London police questioning suspect in Westminster 'terrorist' incident

1 / 4
Forensic investigators work at the site after a car crashed outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London, Britain, August 14, 2018. (Reuters)
2 / 4
Three people were injured when a Ford Fiesta crashed into barriers outside Parliament. (Reuters)
3 / 4
Armed police stand in the street after a car crashed outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster. (Reuters)
4 / 4
The man arrested at the scene is “not currently cooperating” with police. (AFP)
Updated 14 August 2018
0

London police questioning suspect in Westminster 'terrorist' incident

  • Authorities said in a statement Tuesday that a man in his 20s was arrested on suspicion of terrorist offences
  • US President Trump calls for tough action to be taken against London attackers

LONDON: British counter-terrorism police carried out three searches in central England on Tuesday evening as part of an investigation after a car slammed into barriers outside the Houses of Parliament in London on morning.

Police say the driver, a 29-year-old UK national, has been arrested on suspicion of “preparing a terrorist act.”

Three people were hurt in the incident.

The suspect is being questioned at a south London police station, having previously refused to cooperate with officers immediately after his arrest.

 

The Metropolitan Police said a silver Fiesta, which was privately owned, travelled from Birmingham to London late on Monday night. It was then driven around the Westminster and Whitehall area from approximately 6am until the crash at 7:37am.

Police say there have been no other arrests in connection with this investigation.

Britain's government decided to keep its threat level for terrorism at severe after the incident. The decision not to elevate the threat level followed a meeting of the government's emergency COBRA committee on Tuesday. 

Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu of the Metropolitan Police confirmed in a statement that no other suspects have been identified and police believe there is no further threat to Londoners.

Prime Minister Theresa May said her thoughts were with those injured, and she urged the country to come together and carry on as normal, even as she urged the public to "remain vigilant.”

British authorities say they have foiled 13 extremist plots and four far-right plots since March 2017, and currently have 676 live counterterrorism investigations.

The Metropolitan Police said cordons that had sealed off much of London's Westminster government district had been lifted, after forensics officers in coveralls finished collecting evidence from the car.

 

Chris Phillips, a former senior police officer with expertise in counter-terrorism, told Arab News: “The worry is that we start seeing these types of attack as being normal. Because that blinds us to the myriad of other types of attack open to terrorists. 

“This appears to be a copy cat-type incident. But there might be more to it, time will tell. It certainly appears to be a poor attempt, thank goodness.

He added: “(These types of attacks are) impossible to predict, impossible to stop completely but it is possible to make iconic sites more difficult to attack.”

And Adrian James, reader in police studies at Liverpool Centre for Advanced Policing Studies, Liverpool John Moores University, warned that potential acts of terror do not require “sophisticated means” in urban areas.

Speaking to Arab News, James said: “We need to be cautious about attributing motive but certainly eye-witness reports suggest that this was a deliberate act. Previous terrorist attacks have utilised vehicles in a similar way.

“If indeed it is an act of terrorism, as much as anything it demonstrates that in an urban environment a motivated offender can easily find the means to achieve their purpose. One doesn’t necessarily need sophisticated means to achieve it. 

“Intelligence is key to preventing these attacks but the police have only finite resources and in a truly democratic society there are limits to the extent to which police intelligence gathering activities are considered legitimate. Intelligence ‘failure’ though always regrettable is inevitable."

US President Donald Trump tweeted about the incident on Tuesday, saying: “Another terrorist attack in London. These animals are crazy and must be dealt with through toughness and strength!”

 

 


Nepal police search for 5 missing followers of ‘Buddha Boy’

Updated 49 min 6 sec ago
0

Nepal police search for 5 missing followers of ‘Buddha Boy’

  • Ram Bahadur Bamjan became famous in southern Nepal in 2005 when many believed he was able to meditate without moving for months
  • Bamjan has thousands of followers who visit him in his camps, believing he is a reincarnation of Siddhartha Gautama

KATMANDU, Nepal: Police in Nepal are searching for five missing followers of a spiritual leader who is believed by devotees to be a reincarnation of Buddha, officials said Monday.
Ram Bahadur Bamjan, also known as Buddha Boy, became famous in southern Nepal in 2005 when many believed he was able to meditate without moving for months while sitting beneath a tree with no food or water. He remains popular despite accusations of sexually and physically assaulting his followers.
Uma Prasad Chaturbedi of Nepal’s Central Investigation Bureau said police raided three of Bamjan’s camps and are keeping him under strict surveillance as they search for the five missing people.
Chaturbedi said jungle areas near the camps were dug up after they received information that bodies might be buried there, but none was found.
The families of the five missing followers have filed cases with the authorities seeking to find them.
Bamjan has thousands of followers who visit him in his camps, believing he is a reincarnation of Siddhartha Gautama, who was born in southwestern Nepal roughly 2,500 years ago and became revered as the Buddha. Buddhist scholars have been skeptical of the claims.