Attacks in Westminister – What went on and why?

 

attacks-in-westminster

Attacks in Westminster – What went on and why?

On Wednesday the 22nd March a terrorist attack took place where a man named Khalid Masood killed four people in a mere 82 seconds. The police said the attack began at 14:40:08 when the hire car Khalid Masood rented mounted the pavement on Westminster Bridge, weaving along the footpath and road for 30 seconds until he crashed into the perimeter fence of the Palace of Westminster, he then left the car at 14:40:51 and 39 seconds later was shot by a police firearms officer, who was part of the close protection team of the defense secretary, Sir Michael Fallon. Police are trying to establish whether he had been inspired  by terrorist propaganda or if others encouraged, supported or directed him.

After crashing his hired Hyundai SUV into the railings in front of Parliament Yard, he burst through the gate to the Palace of Westminster with two large knives where he stabbed an unarmed police officer named PC Keith Palmer who was just 48 years old. He later died from his injuries.

The consequences of the attack are five deaths (including Khalid Masood himself) and fifty people were injured. Also, 15 people are still being treated in hospital.

Three members of the public died following the car rampage on Westminster Bridge. They were: mother-of-two Aysha Frade from London; US tourist Kurt Cochran from Utah and Leslie Rhodes, 75, from Streatham, South London.

PC Palmer and Khalid Masood also died despite attempts by paramedics to save them both.

Before the attack he had a string of criminal convictions including GBH, possession of offensive weapons and public order offences, but he had not been convicted of any terrorism offences.

Masood’s first conviction was in November 1983 for criminal damage and his last conviction was in December 2003 for possession of a knife. He was investigated by MI5 some years ago over concerns of violent extremism but was no longer deemed to be a threat.

Police have seized 2,700 items in searches about the attack, including “massive amounts of computer data.” Approximately 3,500 witnesses – including 1,000 from Westminster Bridge and 2,500 from with the Parliamentary estate, have contacted police about the attack and their view on it.

By Jack and Ben – Correspondents for General News section

Shootings in Grasse, France

A seventeen year old boy has been arrested in Grasse, France, after shootings in Tocqueville High School.

At Tocqueville High School, a teenager was found at school heavily armed after the couple of shootings took place. There was an estimate of 3 people injured after an original estimate of 8.

There is another theory that another student was involved in the shooting but there is no proof as of now and it has been thought that the second shooter is on the run.

Policemen report that it was thought that a specific classmate was the intended victim, however, the shooter did not get his chance. Two other classmates were injured, as well as the headteacher as he tried to interrupt the shootings.

Students who were there at the scene reported that immediately after they heard the bang of a gun, they hid under the table. Some shops opposite the school claimed that three school girls took shelter in their stores. Another claim was that as a teenager girl went to close the windows, a boy looked into her eyes, shot a bullet into the air, and ran away.

Officials say that other schools across the town remain on lockdown as police continue their investigation.

France still remains alert and under a state of emergency after a continuous list of attacks in the past 18 months.

Highest Terror Threat in Europe For 10 Years

As of now, there has been a growing speculation of a terror threat in Europe.

In early November 2015, there were a series of attacks in the Capital of France, Paris. This revealed the failure of Europe’s ability to suspect upcoming terrorist attacks. The man behind it all, Abdelhamid Abaoud, was able to move through countries and back into Syria without any interruptions, despite being the outrageous subject of an International Arrest Warrant.

Other attackers were caught in the act, but were still able to succeed into escaping and are probably on the run right now.

“I think it is likely that we will have another attack,” admitted Mr Rob Wainwright (who is currently the director of the agency responsible for the co-ordination of the European Union’s law enforcement.)

He has expressed the fact that this terror threat has been the biggest they had faced for 10 years, but they have been working around the clock to prevent any harm that might hit their citizens in the future. They are also happy to say that the intelligence shared has significantly increased which shows their decisive determination to prevent another Paris-like attack.

But Mr Rob Wainwright is still cautious and certainly aware of the 5,000 young men that have been radicalised by ISIS (Islamic State of Islam and Syria).

We can only hope for the best in the future.

 

Written by Aimee

Deadly Assault on Pakistan University

 

A gun attack has caused chaos at a university in north-west Pakistan, with at least 20 people dead and 60 injured.

An army official, who did not wish to be named, said firing had stopped, after 3 long hours, but that troops are still searching in Bacha Khan University campus in Charsadda.

The attack left a total of 4 attacker’s dead. But there are conflicting reports about whether the Taliban were involved.

The Taliban killed 130 students at a school in nearby Peshawar in 2014, so as a result the officers have still not ruled out Taliban involvement. However, a Taliban spokesperson denied responsibility for the attack claiming it is very ‘un-Islamic’.

Students initially thought a fight had started, and then heard firing at the back of campus which later increased. Students had been forced to hide and one group took refuge in the bathroom for three long hours in the fear of their life. A chemistry teacher called Syed Hamid Hussain was seen firing at gunmen. “I saw a bullet hit him,” A student said, “I saw two militants were firing. I ran inside and then managed to flee by jumping over the back wall.” Eventually security forces arrived and took control. A student named Aziaz Khan witnessed the end of the violence by saying “They showed great bravery.”

At time of press, no one has yet claimed the responsibility for the attack.

By Aimee