Are The London & Brussels Attacks Connected? They Happened Exactly One Year Apart

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On Wednesday, March 22, a car driving across Westminster Bridge reportedly struck several pedestrians before crashing into a fence, at which point its driver got out and fatally stabbed one police officer before reportedly being shot and killed by another. The London Metropolitan police are investigating it as an act of terrorism, with four people confirmed dead including the alleged attacker, and 20 more injured. And it happened precisely one year to the day after the 2016 terrorist attack in the Belgian capital of Brussels, leading to understandable speculation whether the London and Brussels attacks are somehow connected.

On March 22 of last year, a trio of bomb blasts struck the Brussels airport and the city's metro line, killing a staggering 32 people and injuring hundreds more. It was the highest-profile terrorist attack in the city's history, and ISIS claimed responsibility in its aftermath.

Thus far, however, nobody has any information regarding who committed the London attacks, much less in the name of any organization or ideology. All that's clear is that an attack happened, and it's conspicuous that it happened on the one-year anniversary of the Brussels bombings. However, for the time being, there's no way to definitively or factually state that the two attacks are connected more deeply.

That said, it's not hard to see why plenty of people are drawing the parallels in their minds. The broad strokes of the London attack ― in which a vehicle was used to plow into pedestrians, inflicting violent chaos and leaving a grisly scene ― have been employed in ISIS-inspired attacks before, such as the far-deadlier truck attack in Nice, France last year. There was also a similar incident that took place in Berlin, Germany toward the end of last year, when a truck crashed into a Christmas market. In both cases, ISIS claimed responsibility.

There shouldn't be much need to speculate, however. With the amount of investigative intensity British authorities are now devoting to this highly-visible attack, there's a good chance that any motivations the hitherto unnamed attacker had will be discovered and fully reported.

And in general, there's a real value in holding off from jumping to unnecessary conclusions. Early reports in the aftermath of violent incidents like these can sometimes be unreliable, thanks to the chaos and tumult of the moment. That the incident is being investigated as terrorism, however, is very clear ― that's been confirmed multiple times by British law enforcement.