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London terror attack: Here’s how global media has reacted

LiveMint logoLiveMint 23-03-2017 Livemint

New Delhi: London is on high alert, a day after the British capital faced its worst terror attack in more than a decade with police and security agencies trying to establish the identity of the assailant involved in Wednesday’s terror incident near Britain’s Parliament in which at least four people were killed and 40 others injured.

In another development, seven people have been arrested in overnight police raids in connection to the attack, according to BBC.

A knife-wielding attacker ploughed a vehicle through groups of people on Westminster Bridge before fatally stabbing a police officer near the British Parliament. The last major attack in London took place in July 2005 in which suicide bombers killed 52 people.

Here’s how the international press has reacted to the London terror attack:

■ CNN: “Modern Britain is defined by tolerance. Please don’t believe the worst that you might read online: We have fine community relations here. We are a generally peaceful and good-natured country. We are also known for our coolness under fire. We have seen this violence before and will endure more to come. But we don’t give in to terrorists. A barbarian cannot change a country as old and civilized as ours.”

■ Independent: “As we have seen today, terrorists on our streets do not need sophisticated plans or complex, costly equipment to kill and seriously injure people. The truth about the evolving nature of modern terror is that the terrorists, or some of them, will always get through. As ever, they only have to be “lucky” once.”

■ The Guardian: “The current bout of global terrorism came to the heart of London today in a fatal attack outside the Palace of Westminster. The symbolism is impossible to escape. An assault on the home of democracy induces a peculiar sense of outrage.”

■ The Globe and Mail: “The London attack demonstrates, once again, that even geography doesn’t protect a country against terrorism. British security agencies have warned repeatedly that such an attack was inevitable and the national Terrorism Threat Level in advance of Wednesday’s violence stood at “Severe,” meaning a terrorist attack was “highly likely.” Thus the inevitable occurred, and not just anywhere but in the country’s capital city just outside of the “mother of parliaments.”

Also read | How the London attack unfolded at the heart of UK government

■ The New York Times: “The attack came on the anniversary of suicide bombings in Brussels that killed 32 people, along with three bombers. It confirmed fears among counterterrorism officials that London, which had largely escaped recent terrorist attacks in Europe, would join cities like Paris, Brussels and Berlin as targets of mass violence.”

■ BBC: “The days when terrorism meant large, complex bombs and months of planning are gone: Western security agencies—particularly MI5 and its partner agencies—are very, very good at identifying those plots and disrupting them. The longer it takes to plan such an attack, the more people who are involved, the more chances there will be for security services to learn what is going on.”

■ The Jerusalem Post: “Militants are increasingly turning to vehicle-ramming attacks, like the one staged near Britain’s parliament on Wednesday, because they are cheap, easy to organize and hard to prevent. Experts say the tactic of mowing people down avoids the need to obtain any explosives or weapons and can be carried out by a “lone-wolf” attacker without using a network of fellow militants—all lessening the risk of alerting security agencies.”

■ The Sydney Morning Herald: “The immediate reaction in London and elsewhere is to heighten security in the aftermath in case another lone-wolf is inspired to do a copy-cat attack. It is important, though, for London and other cities to return to normal as soon as possible, lest the terrorists win by disrupting our lives and highlighting their cause.”

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