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Big Ben Attack: Islamic State claims responsibility!?

TEXT & PHOTO BY M. M. ALAM

LONDON: News agency Amaq (used by the Islamic State), while terming the attacker ‘a soldier of Islamic State’, has claimed that the group was responsible for the Wednesday attack that took place here before the Big Ben. 

However, NewsPakistan.tv cannot verify the IS claim at this point. 

Five people (an unarmed 48-year-old policeman from parliamentary & diplomatic protection command, three civilians and the attacker) are now confirmed to have died in the attack.

Forty people from ten countries were killed or wounded in the Wednesday assault: those who were injured include five South Korean tourists, four students from Ormskirk’s Edge University and a German woman resident in Australia.

RELEVANT PIECES PUBLISHED EARLIER

 British-born Big Ben attacker had been investigated for extremism: PM

March 23, 2017

M. M. ALAM

KARACHI: Prime Minister Theresa May, while delivering her statement here at House of Commons has informed today that the British-born man, who carried out 22nd March attack outside the Parliament, was known to MI5.

Attacker, who was shot dead on Wednesday as he attacked police officers in the shadow of Big Ben, was once investigated for connections to violent extremism but being a peripheral figure he felled off intelligence radar.

The attacker was not among the 3,000 Britons on MI5’s list of individuals whom they regard as potentially capable of committing an act of domestic terrorism.

PM further said: “Since June 2013 our police, security and intelligence agencies have successfully disrupted 13 separate terrorist plots in Britain.

“Mr. Speaker, in terms of security here in Westminster, we should be clear first of all that an attacker attempted to break into Parliament and was shot dead within twenty yards of the gates. If his intention was to gain access to this building, we should be clear that he did not succeed.

“The police heroically did their job. But as is routine, the police together with the House authorities are reviewing the security of the Parliamentary estate, coordinated with the Cabinet Office, who have responsibility for the security measures in place around the Government secure zone. All of us in this House have a responsibility for the security and safety of our staff and advice is available for Members who need it.

“Mr. Speaker, yesterday we saw the worst of humanity, but we will remember the best. We will remember the extraordinary efforts to save the life of PC Keith Palmer, including those by my Rat Hon Friend the Member for Bournemouth East.

“And we will remember the exceptional bravery of our police, security and emergency services who once again ran towards the danger even as they encouraged others to move the other way …

“Mr. Speaker, a lot has been said since terror struck London yesterday. Much more will be said in the coming days. But the greatest response lies not in the words of politicians, but in the everyday actions of ordinary people.

“For beyond these walls today – in scenes repeated in towns and cities across the country –millions of people are going about their days and getting on with their lives. The streets are as busy as ever.

“The offices full. The coffee shops and cafes bustling. As I speak millions will be boarding trains and aeroplanes to travel to London, and to see for themselves the greatest city on Earth.

“It is in these actions – millions of acts of normality – that we find the best response to terrorism. A response that denies our enemies their victory. That refuses to let them win. That shows we will never give in.

“A response driven by that same spirit that drove a husband and father to put himself between us and our attacker, and to pay the ultimate price. A response that says to the men and women who propagate this hate and evil: you will not defeat us.

“Mr. Speaker, let this be the message from this House and this nation today: our values will prevail. And I commend this statement to the House”.

Meanwhile the Queen in her message stated: 

So far six counter-terrorism raids have been conducted in London and Birmingham. As a result eight suspects have been arrested. 

RELEVANT PIECE PUBLISHED EARLIER

WESTMINSTER ATTACK: FOUR CONFIRMED DEAD

Westminster Attack: Four confirmed dead

M. M. ALAM

LONDON: Police here has confirmed death of four people including police officer and attacker. Officer died from stab wounds and police shot the attacker dead after assault on Houses of Parliament. 

LONDON: Just outside the Palace of Westminster the attacker (52-year-old Khalid Masood) was given treatment. But he died of bullet wounds.

According to Scotland Yard,  Khalid Masood (birth name Adrian Russell Ajao)  who was born (on 25.12.1964) in Kent, was also known by a number of aliases. He had previous convictions of assaults and possession of offensive weapons. Masood was first convicted in November 1983 for criminal damage and last time twenty years later for possession of knife. 

WE ARE INSIDE THE WESTMINSTER ABBEY SINCE 3PM: LORD NAZIR SPEAKS TO NEWSPAKISTAN.TV

 

We are inside the Westminster Abbey since 3PM: Lord Nazir speaks to NewsPakistan.tv
 EXCLUSIVE NEWSPAKISTAN.TV TEXT, VIDEO AND PHOTOS

M. M. ALAM

LONDON: Lord Nazir who is inside the Westminster Abbey, talked exclusivity to NewsPaksitan.tv. about the attack in the Parliament. 

Lord Nazir informed that special services team was inside combing the Parliament suspecting presence of attacker inside.

He said that all the people (including MPs, children) who were inside at 3PM (when the Policeman was stabbed)  have been asked to remain inside.

Police at 6PM has said that they will have to remain inside for another hour. They are being provided water and tea. 

Calling this incident unfortunate, Lord Nazir lauded the professionalism of British Police.

He said the combing operation was going on very systematically without causing any hassle for the people who have been asked to remain inside. 

According to sources 20 more people got injured on Westminster Bridge. 

POLICE TREATING ATTACK ON BRITISH PARLIAMENT AS A TERRORIST INCIDENT

Police treating attack on British Parliament as a terrorist incident

M. M. ALAM

LONDON: British Police has said today that it was treating attack in the Houses of Parliament as a terrorist incident in which one police officer had been stabbed. 

Sources privy to NewsPakistan.tv based in London has confirmed that armed police has shot the assailant.

Furthermore, there are reports that a car drove into a number of people on Westminster bridge injuring as many as 12 people, who are being treated.

On police request Westminster underground has been shut. 

 

 

M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.