A milk crate, a shopping trolley and now a narwhal tusk … ordinary people refuse to bow to fear
NOT on our watch.
A makeshift anti-terror squad of ordinary London men, armed with just a fire extinguisher and a narwhal tusk, yesterday chased down a knife-wielding jihadi on a murderous rampage.
They were driven by the fury of a community that has had enough.
The terrorist, Usman Khan, 28, had already killed two innocent people and they knew he had to be stopped.
It follows a string of cases of ‘have-a-go’ heroes in Sydney and across the western world who used everyday items, such as milk crates and trolleys, to fight terror.
Experts say public attitudes have shifted and people increasingly feel “fighting back is the best option”.
DON’T run away from terror. Run towards it. Kick it in the head. Tell it to “f … off”.
That’s what a group of seven men did when a convicted terrorist sprinted onto London Bridge with the fresh blood of civilians on his knives. The men were armed only with what they could grab: a fire extinguisher and an ornamental narwhal tusk, seized from a wall display and wielded like a spear.
“Run, hide, tell” is the official UK government advice in terror events. Instead, these men gave chase, crash-tackled, wrestled, kicked, and brought to vivid life the new mood of ordinary civilians in western nations who simply refuse to let cowards turn our cities into slaughterhouses.
This is the fourth attack in recent times when passers-by have helped foil terror attacks through sheer selfless courage: the first London Bridge terror attacks in 2017 when bystanders threw bottles, chairs and crates; the Melbourne homeless man who used a shopping trolley to confront a terrorist and Sydney’s “milk crate hero” who helped disarm stabber Mert Ney in August.
On London Bridge yesterday attacker Usman Khan shrieked: “Get off me!”
“We just told him to ‘f … off’,” said Thomas Gray, a 24-year-old tour guide who stopped his car and leapt out when he saw an armed offender on the run.
“(I’m) just a Londoner doing their bit. If people are going to call me a hero I’m going to blush like a schoolgirl,” Gray told a group of journalists scribbling down his every word. “Anyone want to go to the pub?” he added.
The men chasing Khan included a plainclothes transport cop, Gray’s fellow tour guide Stevie Hurst and a chef at the nearby historic Fishmongers’ Hall, who had ripped the tusk off the wall.
Another of the men who took on Khan was James Ford, a convicted murderer on day release who had reportedly been attending the same criminology conference at the Fishmongers’ Hall as the paroled terrorist.
Ford was sentenced to 15 years’ jail for strangling a disabled woman in cold blood. He’s no hero. But his actions yesterday were undoubtedly brave: perhaps even in the darkest souls there is a powerful instinct to fight back.
The official advice of the US Department of Homeland Security is: “Run, hide, fight.” It better captures the mood of 2019. We’ve had enough.
Brave men carrying a huge tusk and a fire extinguisher fight the knifewielding terrorist on London Bridge.