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News London terror attack 3/22/17

  1. Mar 22, 2017 #1
    Gosh!!!!! Just seen the headlines.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11823706
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/europe/90750007/live-london-terror-attack

    :(
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 22, 2017 #2
    So far 3 killed and 20 injured :frown:
     
  4. Mar 22, 2017 #3
    Four dead, and many with injuries. Very unsettling.
     
  5. Mar 22, 2017 #4
    Very obviously this was a suicide attack.
    What nobody know yet is if the attacker was politically motivated (a terrorrist), or just an angry loony.
    I suspect the latter, a genuine terrorist would have emerged from the crashed car with something more dangerous than a knife.
     
  6. Mar 22, 2017 #5
    Not necessarily. I did read that such terrorist attacks where they pull only a knife out are harder to predict and thus prevent.

    I guess we'll need to wait for more information.
     
  7. Mar 22, 2017 #6
    Given the crash into Parliament seems deliberate rather than the result of randomly driving around looking for a crowd, I would say the likelihood it was 'political' is very high. The question in my mind would be whether or not the attacker had ties to Islam. That is going to be the main factor in how everyone spins and interprets it.
     
  8. Mar 22, 2017 #7
    Crashing into a gate and killing/injuring random bystanders while doing so, isn't exactly making a political point though is it.
    However, that gate being the perimeter of parliament buildings, there would be bound to be armed police immediately nearby.
    Since the next thing that happened after the crash was the fatal stabbing of an unarmed policeman, the fact that he was then shot dead on the spot was inevitable.
     
  9. Mar 22, 2017 #8
    Not in my mind, but it might make perfect political sense to someone violent enough to do what this a-hole did.
     
  10. Mar 22, 2017 #9
    I am still leaning in the direction of crazed loony.
    While terrorists are bad, their attack plans are not usually completely demented.
     
  11. Mar 22, 2017 #10

    Vanadium 50

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    The BBC's report leans away from the "crazed loony" theory:

     
  12. Mar 22, 2017 #11
    We will have to see what investigations into the guys background reveal.
    It is entirely to possible to be crazy and Muslim at the same time, or be crazy and Christian too, or Zoroastrian and crazy.
    We will see what is discovered I guess,
     
  13. Mar 22, 2017 #12

    StatGuy2000

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    It's important to keep in mind that we are still in the early period of the investigation, so it is wise to refrain from speculating as to the motive(s) of the attacker until we all hear further evidence.
     
  14. Mar 22, 2017 #13

    phinds

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    Count now up to 5 (dead, that is) and this:

     
  15. Mar 23, 2017 #14
    Oh my god. Why is this s*** happening? Not too long ago, there was a "crazed" truckdriver in Germany who also went on a killing-spree. Agitating, irritating, INFURIATING, saddening, perplexing ... I just don't ..
     
  16. Mar 23, 2017 #15

    StatGuy2000

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    That count has now been revised down to 4 (including the attacker).

    Latest updates from the BBC:

    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-39363297
     
  17. Mar 23, 2017 #16

    StatGuy2000

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    Assuming for the moment that this was a terrorist attack (which the preliminary evidence is pointing to), I thought it might be interesting to look at the following interview with journalist Graeme Wood -- who had interviewed known members and sympathizers of Islamic State (IS) and wrote a book about this -- on the Agenda with Steve Paikin (a current affairs program broadcast on TV Ontario similar to Charlie Rose, a public broadcasting station funded by the Ontario provincial government in Canada, roughly equivalent to PBS in the US).



    Wood's book (which I have not read yet, but intend to in the near future) is called "The Way of the Strangers: Encounter with the Islamic State". It should be available on Amazon.

    [Moderators: Am I allowed to provide links to Amazon here at PF?]
     
  18. Mar 23, 2017 #17
  19. Mar 23, 2017 #18

    russ_watters

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    Knife attacks appear to me to be a popular Islamic terrorist MO. They tend to get less press because they are less deadly, but there have been a bunch.

    Edit: in 2016 I count 5 of 9 in the West as stabbings including one exactly the same in the USA (car followed by stabbing):
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Islamist_terrorist_attacks
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2017
  20. Mar 23, 2017 #19

    StatGuy2000

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    Perhaps one reason for the popularity of knife attacks by terrorists (not just Islamic ones) as well as violent criminals in general in European countries in particular is because getting a gun in many European countries is more difficult compared to the US due to stricter gun laws (and less prevalence of an underground arms market??). So knives may be the default weapon of choice, despite not being as lethal.
     
  21. Mar 23, 2017 #20

    russ_watters

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    I don't think so. It looks to me to be more ritualistic, related to the popular tactic of hacking prisoners' heads off. It is tougher to achieve in public, but decapitation has happened too.

    Edit: not sure of that last bit. The incident I was thinking of was mental illnesstate, not terrorism.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2017
  22. Mar 23, 2017 #21

    russ_watters

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    Stabbing trend was noted in Israel last year. It is a near daily occurrence there:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/worl...db2126f1dcc_story.html?utm_term=.f1f6b21254d3
     
  23. Mar 23, 2017 #22

    StatGuy2000

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    A ritualistic element may play into the motivation to use a knife in these attacks.

    But then again, I have seen articles such as these in the British news media about rising violent crime in England and Wales, in particular a rise in both knife and gun crimes.

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/jan/21/england-wales-homicides-rise-knife-gun-crime

    The article specifically cites that the police-recorded crime figures indicate a 9% rise in knife crime (and a much lower increase of 4% in gun crime). Based on my own admittedly limited understanding of crime in the UK, the fact that incidences of knife crime exceed that of gun crime suggests that knives are easier to obtain, and thus are more likely to be used to commit violence.
     
  24. Mar 23, 2017 #23

    russ_watters

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    I'm aware that in places like the UK, where guns are harder to get, knifings are more common/preferred. But this clearly was not a bar fight or mugging that escalated into a stabbing!

    In any case, this speculation is moot now, as the question has largely been answered:
    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.cn...asood-london-attacker-what-we-know/index.html
     
  25. Mar 23, 2017 #24
    He had a history of violent behavior and of that being associated with a knife:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...ttacker-khalid-masood/?utm_term=.841f43e5f698

    In the US, similar convictions can easily involve jail time, especially as they accumulate. I would expect someone with that history of convictions to have spent at least 6 months to a year in jail here, depending on the state. I wonder what penalties he got. And, although it says his last conviction was in 2003, was he arrested and released for anything in all those years between?

    What were the circumstances of his assaults and 'public order offenses'? Was he just angry, or was he angry and shouting quotes from the Koran? Still many questions.
     
  26. Mar 23, 2017 #25
    http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/23/europe/khalid-masood-london-attacker-what-we-know/index.html

    "Masood had a range of previous convictions for assaults, including grievous bodily harm..."

    If this is what it sounds like, why wasn't he in jail? I suspect it's because it might not be what it sounds like. Contrary to what TV and movies lead you to believe, "assault" isn't actually defined as a 'physical attack' on a person. I know it isn't here in California. I googled the definition of "assault' in the UK, and found it is roughly the same there:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_assault
    (caveat: note the Wiki faults the article for too few citations)

    "Assault," therefore, is committed when there is a mere immediate and believable threat of physical force made. When the threat is actually carried out, the offense then includes "battery."

    So, this may mean the guy never actually committed "grievous bodily harm" in prior situations, only believably threatened to do so.

    If this is the case, it would explain why he never, apparently, served any jail sentence.
     
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