UK polls to go ahead on June 8; PM Theresa May condemns Islamist extremism
British Prime Minister Theresa May today strongly condemned the recent terror attacks in London and Manchester, saying ‘enough is enough’ -- and tougher measures to contain Islamic extremism in the country.
May, who faces a general election Thursday, said that the recent attacks are not directly connected but that ‘terrorism breeds terrorism’ and attackers copy one another. She also said five credible plots have recently been disrupted.
“They are bound together by the single evil ideology of Islamist extremism that preaches hatred, sows division, and promotes sectarianism. It is an ideology that claims our Western values and freedom, democracy and human rights are incompatible with the religion of Islam,” she said.
She also called for international agreements to regulate cyberspace to help stop the spread of extremism and said that Britain needs to become more robust at identifying and stamping it out.
“That will require some difficult, and often embarrassing, conversations,” she said.
The Prime Minister further informed that campaigns will resume on Monday and general election will be held on Thursday.
May’s Conservative Party had been expected to win by a wide margin but recent polls have showed the race tightening. Major parties temporarily suspended national campaigning Sunday.
She said that the men attacked innocent and unarmed civilians in Borough Market with blades and knives. May added that they were wearing what appeared to be explosive vests, but police determined those were only meant to sow panic and fear.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the attackers hoped to disrupt democracy and hamper plans for voting, but that would not happen. He said Londoners should remain vigilant but added, “I’m reassured we are one of the safest global cities in the world.”
Assistant Metropolitan Police Commissioner Mark Rowley said that while police believe all the attackers were killed, the investigation continued.
“We believe three people were involved, but we still have got some more inquiries to do to be 100 percent confident in that,” he said.
Suspected Islamist terrorists rammed a van into a group of pedestrians on the London Bridge and then launched knife attacks at the nearby Borough Market, killing seven people and injuring 48. According to police, all three suspects were shot dead.
The Saturday night mayhem in the heart of London comes less than a fortnight after a young British suicide bomber detonated a powerful bomb in the Manchester Arena just when an American concert had ended, killing 22 people and injuring more than 100.
The Saturday horror took place when a white transit-style van speeding toward the London Bridge Tube station drove into a crowd of unsuspecting people including tourists enjoying the pleasant weather around 10 pm, sending one man flying some 20 feet in the air.
The vehicle continued to drive towards Borough Market, just south of the bridge, where three assailants got out and stabbed civilians at a restaurant as well as an officer from Transport Police. One of the attackers was seen with a big knife attacking men and women in the Borough Market whose pubs and restaurants were packed with people.