On Wednesday afternoon, an active shooting outside the British Parliament was reported. While many of the details of the incident are not yet confirmed, there are reports that a police officer was stabbed by an alleged assailant, as noted by Politico Europe. According to the BBC, the attacker attempted to stab a police officer and brought him to the ground, causing plainclothes officers to open fire on the assailant. Sounds of shots fired were by the police against the suspect. The victim of the stabbing has not yet been named. Eyewitness reports describe the attacker as a middle-aged man.
In addition to the stabbing incident, several people were mowed on the Westminster bridge. British authorities are treating both incidents as connected, and as a terrorist incident "until we know otherwise." According to the latest from the BBC, a total of four people are dead including the alleged assailant, and at least 20 have been injured.
Both Houses of UK Parliament have been suspended in response to the incident, with a large police presence on the scene. Members of Parliament have remained on standby within the building for the time being. Parliaments in Scotland, and Wales have been temporarily suspended, as well.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May was quickly rushed into a vehicle which took her back to her office at 10 Downing Street, where she is said to be safe.
Radoslaw Sikorski, a Polish former politician and journalist living in London, took this video of the aftermath on the bridge:
A car on Westminster Bridge has just mowed down at least 5 people. pic.twitter.com/tdCR9I0NgJ— Radosław Sikorski (@sikorskiradek) March 22, 2017
The attacks in London come on the one-year anniversary of suicide bombing attacks in Brussels that claimed 32 lives. At this point, nobody has taken credit for the attacks in London, though New York Times reporter Rukmini Callimachi, who tracks ISIS movements, notes that the group has long threatened action in the UK, and that communications among ISIS allies have celebrated the action, and that ISIS tends to like using anniversaries. Callimachi tweeted, "I'm monitoring ISIS channels & there's no claim. What there is is chatter."
1. London police are treating incident near parliament as terror. I'm monitoring ISIS channels & there's no claim. What there is is chatter: pic.twitter.com/fHdByU7jz1— Rukmini Callimachi (@rcallimachi) March 22, 2017
This is undoubtedly a difficult day for UK residents, especially in London. This is the first attack of this scale in the country since the July 7, 2005 London Underground bombings that killed over 50 people on subway trains and buses.