Friday, March 24, 2017
London terror attack questions raised
More armed cops will be rolled out across the UK as a precautionary measure after the attack
Khalid Masood, 52, was identified as the knifeman responsible for carrying out the Westminster terror attack on Wednesday March 22.
The Kent-born terrorist, born Adrian Russell Ajao who later converted to Islam, was responsible for murdering four people including a police officer.
His murder rampage came to an end when he was shot dead by police after he mowed down pedestrians long a pavement in Westminster before stabbing a cop to death in the grounds of Parliament.
UK’s top lawyer David Anderson QC has warned there is now a “wider range” of dangers than there has been before and despite having the skills to fight terrorism, “we need a bit of luck as well”.
Security services and counter-terrorism units have foiled at least 10 attacks in the past two years.
More armed cops will be rolled out across the UK as a precautionary measure following the attack.
It is considered the deadliest terror attack in London since four radical Islamists killed 52 commuters in suicide bombings on the city’s transport system in July 2005.
London terror attack – what happened at Westminster and how many people have died?
Armed cops put Westminster on lockdown after an attack brought London to a standstill on Wednesday afternoon.
The attacker identified as Masood, armed with two large knives, mowed down pedestrians with a rented car, reportedly hired last Thursday in Birmingham, on Westminster Bridge.
He then crashed into a gate outside Houses of Parliament before fatally stabbing a police officer.
The knifeman was shot dead moments later by another officer.
The policeman who died has been named as PC Keith Palmer, aged 48.
MP Tobias Ellwood attempted to revive PC Palmer but the husband and father could not be saved.
Five people died – including the attacker – and 29 were injured – seven in critical condition.
MPs were locked in the House of Commons for five hours.
What is the UK terror threat level?
The current threat level for international terrorism in the UK is severe, which means an attack is "highly likely".
Following London's terror tragedy on March 22, PM Theresa May said it will not be raised to the next level, because there is no intelligence that an attack is imminent.
There are five threat levels, decided by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre, designed to give a broad indication of the likelihood of an attack.
The UK's threat level was upgraded from "substantial" to "severe" on August 29 2014.
The last time the threat level was deemed "critical" - the highest level - was in June 2007 just before the 7/7 bombings.
According to MI6, the current threat from ISIS is "unprecedented", with the terrorist organisations targeting the UK from deep inside Syria.
An EU report warned more than 1,500 jihadists have returned to Europe with orders to "carry out attacks".
Why have laptops and tablets been banned on some planes?
The attack in Wesminster came a day after the UK government ordered airlines to ban passengers from taking large electronic devices such as tablets into the cabin on non-stop UK bound-flights from six countries including Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Who is MI6 chief Alex Younger?
The 53-year-old was appointed to head up MI6 - the branch of the secret service which gathers foreign intelligence - two years ago.
The spymaster was in charge of counter terrorism for the 2012 London Olympics, having previously served in the Army before joining the country's security services.
His appointment as Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service, or “C”, was believed to be a popular choice at its HQ in Vauxhall.
"He's very well liked [within the service]," a Whitehall security official told the Financial Times at the time.
He is married with children and enjoys music, sailing and mountaineering.
What is the UK doing to stop ISIS?
According to Mr Younger, security services need to "take the fight to the enemy" and cannot pull up the drawbridge.
He says the UK needs to penetrate terror organisations "upstream".
"In footballing terms, it's about always ensuring you are playing in the opponent's half," said the top spy.
The UK is part of the Global Coalition - one of 68 partners - committed to defeating ISIS through military action, cutting off funding, stopping the flow of foreigners fleeing to join its ranks and degrading the terror organisation's jihadist narrative.
The RAF has conducted more than 1,000 airstrikes on ISIS in Iraq and Syria, and on the ground, the UK has trained 30,000 Iraqi soldiers and vetted members of Syrian opposition groups in the fight against ISIS.
Why is Russia bombing Aleppo?
MI6 chief Alex Younger previously warned Russia's bombing campaign in Syria is fuelling an 'unprecedented' threat of a terror attack in the UK.
The head spy - known as C - called on the Kremlin to halt its attacks on Aleppo, fearing the onslaught will lead to potentially millions more becoming radicalised.
Russian president Vladimir Putin is supporting Syrian president Bashar-al-Assad's regime against rebel forces.
In 2011, in the wake of the Arab Spring - a series of popular uprisings across the Middle East - anti-government protests were held in Syria calling for reform.
But after Assad's regime brutally cracked down on the protests, opponents formed the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and dissent turned into civil war.
Amid the turmoil, jihadist groups including ISIS took advantage of the chaos and joined in the rebellion against Assad.
The US - which had been supporting the FSA - began airstrikes targeting the terror group in September 2014.
Then in 2015, Russia staged a massive intervention on behalf of Assad's regime, launching an intense bombardment of the rebels in Aleppo.
But the bombings have been heavily criticised, with civilians making up almost half of the 10,500 people killed by Russian airstrikes.
Posted by wikisabah at 6:05:00 PM