The London bridge attack is a terrorist attack that took place on the 3rd of June 2017 at around 21:58 local time. As narrated by witnesses, a white van drove from the north side onto the bridge and mounted on the pavement where it ran over several people. The van then crashed into a pole at the end of the bridge. The crashing was followed by three men coming out of the van with knives and run to the Borough Market nearby where they stabbed several people enjoying themselves in the restaurants and pubs. The restaurants and pubs affected were around Southwark Tavern, Wheatsheaf, and Brindisa Tapas Bar area. In a span of ten minutes, police had been informed of the assailants and arrived at the scene at 22:08 where they fired unprecedented 50 shots at the assailants which left all three dead. The three were observed to have been wearing fake suicidal vests (Brinded, 2017).
Like any other attack, there is bound to be unwanted casualties where one civilian was hit by a bullet and was rushed to the hospital for treatment. The police cordoned off the area informing the members of the public that they are supposed to vacate it as it was a crime scene. The police operations in the area went for around one hour with the primary question as to whether all the assailants were shot or there were others who escaped. As a result, reinforcement was requested from the capital to help with the investigation. As stated earlier, the assailants wore fake suicidal vests which helped them deter onlookers from trying to intervene. The jackets would also serve as a motivation for the police to shot instead of making an arrest hence prevent capture and ensure the martyr status for the terrorists (Brinded, 2017).
The London bridge attack left seven people dead, and 48 of then sustaining injuries. Three days after the attack, 18 people were still in critical condition. Some of the 18 people were from different nationalities including Australian, New Zealand, British, Spanish, Canadian and French. Among the members of the police force, four were left wounded. One of the police officers sustained severe injuries as he confronted one of the assailants with only a baton outside London bridge. After a series of investigations, several raids were done on the east of London including areas like Barking and Newham. With arrests of up to 12 people made which included seven women. All this has affected the community of the area by instilling fear to the people and causing unnecessary panic among the people due to fear of a repeat of the same (Alexander, 2017)
The events of the London bridge attack can be looked at in an angle that analyzes the attackers and the proper response to an event like this. The analysis is by use of the NIMS system. NIMS is a standard approach on response to incidences and their management. The system was developed by the Department of Homeland Security to establish a uniform process and procedure to be followed by emergency responders in all the level of the government. The system has several benefits among them enabling standardized organizational structures procedures and processes, providing personnel qualification standards, supports technology where voice data communication systems are supported and many more (Alexander, 2017). Through the system, it is easy to deploy surveillance and intelligence prior an incident and also enabling quick response to an attack like the one that happened in London.
According to the investigation that has been done on the attack it has been determined that the attack was perpetrated by a radical Muslim group in the U.K. One of the attackers went by the name Khurram Butt. He was a 27-year-old Pakistan-born British citizen who lived in east London with his wife and two children. Khurram had been reported twice to the anti-terror police, but there had been no evidence of him having any plans of an attack. Butt had been said to have been radicalized by watching YouTube videos and have extreme views. The terrorist had tried to go to Syria and fight the jihad war, but he had been discouraged by members of the family, and also his wife was pregnant at the time. Prior radicalization, Butt had worked for Transport for London (TfL) a transport operator in London, and also a branch of KFC a first food chain. The terrorist had tried to convert a neighbor’s children to Islam, but the neighbor had reported him to the authorities (Alexander, 2017). The other terrorist identified was Rachid Redouane, a 30-year-old Moroccan-Libyan who also lived in east London and more specifically Barking. The means by which the two came to know each other and work together is yet to be known. Proper profiling is supposed to be done on the criminals to identify their connection to each other and any other networks they may have left behind. Understanding these connections enables the responsible departments to recognize and deal with them in efforts to prevent a repeat of the same.
The NIMS system dictates that response to any attack should be immediate without considering the level or standard of the event. The responders of the London bridge took about 10minutes to get to the scene. The response was quite first and was a useful tack tick in containing the attack. However, the responders failed to respond with the right equipment. As seen earlier, one police officer was badly injured due to lack of proper equipment to hand the assailant. He arrived at the scene with only a baton instead of proper guns. The team also shot the terrorist on site as they were considered to have worn suicidal bomb vest. With the right intelligence in place, the team would have identified the attackers even before it happened(Gallagher, 2017). They would have also been able to learn whether the vests were real or not through prior information on the movement of the terrorists. At the time of response, the team would have arrested the assailants instead of shooting on sight, and as a result, a lot of information on their organization would have been exposed through interrogation of these attackers.
In conclusion, London bridge attack could not have happened if the right intelligence was in place. The intelligence that was there ignored attempts made by the public in identifying a threat to the country. Despite the effects on the country and the people it affected, the attack was, however, a lesson to the country and other nations at large not to ignore threats. It is an example of a case that should have been prevented if the responsible authorities made the necessary investigation following procedures like the likes of NIMS.
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