ISIS claimed responsibility for the London terror attack that left three people dead and more than 30 injured outside the Parliament building on Wednesday. In a statement released through their Amaq news agency, the terrorist group claimed the perpetrator as one of their own.
“The perpetrator of the attacks yesterday in front of the British Parliament in London is an Islamic State soldier and he carried out the operation in response to calls to target citizens of the coalition,” the statement said.
Whether the assailant – killed by British police after driving his SUV into a crowd of pedestrians and murdering officer Keith Palmer – had direct ties to the Islamic State or was inspired by their propaganda from a distance was not known as of Thursday. British officials had not yet released the suspect’s name, though there were reports that he was a British citizen known to the country’s intelligence agencies prior to the attack.
In comments to the Evening Standard, London’s Muslim mayor, Sadiq Khan, said that people should begin adjusting themselves to the threat of terrorist attacks. Living with these occasional bloodbaths, he said, is “part and parcel of living in a big city.”
“It is a reality I’m afraid that London, New York, other major cities around the world have got to be prepared for these sorts of things,” he said. “That means being vigilant, having a police force that is in touch with communities, it means the security services being ready, but also it means exchanging ideas and best practices.”
Perhaps Khan didn’t mean to give off the impression that he was throwing up his hands and surrendering to a world of increasingly-frequent terrorist attacks, but you can’t blame anyone for taking it that way.
Residents in neither London nor New York want to simply “get used to” the new reality of Islamic terrorism. And it’s an insult to the victims of those attacks to suggest that there’s absolutely nothing anyone can do about it. Can any country stop every possible attack? Of course not. Can every country do much, much more to fight terrorism than they are doing now?
Eventually, these attacks will escalate to the point where everyone – from the fiercest war hawk in the Republican Party to the most tolerant hippie at UCLA Berkeley – will realize that there is no accepting the unacceptable. And then the Western world will take the necessary measures.
It’s only a matter of how awful we will let the situation become before we reach that breaking point.