Was The London Bridge Attack Terrorism? Details Are Scarce
Chaos has struck London again, this time in the form of an attack on London Bridge. Details are still emerging, with reports claiming that a van struck several pedestrians on the bridge, but was the London Bridge attack terrorism? After the terrorist attack that took place May 22 during an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, there's plenty of speculation that this incident on London Bridge could follow suit. Currently, no outlets have officially reported the attack as terrorism, and details are still coming in.
UPDATE: The London Bridge attack has since been declared a terrorist incident, according to the Associated Press. London Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick on Sunday confirmed that the death toll in the London Bridge attack had been raised to seven, not including three of the attackers, with at least 48 others injured. Dick added that the remaining injured had been transported "to five hospitals across London." Some were in critical condition. The three attackers "were fatally shot by officers within eight minutes of the first emergency call," according to The Washington Post. An additional 12 people have also been arrested in connection with the attack.
EARLIER: According to BBC, the first report of a "major police incident" came in at 5:54 p.m. EST and the details were extremely limited — pedestrians were reportedly hit by a van on London Bridge and an eyewitness told BBC that several people were injured. Reports continued to come in that the van had mounted the pavement and people were fleeing and screaming from the area.
A witness told CNN that gunshots were reportedly also fired after the van was traveling south across the River Thames at a high speed when it began swerving and striking people, knocking some "about 20 feet in the air."
Unfortunately, the horror hasn't ended. Just an hour or so after the initial report, news outlets are now reporting even more attacks. According to BBC, around 6:45 p.m. EST, witnesses claim that three men exited a van, after it struck several people on Borough High Street, with 12 inch long blades and began randomly stabbing people on the bridge and in restaurants.
While there's no official confirmation that this incident is related to terrorism, May's comments suggest that officials are treating it as potentially being a terrorist attack. It comes on the heels of two previous attacks in London. The Ariana Grande concert, as well as the Westminster Bridge incident this past spring that included a man driving into a crowd on the sidewalk, killing four people, before stabbing a police officer to death, reported CNN.