Trump, May toughen calls on ex­trem­ism

Is­lamic State claims 3 Lon­don at­tack­ers were band of fighters

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - BY DAVE BOYER AND S.A. MILLER

The grue­some van-and-knife ram­page in Lon­don spurred calls Sun­day on both sides of the At­lantic for fur­ther home­front of­fen­sives in the war on ter­ror­ism, with Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May en­dors­ing a crack­down on pock­ets of Is­lamic ex­trem­ism in the United King­dom and Pres­i­dent Trump re­new­ing his push for a tem­po­rary travel ban in the U.S.

British po­lice ar­rested a dozen peo­ple in the wake of the at­tack, in which three men in a van mowed down pedes­tri­ans late Satur­day on Lon­don Bridge and then went on a stab­bing ram­page in a nearby mar­ket neigh­bor­hood.

The three ter­ror­ists — one of whom was re­ported to have screamed, “This is for Al­lah” — were gunned down by po­lice.

In eight hor­rific min­utes, seven peo­ple were killed and 48 oth­ers wounded. British po­lice said 21 re­mained in crit­i­cal con­di­tion Sun­day night.

The Is­lamic State claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity in a state­ment distributed through its Amaq News Agency, say­ing the at­tack was car­ried out by “a de­tach­ment of Is­lamic State fighters.”

Mrs. May, who faces an elec­tion Thurs­day, said the third ma­jor at­tack in two months de­manded tougher coun­tert­er­ror­ism mea­sures, in­clud­ing clos­ing down ter­ror­ist web­sites and end­ing Bri­tain’s long­time tol­er­ance of ex­trem­ism in Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ties.

“It is time to say, ‘Enough is enough,’” Mrs. May said out­side No. 10 Down­ing St. “When it comes to tak­ing on ex­trem­ism and ter­ror­ism, things need to change.”

While au­thor­i­ties do not be­lieve the three re­cent at­tacks were co­or­di­nated, the prime min­ster said, “They are bound to­gether by the sin­gle, evil ide­ol­ogy of Is­lamist ex­trem­ism that preaches ha­tred, sows di­vi­sion and pro­motes sec­tar­i­an­ism.”

Mrs. May said the elec­tions would pro­ceed as planned.

Her call for a crack­down on rad­i­cal Is­lamic re­cruiters on the in­ter­net was echoed in the U.S. by Sen. Lindsey Gra­ham, South Carolina Re­pub­li­can and a lead­ing de­fense hawk.

“There’s a gap in our laws,” Mr. Gra­ham said. “We’re go­ing to have to take down their re­cruit­ing net­works. We have to look at the fact that we are at war and part of the bat­tle­field is in cy­berspace.”

The blood­shed in Lon­don was the third ter­ror­ist at­tack in the U.K. in two months, in­clud­ing a sui­cide bomb­ing less than two weeks ago at an Ari­ana Grande concert in Manch­ester that killed 22 peo­ple, many of them girls and young women.

The at­tacks, tak­ing place dur­ing the Is­lamic holy month of Ra­madan, also oc­curred just over two months af­ter a deadly car-and-knife at­tack out­side the British Par­lia­ment.

In de­fi­ance of the Lon­don Bridge at­tack, Miss Grande went ahead with a planned ben­e­fit concert Sun­day night in Manch­ester.

The “One Love Manch­ester” concert fea­tured a galaxy of pop stars in­clud­ing Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Cold­play, Mi­ley Cyrus, Take That, Phar­rell Wil­liams, Black Eyed Peas, Niall Ho­ran and Rob­bie Wil­liams. The event raised money for vic­tims of the bomb at­tack at Miss Grande’s ear­lier concert.

“We’re stronger than we’ve been be­fore,” Miss Grande belted out from the stage.

Af­ter the Manch­ester at­tack, Bri­tain raised its threat level to “crit­i­cal” — mean­ing an at­tack was ex­pected im­mi­nently — but down­graded it back to “se­vere,” which means an at­tack was highly likely, eight days be­fore the Lon­don Bridge at­tack.

In Lon­don, the in­ves­ti­ga­tion con­tin­ued and a large po­lice cor­don re­mained in place on the bridge and on the south of the Thames River in the Bor­ough Mar­ket neigh­bor­hood.

Po­lice de­ter­mined that one of the at­tack­ers had rented the large white van. The three ter­ror­ists, who wore fake ex­plo­sive vests, were not iden­ti­fied.

“We have al­ready made sig­nif­i­cant progress, but of course, there re­mains much more to do,” said Met­ro­pol­i­tan Po­lice As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Mark Row­ley.

He said all of the at­tack­ers were killed at the scene, but in­ves­ti­ga­tors con­tin­ued to search for ac­com­plices and oth­ers in­volved prior to the at­tack.

Among the in­jured were a British Trans­port Po­lice of­fi­cer and an off-duty of­fi­cer, he con­firmed.

The eight po­lice of­fi­cers who en­coun­tered the knife-wield­ing ter­ror­ists shot about 50 rounds of am­mu­ni­tion that killed the three men. A by­stander also was hit by the gun­fire and was be­ing treated at a hos­pi­tal for what were be­lieved to be mi­nor gun­shot wounds, said Mr. Row­ley.

“The sit­u­a­tion these of­fi­cers were con­fronted with was crit­i­cal — a mat­ter of life and death: Three armed men, wear­ing what ap­peared to be sui­cide belts, had al­ready at­tacked and killed mem­bers of the pub­lic and had to be stopped im­me­di­ately,” he said. “I am hum­bled by the brav­ery of an of­fi­cer who will rush to­ward a po­ten­tial sui­cide bomber think­ing only of pro­tect­ing oth­ers.”

Mr. Trump, who spoke Satur­day night with Mrs. May to of­fer con­do­lences and U.S. as­sis­tance, said on Twit­ter that the vi­o­lence un­der­scored the need for the U.S. Supreme Court to up­hold his travel ban, which lower courts have blocked.

“We need to be smart, vig­i­lant and tough. We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the Travel Ban as an ex­tra level of safety!” he said.

Mr. Trump warned that po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness was stand­ing in the way of im­proved se­cu­rity.

“We must stop be­ing po­lit­i­cally cor­rect and get down to the busi­ness of se­cu­rity for our peo­ple. If we don’t get smart it will only get worse,” he tweeted.

The travel ban and the at­tack on po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness were prom­i­nent el­e­ments of his cam­paign last year, thrilling sup­port­ers who ul­ti­mately put him in the White House but out­rag­ing po­lit­i­cal op­po­nents on the left.

Mr. Trump, in com­ments at a fundrais­ing gala Sun­day night at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, said he would do what­ever it takes to pre­vent such car­nage in the U.S.

“This blood­shed must end,” he said. “We re­new our re­solve, stronger than ever be­fore, to pro­tect the United States and its al­lies from a vile en­emy that has waged war on in­no­cent life,” Mr. Trump said.

Sen. Mark R. Warner, Vir­ginia Demo­crat and vice chair­man of the Se­nate Select Com­mit­tee on In­tel­li­gence, ad­mon­ished the pres­i­dent for the tweet. He said Amer­ica’s tra­di­tion of tol­er­ance and in­te­grat­ing new­com­ers was the “se­cret sauce” that pre­vented more Lon­don-style at­tacks from hap­pen­ing in the U.S.

“I think we are see­ing, again, the ben­e­fits of that,” Mr. Warner said on CNN’s “State of the Union” pro­gram. “That’s why it trou­bled me so much to see the type of tweets the pres­i­dent has put out in the last 12 hours.”

Mr. Trump also caused a flap by blast­ing Lon­don Mayor Sadiq Khan, who is a Mus­lim, on Twit­ter for his mea­sured re­sponse to the deadly at­tack.

“At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in ter­ror at­tack and Mayor of Lon­don says there is ‘no rea­son to be alarmed!’” he tweeted.

The pres­i­dent ap­peared to take out of con­text Mr. Khan’s quote about in­creased po­lice pres­ence in Lon­don.

“Lon­don­ers will see an in­creased po­lice pres­ence to­day and over the course of the next few days. There’s no rea­son to be alarmed,” the mayor said in a BBC in­ter­view.

“The mayor ... has more im­por­tant things to do than re­spond to Don­ald Trump’s ill-in­formed tweet,” Mr. Khan’s spokesman said.


READY TO FIGHT: British se­cu­rity was stepped up af­ter the Satur­day night at­tack on Lon­don Bridge, where po­lice en­coun­tered three knife-wield­ing ter­ror­ists who ap­peared to be wear­ing sui­cide belts and who had killed seven peo­ple and wounded dozens of oth­ers.

PICK­ING UP THE PIECES: Foren­sic of­fi­cers were on Lon­don Bridge on Sun­day to col­lect ev­i­dence from the as­sault, which started when a van bar­reled into pedes­tri­ans.

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