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Again, London had taken bomb attack. The attack began just after 10 p.m. on London Bridge, just north of an area replete with cafes and bars, and near the London Bridge rail and underground interchange, when a white Renault rental van swerved into crowds of pedestrians on London Bridge, leaving bodies lying in the roadway. At least one pedestrian is thought to have jumped into the Thames to escape being hit. The suspects are then believed to have jumped from the van and proceeded on foot toward the nearby area of Borough Market, one of the capital’s most popular nightlife spots. Seven people died and 48 were injured when three men drove a van into pedestrians on London Bridge before leaping out and launching a stabbing spree in nearby bars and restaurants. Police also confirmed Sunday that 36 people remain in the hospital with 21 of those in critical condition.
“Borough Market is in the heart of a strong, diverse and creative community, a community that supports each other and will pull together to show solidarity in the face of this callous attack, ” Donald Hyslop, chairman of the Borough Market trustees, said in a statement.
Eyewitnesses spoke of panic as three men armed with “footlong” knives burst into packed restaurants and cafes, indiscriminately slashing at those inside. Many customers fought off the attackers, using chairs, pint glasses and bottles. Others hid behind tables and inside bathrooms, or attempted to flee. The second terrorist attack in London this year is sure to renew the debate around safety in the capital.
For many in London, Saturday’s attack will be a grim reminder of the events on Westminster Bridge on March 22, when Khalid Masood drove a car into pedestrians, killing four and injuring 50, before stabbing a police officer to death at the entrance to parliament. The attacker — who reportedly had a criminal record and may have had connections to violent extremism — was gunned down by a police officer. The attack also comes fewer than two weeks after Salman Abedi, a suicide bomber, killed 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.
Armed officers responding to the London Bridge terror attack fired an “unprecedented” number of rounds at the three attackers because they were wearing what appeared to be suicide belts. Eight officers fired 50 shots at three attackers to ensure they were neutralized, said Mark Rowley, assistant commissioner for specialist operations in the Metropolitan Police Service. Rowley is Britain’s most senior counterterrorism office. The suicide belts were later determined to be fake, suggesting the attackers deliberately used the belts to ensure they would be killed. Rowley said he was “not surprised” at the police response.
The ISIS-linked Amaq Agency claimed a “detachment of Islamic State fighters” carried out the attack, but CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank cautioned that ISIS has provided no evidence to back up its claim. Amaq also claimed ISIS was behind the attack at a resort in Manila last week, despite Filipino authorities asserting it was not terror-related.
Responding those deadly accident, Police arrested 12 people Sunday after carrying out raids in Barking, east London. All those arrested were detained under Britain’s Terrorism Act. One of those arrested, a 55-year-old man, was released without having to post bond. Eleven of the 12 people — five men and six women, ranging in age from 19 to 60 — were arrested at one complex in Barking.
Ikenna Chigbo, in an interview with Britain’s Independent Television News, described one of those arrested in the Barking raids as a nice guy who regularly invited neighbors to barbecues and played football and table tennis with them.
British Prime Minister Theresa May claimed there was “too much tolerance” of Islamist extremism in the United Kingdom as she vowed a clampdown in the wake of the third terror attack to hit the UK this year.
Earlier Sunday, May insisted that while the recent attacks in Westminster, Manchester and London Bridge were unconnected, they were bound together by the “single evil ideology of Islamist extremism.” She also said that while progress had been made, there remained “far too much tolerance of extremism in our country.”
Speaking at Downing Street five days before the UK general election, May described the latest attack as “brutal” and said extremism had to be defeated. “We cannot and must not pretend that things can continue as they are,” she said. May said that Britain’s counterterrorism strategy would be reviewed, and warned that the Internet could no longer remain a “safe space” for extremists.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan praised the quick police response and asked Londoners to remain calm but vigilant. He repeated his previous insistence that “London is one of the safest global cities in the world.”
Random and Enigmatic Attacks
London’s terror bomb attacks has been showing that a terror groups such as Al Qaeda or ISIS have been launched their “random and enigmatic attacks” and those is intended to promote that “no safe place” in Europe and its could be predicted that random and enigmatic terror attacks will be happened in United States, Middle East, South Asia, Australia, Africa, South East Asia including Indonesia. Indonesia has a potential to be attacked by a terror groups because in here there are many of ISIS-sleeper cells and lone-wolf agents.
Essentially, some of perpetrators such as al Qaeda which led by Hamza bin Laden, one of son of Osama bin Laden or ISIS-sleeper cells in Europe who will be launched their attacks instantly, deadly and abrauptly.
Many Muslim scholars have believed in London’s bomb attacks and other attacks have related to a chain of insult to Muslim communities in Europe or in other words those attacks has refflected and protested on “un-equal” justice treatment between West and East specially Muslim countries.
*) The author is a global and strategic issue researcher at Kencana Institute, Jakarta.