- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 4, 2017

Terrorists driving a van mowed down pedestrians on London Bridge late Saturday and stabbed people in a nearby London market neighborhood, killing seven and wounding 48 others.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick confirmed the casualty toll early Sunday and said police shot and killed all three terrorists, ending what she called a “ghastly” eight-minute rampage.

British Prime Minister Theresa May, who faces an election on Thursday, called for tougher counter-terrorism measures after the country’s third major attack in two months, and declared “Enough is enough.”

“We cannot and must not pretend that things can continue as they are,” Ms. May said.

While authorities do not believe the recent attacks were coordinated, the prime minster said, “They are bound together by the single, evil ideology of Islamist extremism that preaches hatred, sows division, and promotes sectarianism.”

“Defeating this ideology is one of the great challenges of our time,” she said.


SEE ALSO: ISIS claims ‘detachment of Islamic State fighters’ responsible for London attack


A large police cordon remained in place in the area, south of the Thames River. Investigators were working to determine whether the terrorists had help from anyone else in planning the attacks.

President Trump spoke Saturday night with Ms. May, offering his condolences for the “heinous” terror attacks, the White House said. The president praised the “heroic response” of police and other first responders, and offered the full support of the U.S. in investigating and bringing those responsible to justice.

Mr. Trump said on Twitter that the violence underscored the need for U.S. courts to uphold his travel ban, which is currently blocked.

The president also went after political correctness that he said is hindering security efforts generally.

“Do you notice we are not having a gun debate right now? That’s because they used knives and a truck!” Mr. Trump wrote.

He added, “We must stop being politically correct and get down to the business of security for our people. If we don’t get smart it will only get worse.”

The violence in London struck a nation already on high alert from a suicide bombing less than two weeks ago at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester that killed 22 people.

Witnesses said the terrorists drove a van at 50 mph into pedestrians on the bridge before attacking revelers with large knives. Witness Erick Siguenza told BBC News that one of the attackers, who wore fake suicide vests, screamed “This is for Allah” as he went on the stabbing rampage.

The Metropolitan Police said they were called at 10:08 p.m. local time to reports of a vehicle hitting pedestrians the bridge, which crosses the River Thames in central London. Soon after, there were reported stabbings at a restaurant at nearby Borough Market, a popular area of pubs and cafes on the south side of the bridge.

The attacks, taking place during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, also occurred just over two months after a deadly car-and-knife attack outside the British Parliament.

Mr. Trump, who was receiving updates from his national-security team at the White House, publicly pledged help for London and the United Kingdom.

“Whatever the United States can do to help out in London and the U. K., we will be there — WE ARE WITH YOU. GOD BLESS!” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter.

The president also said the incidents point to the need for his proposed temporary ban on immigration from six majority-Muslim nations.

“We need to be smart, vigilant and tough,” Mr. Trump said. “We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!”

The U.S. State Department said it was monitoring the situation. “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of those affected by this terrible situation,” the department said.

Ms. May and her Conservative Party are facing an election on Thursday; she held a lead of just one percentage point in a recent poll.

“Britain’s Conservative government must crush the Islamist threat,” said Nile Gardiner, director of the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at the Heritage Foundation. “This is a moment for decisiveness and resolve in the face of evil.”

British Transport Police said casualties were reported after an incident that may have involved a van and a knife attack, the BBC said, while the London Ambulance Service said it was sending multiple resources to the incident.

Ken Shepherd contributed to this article, which is based in part on wire service reports.

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