London Anticipated Terrorist Attack
A terrorist attack on a city changes the way that city views its security policies and structures. After September 11, the United States stepped up security and emergency management in almost every way imaginable, but Americans probably did not suspect the attack would change the way London viewed their protection of Parliament.
“[Parliament] is always open to any lunatic with a fanatical outlook on life to mount an attack against innocent people in pursuit of their fixations and we have to be ever grateful to those who defend us on the perimeter of this building … which has been anticipating this possibility ever since 11 September 2001,” Julian Lewis, the Conservative MP who chairs parliament’s defense committee told a reporter for the Guardian. “We were recalled to parliament for an emergency session on Friday 14 September, and that was the first time we had he presence of police armed with sub machine guns openly guarding the Palace of Westminster - and they’ve been here ever since.”
London’s law enforcement is famously known for not carrying firearms with them, something that changed after 9/11 and has been continuously changing since the attacks on Paris, Brussels and Nice in the recent years.
After each and every terrorist attack, the city re-evaluated its stance on security, changing its procedures to be ready for multiple attacks at once like the events in Paris, stepping up security at areas of public transportation as result of the attack on Brussels airport and train station and even attempting to be more vigilant of vehicle attacks following the events in Nice and Berlin.
The attack in London is a tragedy, but not one that the London police and emergency crews were not ready for. London Ambulance twitter account said their emergency crews were on the scene in less than six minutes and the alleged attacker was shot and killed within minutes of leaving his or her vehicle, after stabbing a police officer just inside the gates of Parliament. Had this shooting not taken place, there could have been more casualties at the hand of the attacker armed with a knife.
“The Government’s top priority is the security of the people and I urge everyone to remain calm but to be vigilant and if they see anything they are concerned about they should report it to the police,” Home Secretary Amber Rudd said. “We have the best police, the best security services in the world and we must make sure that we let them get on with doing their job.”
Like the United States and other countries around the world that have been victimized by terror attacks, the UK will not fear terrorism, according to Rudd.
“The British people will be united in working together to defeat those who would harm our shared values,” Rudd said. “Values of democracy, tolerance and the rule of law. Values symbolized by the Houses of Parliament. Values that will never be destroyed."