On Wednesday, a man reportedly stabbed a police officer after crashing into the Westminster Bridge and injuring several people. Though details will surely continue to emerge, London Metropolitan police are calling the violent incident "terrorism" until further notice. In the official statement, they said the department is "treating this as a terrorist incident until we know otherwise." And if the UK Parliament attack was truly terrorism, is ISIS to blame? Amidst the chaos and fear, people around the world — and from the scene in London — are surely wondering.
So far, police have released no facts suggesting that the attack was or was not planned specifically by ISIS. Parliament member Sir Gerald Howarth described the attack as "very serious" shortly after it happened:
Parliament went on lockdown almost immediately and British Prime Minister Theresa May has been confirmed to be safe. Still, it's unclear what the suspect's intentions would have been had he made his way past the police officers.
Parliament Square silent other than police helicopter overhead. No movement, no sirens, just police securing the area. pic.twitter.com/hefaRt3Q28— Jim Waterson (@jimwaterson) March 22, 2017
London has been weary of an ISIS attacks for months now, putting people on high alert. Even prior to the new year, Britain's Security Minister Ben Wallace suspected ISIS might be planning to attack the UK with chemical weapons in the near future. Fortunately, what Wallace called the country's "worst fear" has not happened. Still, it's clear that terrorism by ISIS is a major concern.
The Dec. 19, 2016 attack on a Christmas market in Berlin, Germany greatly added to that concern. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack that resulted in 12 deaths and many more injuries. A similar scenario occurred in Nice, France on July 14, 2016 when a truck also plowed into a crowd of people and killed 86 of them. ISIS also claimed to have inspired the attack.
Though the suspect in London wasn't driving a truck, his hitting people with a car in a busy area bears similarities to the aforementioned attacks that just can't be ignored. Whether or not ISIS will take responsibility for either carrying out or inspiring the London attack remains to be seen.