London attack: investigation continues as Britain responds to another blow

After Saturday's terrorist attack that began on the London Bridge left seven people dead, Londoners cautiously return to daily life as Thursday's general election nears.

Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters
A woman kneels next to a flower memorial on the south side of London Bridge on Monday, June 5, 2017, after three attackers left seven people dead and many injured Saturday evening.

British counterterrorism investigators searched two homes Monday and detained "a number" of people in the investigation into a van and knife attack in the heart of London that left seven people dead.

Dozens were injured, many of them critically, in the attack that started on the London Bridge, when three attackers swerved the vehicle into pedestrians then, armed with knives, rampaged through Borough Market, slashing and stabbing anyone they could find.

The three men, who wore fake suicide vests, were shot to death by police. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility.

London's police chief has said the attackers have been identified, but the names haven't been released. At least 12 people were arrested Sunday, including five men and seven women ranging in age from 19 to 60. One has since been released without being charged.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said she wouldn't release further details in what she described as a fast-moving investigation. She wouldn't say whether authorities were familiar with the men before the attack.

IS has claimed responsibility for three attacks in Britain since March, and Commissioner Dick described the recent wave of violence as "unprecedented in my working life."

"We in this country have faced a terrorist threat throughout my life – it changed and morphed and we will change and adapt to what appears to be a new reality for us," she said.

Prime Minister Theresa May warned that the country faced a new threat from copycat attacks. She said Britain must do "more, much more" to combat what she called the perverted ideology of radical Islam.

She said police know the identity of the three attackers but will not release them yet because of the ongoing investigation. Police and intelligence services are trying to determine what backup support they might have had.

The country's major political parties temporarily suspended campaigning with only days to go before Thursday's general election. Ms. May said the vote would take place as scheduled Thursday because "violence can never be allowed to disrupt the democratic process."

The political tempo picked up again Monday with May saying opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is unfit to handle security and Brexit. Mr. Corbyn called for May to resign because of her role in cutting police staffing during her tenure as home secretary.

Most of the London Underground stations reopened Monday in the neighborhood where the attack took place, allowing life to resume after more than 24 hours of lockdown. Some residents cooped up inside all day Sunday emerged from their homes for the first time since the attacks.

"We were all stuck!" said Marcia Rainford, who said she was sealed into her building complex with her mother and two children.

"We got blocked in. One whole day," she said. Luckily she had a full fridge. "I always stock up!"

London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Police Commissioner Dick have toured the site of the attack and praised the quick police work that they said prevented further deaths.

Dick said Monday the attack was "ghastly," but that Londoners are pulling together and refusing to be cowed by extremists.

She said providing more firearms for London police wouldn't be a sensible solution to the increased tempo of attacks, saying the strategy of having special mobile units of heavily armed officers is effective. Mr. Khan and Dick were briefly heckled by a man who called for more police to be put on the streets.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to London attack: investigation continues as Britain responds to another blow
Read this article in
https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2017/0605/London-attack-investigation-continues-as-Britain-responds-to-another-blow
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today
https://www.csmonitor.com/subscribe