- Five dead, including a police officer, after suspected terrorist attack in Westminster, London.
- Lone suspect shot dead by police after fatally stabbing PC Keith Palmer inside the grounds of the Houses of Parliament.
- A car drove into at least a dozen people on nearby Westminster Bridge.
- At least 40 are being treated for injuries, some “catastrophic.”
- PM Theresa May condemns “sick and depraved” attacks of terror.
- WARNING: Some of the images below are graphic.
LONDON — Five people, including a police officer, have died and 40 were injured in what is being treated as a terror attack in Westminster, London, on Wednesday afternoon.
A lone assailant mowed down dozens of pedestrians on Westminster Bridge in a 4X4 car, before killing a police officer with a knife in the grounds of Parliament just after 2.30 p.m. GMT. He was shot dead by police. The suspect has not been named by authorities yet.
The police officer was named by the Metropolitan Police at around 22:30 p.m GMT on Wednesday night as PC Keith Palmer, 48, a husband and father with 15 years’ service. The suspect, who is yet to be named, was shot dead by police.
Assistant Commissioner for Specialist Operations Mark Rowley said that a third member of the public had died as a result of the attacks following an announcement earlier this evening that two others had lost their lives.
Rowley added that the Met has now believes it knows the identity of the terrorist but would not disclose any further details other than he was thought to be inspired by Islamist-related international terrorism.
“We are satisfied that there was only one attacker,” Rowley told reporters earlier today. He advised the public to be vigilant and confirmed additional officers will patrol the capital tonight and Thursday.
He advised the public to be vigilant and confirmed additional officers will patrol the capital tonight and Thursday.
Rowley said: “Our strength as the city depends on our ability to stand together at such a terrible time.”
Scotland Yard has also confirmed that a major terrorist investigation is underway.
Speaking on Wednesday evening, Prime Minister Theresa May described the attacks as “sick and depraved” and thanked the “exceptional men and women” who put their lives on the line to protect London.
You can read May’s full reaction here.
Police shot the attacker outside the gates of Parliament, where the officer was fatally stabbed. Two other police officers were treated for injuries.
Reports have suggested that the below Press Association photo is the first image of the suspect. The alleged intruder was treated by medics and loaded into an ambulance.
The man seemed to be carrying a “long kitchen knife” prior to being shot, Press Association political editor Andrew Woodcock told the BBC.
Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood attempted to give mouth-to-mouth to the stabbed police officer before he died. Acting Commissioner Craig Mackey was at the scene and is being treated as a significant witness.
A source who was in Parliament at the time of the attack told Business Insider: “MPs walking through [the] yard were told armed shooter and told to dive and run for cover — many ended up in tube tunnel. While people were shouting ‘run’ Ellwood strode the other way to help victims.”
Three of the injured are French students, French media is reporting. A woman who jumped into the River Thames during the incident was pulled out alive soon after the attack.
Journalist Quentin Letts gave an account of what he saw at Parliament to MSNBC.
“I saw a fairly thick-set man wearing black clothes running through the open gates, the security gates where people drive their cars,” Letts said. “He seemed to have something in his hand, maybe a knife, maybe a stick.”
Letts continued: “He started beating a policeman who had fallen over on the ground. The policeman managed to shake him off and the attacker then ran towards the entrance of the House of Commons, which is used by our members of Parliament and he got about 15 yards before the authorities responded.”
A witness close to Westminster Bridge told Business Insider that there were “lots of sirens” and “people running” at the scene of the Westminster Bridge incident.
A man gives his account of what happened on Westminster Bridge:
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) March 22, 2017
All government and civil servants were kept inside Westminster Hall hours after the incident.
Westminster tube station and nearby buildings including St Thomas’ Hospital and the Gherkin building were also on lockdown until early evening. Armed officers are currently patrolling the area.
Facebook activated the safety check feature to allow those in London to let people know they’re safe while Londoners #WeAreNotAfraid a global trend on Twitter in a display of defiance and solidarity.
Here is footage of Police urging people to flee the scene outside Parliament:
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) March 22, 2017
No terrorist group has so far accepted responsibility for the attack. New York Times terrorism correspondent Rukmini Callimachi noted on Twitter, however, that pro-ISIS channels on the chat app Telegram are talking about the attack.
“Numerous ISIS-linked channels are sharing blow-by-blow updates on events in London,” Callimachi said, noting that this pattern follows that of other recent terror attacks.
“We saw this post-Paris, post-Nice, post-Orlando etc,” she said. “The mode of attack, according to reporters at the scene, includes stabbing and car-ramming, both ISIS signatures.”
Wednesday marks the first anniversary of the worst terrorist attack in Belgium’s history, in which 32 people were killed and hundreds were wounded in a bombing at the airport in Brussels. Callimachi, the Times terrorism reporter, noted that “ISIS, like al-Qaeda, loves anniversaries.”
Prime Minister Theresa May was in Parliament at the time of the attack but is safe, a spokesperson confirmed. She was ushered into a car and driven away from the scene.
Conservative Nigel Evans MP told Sky that another MP ran into the chamber as a vote was taking place exclaiming “has anyone seen the Prime Minister?” while the attack was unfolding outside.
Scottish Parliament suspended the second day of a debate on an independence referendum motion. US President Donald Trump was briefed on the situation, his spokesperson Sean Spicer confirmed.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan thanked London emergency services for their “tremendous bravery in exceptionally difficult circumstances” and later released a video statement saying “Londoners will never be cowed by terrorism.”
In a statement, Khan said: “There has been a serious incident near to Parliament Square this afternoon which is being treated as a terrorist attack until the police know otherwise.
“I have spoken to the Acting Commissioner.
“The Metropolitan Police Service is dealing with the incident and an urgent investigation is underway. My thoughts are with those affected and their families.
“I would like to express my thanks to the police and emergency services who work so hard to keep us safe and show tremendous bravery in exceptionally difficult circumstances.
“For the latest information please visit news.met.police.uk.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury also posted a message via Twitter:
Praying tonight for those grieving loved ones – and those injured and traumatised – after the brutal and senseless attack in #Westminster.
— Archbishop of Canterbury (@JustinWelby) March 22, 2017
US President Donald Trump released the details of his calls with May around 8 p.m. GMT:
— President Trump (@POTUS) March 22, 2017
Here was the scene at Parliament after a car drove into the gate:
Here was the scene on Westminster Bridge earlier today:
Video sent to me from Westminster Bridge where it's shut off due to the shooting incident at Parliament. Police breaking up a group of guys who were allegedly "yelling about ISIS, waving Union Jack flags". They were "looking for a fight" apparently. (Disclaimer: I do not give permission for any other media outlet – other than Business Insider- to use this video or derivatives of it without permission from me first)
This witness saw five people hit by the car:
A car on Westminster Bridge has just mowed down at least 5 people. pic.twitter.com/tdCR9I0NgJ
— Radosław Sikorski ???????????????? (@sikorskiradek) March 22, 2017
MPs inside the Houses of Parliament
This is the moment Parliament was suspended as "sounds similar to gunfire" were heard outside pic.twitter.com/to6PPxkNqL
— Sky News (@SkyNews) March 22, 2017
Police are appealing for images and videos of the Westminster attacks. Help the police force and upload here.
The police have also provided a hotline for those worried about friends or family that may be involved in the incidents:
Worried about family/friends involved in today’s incident in #Westminster? Please call Casualty Bureau on 0800 056 0944 & 0207 158 0010
— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) March 22, 2017
This is a developing story…
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