Tuesday

25th Apr 2017

May: London attacker was known to the police

The London attacker was "British born" and is known to the UK police and intelligence services. He has been investigated before for extremism, but has not been focused on by investigators lately, said British PM Theresa May on Thursday (23 March).

"He was a peripheral figure. The case is historic – he was not part of the current intelligence picture," May told MPs in the House of Commons.

May described Wednesday's attack as "an attack on free people everywhere".

In a powerful statement, May said that the terrorist "tried to silence our democracy".

"But today we meet as normal, as generations have done before us and as future generations will continue to do, to deliver a simple message: we are not afraid and our resolve will never waver in the face of terrorism," she told MPs.

Eight arrests have been made in London and Birmingham after the attack that left four dead.

Several people from other nationalities - three French teenagers, two Romanians, two Greeks, four South Koreans, one German, one Pole, one Irish, one Chinese, one Italian, and one American - are amongst around 40 of the injured, as the attacker rammed into pedestrians with a car on Westminster Bridge.

"A terrorist came to the place where people of all nationalities and culture gather to celebrate what it means to be free," May said, paying tribute to the police officer, who tried to stop the knife-wielding attacker at the parliament.

In an emotional parliamentary debate, MPs hailed their fellow lawmaker Tobias Ellwood as a hero. Ellwood gave first aid to the police officer on the scene, Keith Palmer, who later died of his injuries.

May said that the attacker acted alone, and was inspired by "Islamist ideology". She added that the intelligence services do not believe there is an imminent threat of further attacks.

The attacker has not yet been named by British authorities, since the investigation is still ongoing.

The news agency Amaq, used by the Islamic State for propaganda, has said in the meantime that the group claims responsibility for the attack.

Acts of normality

May said the millions of "acts of normality" are the best way to defeat terrorism.

"The greatest response lies not in the words of politicians, but in the everyday actions of ordinary people," May concluded, saying the streets are busy, the cafes are open, and millions continue to travel to London to see "the greatest city on Earth".

Police presence will be stepped up in London, nevertheless.

This terror attack, the worst in Britain since 2005, took place exactly a year after the deadly terrorist bombings in Brussels.

An EU Commission spokesperson expressed sympathy and solidarity with UK.

He added that European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker will have a phone conversation with Theresa May on Thursday.

In preparations for the Rome summit on Saturday, Italy's interior minister, Marco Minniti, ordered an increase of security, raising the country's security alert to the highest level.

An extra 2,000 police officers will be deployed on the streets of the eternal city, Rome, in addition to the 3,000 already planned.

In Rome, 27 EU national leaders are will arrive – with the exception of May – alongside the heads of the EU institutions to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome.

Terror attack shuts down UK parliament

[Updated] Westminster, and its surrounding areas, has been sealed off after a car drove into several people and one policeman was stabbed. At least three people have been killed.

EU vows to mend terrorist data share failures

The EU is rolling out plans to improve a large police database in an effort to avoid repeats of allowing terrorists, like Paris attacker Salah Abdeslam, from slipping by police due to poor data quality.

Analysis

More hype than substance in EU counter-terror plans

The 22 March anniversary of the Brussels bombing will trigger a lot of soul searching. But EU counter-terrorism strategies over the past 10 years have been crisis-driven with little follow through or oversight.

Investigation

Le Pen-Poutine: des liens qui remontent à loin

La leader du Front National a rencontré le président russe trois fois, et non pas une comme elle l'affirme. Mais l'argent que son parti a obtenu, et sous quelles conditions, restent un mystère.

Russia threat triggers European military spending hike

Russia's annexation of Crimea in Ukraine has intensified military and defence spending throughout much of Central Europe, according to a new report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersDeveloping Independent Russian-Language Media in the Baltic Countries
  2. Swedish EnterprisesReform of the European Electricity Market: Lessons from the Nordics, Brussels 2 May
  3. Malta EU 2017Green Light Given for New EU Regulation to Bolster External Border Checks
  4. Counter BalanceCall for EU Commission to Withdraw Support of Trans-Adriatic Pipeline
  5. ACCAEconomic Confidence at Highest Since 2015
  6. European Federation of Allergy and Airways60%-90% of Your Life Is Spent Indoors. How Does Poor Indoor Air Quality Affect You?
  7. European Gaming and Betting AssociationCJEU Confirms Obligation for a Transparent Licensing Process
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region and the US: A Time of Warlike Rhetoric and Militarisation?
  9. European Free AllianceEFA MEPs Vote in Favor of European Parliament's Brexit Mandate
  10. Mission of China to the EUXinhua Insight: China to Open up Like Never Before
  11. World VisionViolence Becomes New Normal for Syrian Children
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsTime to Turn the Tide and End Repression of Central Asia's Civil Society

Latest News

  1. Le Pen-Poutine: des liens qui remontent à loin
  2. Juncker breaks tradition with support for Macron
  3. Les fake news inondent les réseaux sociaux français
  4. Les amis de Le Pen à la Trump Tower
  5. France's election run-off will be far-right versus EU
  6. Alternative for Germany party refuses to shun extreme right
  7. Brexit summit, Turkey and Hungary dominate EU This WEEK
  8. Russia threat triggers European military spending hike