London attack: At least five dead, 40 injured after terrorist targets Westminster Bridge, Houses of Parliament
A suspected Islamist terrorist has been shot dead after killing four people and injuring 40 more in a car and knife attack on London's Westminster Bridge and inside the grounds of the Houses of Parliament.
The attack started at about 2:40pm (local time) when a speeding car ran down pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, before crashing into the railings surrounding the Parliament.
The knife-wielding driver then entered the Parliament grounds and fatally stabbed a police officer, identified as a 48-year-old father with 14 years' service, before himself being shot dead.
The three other fatalities were members of the public hit by the car on Westminster Bridge.
"We've declared this as a terrorist incident and the counter-terrorism command are carrying out a full-scale investigation into the events today," Mark Rowley, Britain's most senior counter-terrorism officer, told reporters.
He would not comment on the identity of the attacker, but said police were working on the assumption that the attack was "Islamist-related terrorism".
Hundreds of officers are investigating the attack, and the investigation is working at a "very fast pace", Mr Rowley said.
5 people dead, with likely long term consequences to perceptions of public safety, need for increased security, and general impact on Western freedoms.
Daesh or a similar organisation will no doubt take responsibility, with the usual demand for British and other Western forces to withdraw from Syria.
Maybe it's time to seriously rethink our Middle Eastern policy, and actually withdraw? Yes, that will necessarily result in civilian deaths and the likely emergence of oppressive power structures, but I think we need to draw a line somewhere. The current strategy of bombing the shit out of them is clearly failing, and I think our experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq have made it clear that you can't impose democracy or peace on a society fundamentally fractured by tribalism (Sunni vs Shia).