London, England was struck by a deadly terrorist attack outside the perimeter of the Parliament this past Wednesday. The perpetrator, fifty-two year-old Khalid Masood, drove his vehicle into police officers and civilians on the Westminster Bridge. ABC News reports that after the perpetrator “crashed into the fence around the Houses of Parliament,” he proceeded to assault “an officer who was standing guard” with a knife (Winsor, Kutsch, & Jacobo, 2017, para. 13). The officer, forty-eight year old Keith Palmer, died of his injuries.
The attack’s perpetrator was fatally shot on scene by the police. Kurt Cochran, an American citizen visiting London with his wife, was one of the four victims that were killed during the attack. At least thirty other individuals were wounded. ISIS has since released a statement that asserts that the perpetrator acted on behalf of their calls for individuals to commit terrorist attacks (Winsor, Kutsch, & Jacobo, 2017).
The New York Times (2017) reports that the perpetrator had engaged in criminal activities years before his attack on London. Convictions had begun in 1983 and continue up to his latest conviction in 2003 for the illegal possession of a weapon. Addressing the House of Commons following the attack, British Prime Minister Theresa May stated that the perpetrator had been previously investigated regarding “concerns about violent extremism”(C-SPAN, 2017). May, however, added that “there was no prior intelligence of his intent or of the plot” (C-SPAN, 2017).
In her address, Prime Minister May expressed the “we are not afraid” adage that Londoners have adopted to show their resolve during the aftermath of the attack. Reflecting London’s resilience, May stated to Parliament: “Today we meet as normal as generations have done before us and as future generations will continue to do. To deliver a simple message: We are not afraid and our resolve will never waiver in the face of terrorism” (C-SPAN, 2017).