP do try to keep their end down.

        1. “The evil is in the presence of a religion, not particularly in any one religion. ”
          As an atheist I agree, but do not discount secular ideologies like communism, nazism etc.
          Also note that only Islam as a major religion condones violence against unbelievers as a core part of its philosophy.

          When people say something like “but christians kill abortionists too” it drives me up the wall.

        2. +1

          We don’t know (yet) what ‘inspired’ this moron (anyone hear him yelling ‘Allahu Akbar’? No?) – though it will probably turn out to have been ISIS or similar.

          There will always be some psychopathic nutters who just want to cause mayhem or go out in a blaze of glory regardless of the cause. (Has anyone asked the numerous US school shooters what they were ‘fighting for’?) If Islam and ISIS didn’t exist they’d find some other ’cause’ – anything would do – as a pretext. Take away ISIS and they’ll still be around.

          (Of course ISIS is trying to recruit and encourage these nutters, which is reason enough – one among many – to destroy ISIS utterly).


          1. There will always be some psychopathic nutters

            Shared a night in the cells with such (back in the days when they didn’t segregate all people arrested together, immediately on arrest). They were willing to kill for “animal rights”.

  15. Theresa May condemns the attack as “sick and deprived”

    I’d put money on Theresa May having actually said it was sick and depraved.

  16. ISIS have been saying how pleased they are Trump was elected. He’s incompetent and nepotistic and racist and on and on. His recent ban on travelling with electronic devises (above normal mobile phone size) from the 6 Muslim countries is another offence and likely to cause more headaches and possible security lapses, not to mention ill will – than any security gain.

    Outside cabinet Trump has surrounded himself with informal advisors – friends and family not appointed by congress but with access to confidential documents. His son in law and Steve Bannon not only sit on the US Security Council, but have created a separate, informal one for themselves. Trump has barely appointed his top cabinet officials and has left the many Departmental positions unfilled. Mattis and Tillerson are trying to reassure allies. Flynn is thankfully gone but Bannon is a nutter and possibly in league with Bannon’s ex business partner Robert Mercer, who was Trumps main campaign funder, and probably has something over Trump .

    Trump has antagonised Muslim countries, oppressed Muslim residents and citizens, agreed a big Arms Sale to Saudi Arabia, rattled sabres on North Korea, said stupid things about Nuclear weapons.

    1. Unfortunately – according to the Times – the UK has copied this kneejerk ban on laptops/tablets.

      Or rather, requiring them to go as checked baggage, which makes no sense when *spare* lithium batteries are prohibited from going as checked baggage (on grounds of fire risk) and have to be carried as hand luggage.

      So now we have a hold full of lithium-battery-containing devices. Great. Except for spare batteries which will get carried on board?


  17. As far as what we can do, here’s an unconventional answer: switch over to self-driving cars ASAP. It won’t be possible to command a self-driving car to plow into pedestrians, or to drive through a shop window, or to blast through a checkpoint. The car will simply stop. Indeed, perhaps some cars with cutting-edge collision-avoidance systems may already make it impossible to do such things, even without being fully self-driving; I’m not sure about that. Maybe a knowledgeable person could deactivate that collision-avoidance, though; once cars are fully self-driving there won’t even be a steering wheel. The days of being able to use a car as a weapon are numbered.

    1. By the time they become practical ISIS will either be long since dead, or ruling the world.

      ISIS aren’t retards – they use drones, they can modify laptops, how long would it take them to reprogram a self-driving car’s computer? And golly gosh, you then have a drone/car-bomb that doesn’t even need a suicide driver on board…


  18. Resentment could fuel more terrorism which in itself is relatively minor (But has become quite an issue in France which has 7% muslims and Belgium though Belgium is politically a very weak and fragmented state and acts as a hideout place due to this)

    Immigration/intake has to be fairly open without discriminatory blanket bans but with the state able to control the overall numbers according to circumstances. According to Pew Survey by 2050 Europe will have 10% Muslims as a whole as it is, due to their greater population fertility. This a cultural issue first and foremost and you can’t have too much pressure on liberal society over generations without it being forced to revert to fundamentalist Christianity and able only to afford more primitive support services and reduced science in the longer term. Modern science needs huge resources, is conducted by teams and depends on a strong streak of secularism in the society for its support and acceptance.

    Creating ill will is fertile ground for ISIS – shouldn’t be a reason for stigmatising existing population of muslims, the vast majority of whom are peaceful. We have a vast police force and criminal system against regular violent crime and it costs a motza. We have to pay for other elaborate measures for the politically targeted crimes of terrorism. It costs. Its casualties are tiny in the current era but Its a unique kind of crime that can escalate if there are not these expensive measures, and it often exploits the very openness of liberal societies. So it can not be ignored. But by the same token it can’t be used as an excuse to oppress whole sections of the population – which of course generates resentment and is likely to lead to more. The issue to me is culture – I agree with Nawaaz that multiculturalism can not mean effectively allowing multiple laws and multiple approaches to human rights. We have to strongly encourage liberal values and firmly discourage customs and practises that undermine these. The most traditionalist societies are very close knit – and Islam is most resistant to change because it has its own international law and clear orthodoxy in the 4 Sunni and 4 Shia schools and death penalty for open apostasy plus it is evangelical and has a strong tradition of forceful spread. The religion is designed to control every aspect of believers lives and it encourages tribal ties which further make it hard to open up/reform and very difficult for non believers to escape, even abroad. The Quran mandates a male dominated Mahram system of family obligations and control (there are more mahram on the husbands side). Muslims can’t marry a mahram but Mahram relatives don’t include cousins and second cousins and theres a huge tradition of cousin marriage in places like Saudi and Pakistan. Theres strong influences of Bedouin traditions in Islam and Bedouin are uniquely obsessed with kin and lineage amongst pastoral nomads.

    Isis don’t come from nowhere. From the founding of Islam the ancient Karajites used to go into marketplaces of civilians of the rulers they disapproved of and just keep killing people shouting God is Greatest til they were themselves killed. Immigration is fine its the percentage of population overall that matters in terms of the culture longer term

    1. ” I agree with Nawaaz that multiculturalism can not mean effectively allowing multiple laws and multiple approaches to human rights.”

      The problem is that the far left define ANY measures to enforce secular laws and values as oppression.
      If we implemented clear unambiguous laws and policies against sharia courts, muslim schools (i am also against jewish and christian schools), arranged marriages, head scarfs etc without the endless outcry from the supposedly secular left the situation would have been different.
      Because postmodernist relativist ideology had taken root in academia, politics and the media the sensible middle road is not pursued.
      Look at the Guardian, a liberal Jewish publication is not facilitating any debate, but just contains endless articles by religious Muslims about how oppressed they feel.

  19. A brief follow-up on Jerry’s comment:

    As for these incidents, is this the price we must ultimately pay for relatively open immigration, or is there anything we can do?

    The police are now reporting that the attacker (52 years old) was born in Britain, and has a criminal record. Yes Muslim. Yes probably inspired by islamist rhetoric. But definitely no, not an immigrant. Given his age, it is IMO also really hard to see this as any reflection of – or result of – current immigration policy.

    1. I think that current immigration policy makes the native Europeans, as well as the immigrants, think that Europe will be Muslim-majority in foreseeable future. This expectation can prevent Muslims from assimilating (they will naturally wish to be on the winning side) and drive the natives to apathy or, as in the perpetrator’s case, to conversion to Islam.

  20. This is one of those disputes that can’t be even remotely solved by reference to the facts. It’s a values dispute. Many liberals and libertarians are simply willing to live with this occurring on a regular basis. And they’ll tell you so. Strangely these are the same people most likely to cry foul over excessive policing and security-conscious politicians. Their cosmopolitan values place the right to emigrate on equal footing with the security of native-born Americans. They see no reason to privilege the latter over the former. Even a tiny portion of the former (by no means ALL IMMIGRANTS, in perpetuity). They’re post-national despite politics still being overwhelmingly predicated on the idea that nations are legit.

    Limit the influx of a certain strand of Muslim from low-trust societies – and thus their greater numbers down the line – and the obvious and predictable call for more security post-terrorist attacks will decline with them.

  21. How did this discussion get into immigration? The alleged assailant was British born and had been a career criminal.

    I was not too pleased by the Son-of-Trump’s comments on the Mayor of London. They were tactless & ill-timed. He also misread the context of Sadiq Khan’s speech.

    And no, there is not a non-white majority in London.

    I lived in Birmingham when Enoch Powell’s infamous “rivers of blood” speech was made. He was an elitist outsider already by then. I have lived through the IRA bombings.

    Let’s get over all this. Murderers live everywhere.

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