London Bridge Attack

Hasan Ahmed - 1T Nanotechnology
Posted on: June 17, 2017

On June 3rd 2017, London Bridge was attacked by a van which drove through many pedestrians. The operators then jumped out and stabbed more people in the area, for a total of eight casualties. Combining this with the March Westminster attack and the recent bombing of Ariana Grande’s concert, this makes the 3rd terrorist attack of the year in the UK. The attackers reportedly shouted this was, “for Allah,” which links this to an act of Islamic terrorism. The three attackers were eventually shot down by police and killed on the scene just 8 minutes after the call. However, some people were still stabbed multiple times and there were many injuries now being treated in hospitals. Victims were being looked for through flyers and family members, and condolences were given to those who were lost. One defender, Roy Larner, reportedly shouted, “F*** you, I’m Millwall” and took to the attackers with his bare fists, despite their long knives. While he sacrificially took stabs to the head and chest and lost a lot of blood, there was time for people to run into the back and call police while he remained fighting all three attackers. This earned him the nickname, “The Lion of London Bridge.”

One of the attackers, Youssef Zaghba, was on a watch list but was not prosecuted, according to reports. However, he was still involved in this attack along with Khuram Butt and Rachid Redouane. Islamic State related documents were found on Zaghba’s phone, but not much was done for it. His mother was also aware of his extremist views, saying how he wanted to live in Syria for a “pure Islam”. Butt, according to neighbours, attempted to radicalise children and was very extremist in his views. He was also featured in a documentary titled, “The Jihadis Next Door,” and his family was aware of his extremist views. Redouane was the only one not previously known to police, but was separated from his wife and child at the time of the attack for almost a year. His ex-wife was shocked by his actions and was surprised at what he did. There was footage of the 3 attackers meeting outside of a gym where Khuram Butt worked, possibly talking about the attack.

Theresa May, UK Prime Minister, called this event a “perversion of Islam” and wanted more monitoring of online spaces to prevent this from breeding and happening in the future. This event sparked even more controversy when Saudi Arabian footballers did not stop for the minute of silence for the victims of the attack. Since then, the football chiefs have hastily apologized for their behaviour. “The players did not intend any disrespect to the memories of the victims or to cause upset to their families, friends or any individual affected by the atrocity.” While this does spark tensions between Muslims and non-Muslims in the UK, it’s important to keep our values intact so that we do not separate and incite more terrorist attacks in the future.