Another attack in London injures three pedestrians outside Parliament, suspect arrested on suspicion of terrorism

This just happened, and I’ll give the story from the Torygraph and a few excerpts:


A terror suspect arrested after a car crashed into a barrier at the Houses of Parliament at high speed is not believed to be known to the security services, police have said.

At least three people were injured when the silver Ford Fiesta hit a group of cyclists and pedestrians waiting for traffic lights to change. Witnesses said the car mounted the pavement on the wrong side of the road at up to 50mph and travelled around 40 metres (130ft) before hitting a bollard.

Westminster was in lockdown as armed police swarmed the scene on Tuesday morning. One witness said: “It looked intentional – the car drove at speed and towards the barriers.”

Scotland Yard said a man in his late 20s was arrested after the incident at around 7.30am. The suspect was taken to a south London police station, where he remains on suspicion of terrorism offences. He is not co-operating with officers.

This is, of course, the site of previous terror attacks, which is why the barriers are in place. The paper has photos of the suspect and the injured, as well as of the crime scene. No motivations have yet been revealed, and of course “terrorism” doesn’t necessarily imply “Islamic-inspired terrorism.”


  1. Posted August 14, 2018 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    I’d just like to say, in advance, that this clearly “has nothing to do with Islam”.
    I realise that some might feel, in advance of any actual evidence, that saying that this action has genuinely “nothing to do with Islam” (for example being by someone with no actual connection to Islam, no repeatedly expressed beliefs about killing apostates or seeing infidels die by fire) etc that I am someohow jumping the gun.
    Not so. When it turns out that this person drove into innocents shouting “Allah Allakbar!” and “Death to the little Satan” and “This one’s for Bin Laden you kafir scum”, I want to have got my “This has nothing to do with Islam” in early. To avoid confusion.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted August 14, 2018 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      It says something about the current political climate that while Islamic fundamentalists is the more likely explanation, coming up pretty closely on the outside is far-right racists. In the last couple of years we’ve had a far-right scumbag plow into a group of Muslims on the pavement, and another far-right racist stab a Labour MP to death in the middle of a street.

      The slightly gleeful way you’ve leapt onto this event is disturbing, and if it turns out to be Islamists I’ll be calling them out just like I have all my political life. But the possibility of far-right terrorism is increasing in my country all the time, fanned by the populist anti-politician rhetoric of tabloids like the Daily Mail.

      • Posted August 14, 2018 at 8:51 am | Permalink

        It could well be far right extremists. In such a case it is, of course, unnecessary to say “This has nothing to do with islam”. It’s only imperative to say “This has nothing to do with Islam” when it, clearly, has “Something to do with Islam”.
        I hope that clears up any potential confusion.

        • Posted August 14, 2018 at 9:11 am | Permalink

          I understand what you’re saying.

          Just for the record, lunchtime TV pictures show a black man (am I allowed to say that? – Oh, fuck it) as the perpetrator.

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted August 14, 2018 at 9:43 am | Permalink

          No, if it’s a far-right extremist it then becomes imperative to say ‘this has nothing to do with politics’, and then dismiss the person in question as a mentally-ill kook.

          Which is precisely what happened when a Muslim man was run over and killed by a far-right racist in Finsbury Park, and also when another far-right racist drove into a Somali woman and child in Leicester. ‘It’s nothing to do with right-wing anti-Muslim rhetoric’, ‘he’s not right-wing, he’s just a nutter’, etc.

          And I got the satirical element in your post, I promise, I just thought it came across as gleeful rather than incisive.

          • stuartcoyle
            Posted August 14, 2018 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

            It is very hard to distinguish far-right beliefs from mental illness. As indeed it is to distinguish far-left beliefs from mental illness. The same stands for extreme religious views.

            The logical mistake people make is that mental illness and these extremist views are not mutually exclusive, indeed perhaps they are more commonly found together than not.

            • Saul Sorrell-Till
              Posted August 15, 2018 at 6:38 am | Permalink

              Good point.

      • Posted August 14, 2018 at 9:20 am | Permalink

        It says a lot about the cultural climate that the first response some people make us that it could be a right wing extremist even though the photos accompanying the story clearly show a black suspect. Did you even look?

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted August 14, 2018 at 10:18 am | Permalink

          I don’t see what’s baffling about saying ‘if’ until we have all the facts. Should I have looked at his skin colour and concluded that it was ‘case closed’?

          And of course the most likely explanation was and is Islamic extremism, which I _explicitly said_ in my original post. I’d be surprised if it was anything else, especially given this is Westminster.

          At the same time, given that there have been two specifically vehicular attacks by far-right extremists/anti-Muslim racists in the last year or so I’d say it’s pretty fair to make the point that the far-right is becoming a more and more significant source of this particular kind of attack. When I hear ‘car attack’ I don’t immediately jump solely to ‘Muslim extremists’ anymore, which was the point I made in my original post.

          • Posted August 15, 2018 at 4:12 am | Permalink

            Expressing opinions “before we have all the facts” is the essence of social media. What are you? Some sort of fanatic?
            The suspect, Salih Khater, is not known to anti-terrorism officers, and has not expressed any direct Islamic fundamentalist sentiments as of this time.
            Therefore it’s not yet necessary to say “This has nothing to do with Islam”. If the situation changes, and he starts becomming violently Islam-o-fascist, calling for the death of infidels, and showing a criminal history of collusion with known islamic terrorist groups then, of course, it may become necessary to say “This has nothing to do with Islam”. But–for the moment, we will sit quietly.
            I hope I dont sound too gleeful yet?

            • Saul Sorrell-Till
              Posted August 15, 2018 at 6:37 am | Permalink

              I got your point quite a while ago. It wasn’t _that_ subtle that you need to reiterate it over and over.

              And I thought your post came across as gleeful, irritatingly so given that a close member of my family works at Whitehall and I can do without people getting their personal agendas off their chest in the immediate aftermath of a serious terrorist attack.

      • Michael Waterhouse
        Posted August 16, 2018 at 3:05 am | Permalink

        Two, compared to?
        Probably the same, yep.

  2. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted August 14, 2018 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    It was very odd to read this and then run down my feeds for terrorism.

    The first big news was a bridge collapse in Italy with a mounting number of dead, latest 20+.

    The first terrorist headline was the identification of bones in the New Mexico compound, belonging to the missing 3 year old. From survivor descriptions sacrificed – by his own father, who ran the compound, no doubt – in a religious inspired ritual to be “reborn” with information of terrorist targets. (And seeing a previous comment, this seems to be incipient Islam terrorism; though more insane on the religious part than usual.)

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted August 14, 2018 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      And yes, way down I found the London incident.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted August 14, 2018 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      I should add that it is less than one month left to the Swedish election. So of course the following destabilizing and channeling happened:

      – Official web sites was attacked last Thursday.

      – Tonight a simultaneous number of car fires were arranged in especially southern Sweden but also large cities, around immigrant dense areas.

      One obvious suspect is Russia and right extremists conspiring to suppress democracy. (There may be other suspects of course.) The latter specifically wants the vote discussions that started this week to turn from this summers man made driven record heatwave towards crime and immigration.

      They will not succeed in suppressing the elections, they are manned up as never before. But I fear they may affect votes.

      • Mark R.
        Posted August 14, 2018 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for reporting on what’s going on in Sweden. Scary, especially considering that Sweden is far more enlightened than the US.
        I’m sure you also have better cyber-security than we do, especially since Sweden is a much smaller target. Do you use paper ballots (or similar) or do you use hackable computers like most US states use?

        Russia is still actively disrupting US culture and politics. So far, Russia has hacked our voter rolls and other election systems, electrical grids, banks and critical infrastructure like sewage plants. “They” say Russia didn’t tamper with any votes or voters’ information, but I’m not convinced. I would be less anxious and suspicious if we had a different President. Having a POTUS who is compromised by Russia (and doesn’t give a shit anyway) really adds to the anxiety. I just hope there are a lot of dedicated and highly-skilled technicians in our intelligence agencies who are treating this like the war that it is.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted August 14, 2018 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

          Mark R. The election to the national parliamentary (Riksdag), municipal & county council assemblies in Sweden is four weeks away. It will be an entirely paper ballot – if you’re Swedish resident abroad you can vote by popping in physically to the nearest embassy & casting a vote. Your ID is checked via the tax office & you’re put on the Swedish electoral roll. If you’re away on holiday or immobilised I think you get a postal vote.

          Electronic voting at polling stations & remote electronic voting via the internet are each a long way off in Sweden in my opinion although it has been talked of for years.

          Remote voting is unwise because the vulnerable & the bullied can be ‘helped’ to vote by the man of the house – entire voting age family members being told by the head of the house who to vote for & the head of the house getting his instructions from the local Imam. You can’t beat only one person behind the curtain with pen, paper & ballot box.

          A more sophisticated ploy is the voting by deceased & imaginary people.

          The above two paras describe what has happened in local elections in the UK although not just Muslims. In situations where a minority of any kind is in a ghetto abuses will occur & the task is to minimise the effect of such shenanigans. Of course City & county elections have been periodically run like that probably from day one so no need to tell you. 🙂

          • Mark R.
            Posted August 15, 2018 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

            Thanks for all this information Michael, I appreciate it.

      • Posted August 14, 2018 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

        I hope Sweden’s processing of votes is more robust than in the U.S. The following article is about very young hackers who recently were able to hack and change voting records in mock up voting machines rapidly.

        This is not possible in the states that use mail for voting. Mail in voting also limits voting booth restrictions and gerrymandering effects. Removing voters from polling records is another matter entirely.

  3. Simon Hayward
    Posted August 14, 2018 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    I see that Theresa May sent thoughts and the US Ambassador sent prayers – so at least those are covered.

    • Posted August 15, 2018 at 4:06 am | Permalink

      Thoughts AND prayers? Ambassador–you are really spoiling us

  4. Posted August 14, 2018 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Top story on the BBC is about a cricketer found not guilty of assault. Second is the Italian bridge collapse. The Westminster attack is third. It’s just ‘Part and parcel of living in a big city’ these days.

  5. Posted August 14, 2018 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    The Independent thinks it’s too early to blame Islamists but not too early to think it’s justified retaliation for creating a climate of fear against Islam:

    The “debate” about antisemitism, about the burqa and niqab, the hateful tone of so much that goes on in social media, the talk of traitors and treason, enemies of the people. If you want to see what racial or religious hatred looks like, you need not infiltrate some terror cell; just take a look at the comments left below the line on popular news websites, or surf around Twitter.

    Sooner or later there was going to be a reckoning, a tangible act in response to the goading and climate of fear we seem to have generated in our peaceful land.

    An hour from now it will be Boris Johnson’s fault.

    • AC Harper
      Posted August 14, 2018 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      Sooner or later there was going to be a reckoning, a tangible act in response to the goading and climate of fear we seem to have generated in our peaceful land.

      Yet if you had said that an attack on a mosque was a reckoning for the climate of fear that had been created you would have been roundly criticised by the many who suffer from Islamophilia.

  6. mikeyc
    Posted August 14, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    WHat’s everyone so upset about? It’s just another Car of Peace.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted August 14, 2018 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      I like the idea of a car of peace and love.

      I suppose if jihadists turned up in something like that it would make the news reports a bit cheerier.

      • Saul Sorrell-Till
        Posted August 14, 2018 at 11:10 am | Permalink

        Sorry, embedded again.

  7. alexithymicblogger
    Posted August 14, 2018 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    How did they even get to ‘terrorism’? From the information here we have “One witness said: ‘It looked intentional'” and several ‘suggested the incident was deliberate.’ ( From this is seems to have been immediately classified as ‘terrorism’. Talk about a leap!

  8. Frank Bath
    Posted August 14, 2018 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    I suspect a muslim terrorist of some extreme stripe because once again it is the home of British democracy that has been attacked. Democracy is not liked, theocracy is.

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