Yesterday, Wednesday 22nd March, marked one year since the horrific terror attack that took place in Brussels. Yesterday, London was also given a shocking reminder that terrorists are still at large, living amongst us and will strike when we least expect it.
The Metropolitan Police have stated their belief that the attacker acted alone, yet despite this, raided and successfully arrested seven others from addresses in London and Birmingham. What rings shockingly true, is that Teresa May has revealed not only was yesterday’s attacker British born, he was already known to the MI5 being investigated years ago in relation to extremist terrorism; however he was not considered to be part of the current intelligence picture.
The attacker has not yet been formally identified, however it has been confirmed that the car used in the attack was hired from Enterprise in Birmingham, and a neighbour has identified the attacker as living at one of the addresses raided there.
PC Keith Palmer, one of four confirmed deaths, has been hailed a hero with close friend MP James Cleverly calling for him to receive recognition for his courageous efforts. “He was a strong, professional public servant and it was a delight to meet him here again only a few months after being elected. Would Teresa May, in recognition of the work that he did and the other Police Officers and publice servants in the House, consider recognising his gallantry and sacrifice formally with a posthumous recognition?”
Teresa May replied that he had paid the “ultimate sacrifice by giving his life in the heart of democracy”. She also assured Mr Cleverly that it “will of course be considered in due course”.
Mr Palmer, one of the unarmed Policemen standing on the gate, is known to have tried to stop the attacker as he burst through the gates into New Palace Yard. He was stabbed multiple times before plain clothed Police shot the attacker three times in the chest.
Former Staff Sgt Tony Davis, and Captain Mike Crofts witnessed the attack and were first on the scene to administer CPR to Mr Palmer. The two men were leaving a Parliamentary meeting on boxing when they became embroiled in the attack. They ordered an air ambulance and fought desperately to save Mr Palmer until they were joined by Tobias Ellwood, the Tory Foreign Minister who took over from their efforts.
In haunting scenes, Mr Ellwood a former soldier himself, was pictured in his desperate attempts to resuscitate Mr Palmer. He was surrounded by Paramedics, Police Officers and Doctors as he administered mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, and attempted to stem the blood flowing from the officer’s wounds. He is said to be devastated by the death, and stayed with Mr Palmer until the air ambulance arrived.
This horrific tragedy has called for a review of the well-known “weak spot” and the possibility of Police being armed at the gate, as they are around the perimeter of the building.
So far, there have been forty injured with four confirmed deaths; Mr Palmer, Aysha Frade, a man in his 50s and the terrorist himself. A minutes silence was held today to honour the casualties.
The attack as it happened
- Terrorist drives at high speed onto Westminster Bridge, mounts the pavement and mows down several pedestrians.
- The grey Hyundai i40 is crashed into the railings outside the Palace of Westminster and the attacker, brandishing two knives, bursts through the gates into New Palace Yard.
- He stabs Mr Palmer multiple times before being shot three times in the chest with a hand gun.
- Parliament is placed into lockdown with MPs being held in Chamber, and Teresa May is evacuated.