Share with Friends

Police prepare to name men who carried out London Bridge attack

Police investigating the London Bridge attack searched two more properties in east London as they prepared to name the three men who killed seven people.

Counter-terrorism officers detained “a number of people” after raiding addresses in Newham and Barking at 4.15am on Monday, the Metropolitan police said.

Pedestrians were mowed down by a rental van on London Bridge on Saturday night before attackers stabbed a police officer and members of the public around Borough Market with 12in knives. NHS England said on Monday that there are still 36 people being treated in hospital for their injuries but the number of those in critical care has fallen from 21 to 18.

As police continued inquiries into people linked with the attackers a bitter political row erupted on Monday over cuts to police funding on Theresa May’s watch while home secretary. The Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, backed calls for the prime minister to resign while May dodged accusations that the number of officers is down by 20,000 since 2010 and the number of armed police has also fallen.

Speaking on a visit to London Bridge alongside the Met police commissioner, Cressida Dick, the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said the Met had already lost £600m from its budget, was facing a £400m cut over the next four years and could lose a further £700m under changes to the police funding formula.

“We need to make sure the police have the resources and support they need, and as the mayor my job is to make our city safe and I’ll do my best as the mayor to be an advocate and champion for our police to get the tools they need.”

He condemned the ideology followed by the attackers, saying it is “perverse, it is poisonous and it has no place in Islam”.

Standing on London Bridge, Dick said that arming more officers was not a solution to preventing future attacks. But earlier she told ITV’sGood Morning Britain: “In the face of this changing and changed threat, absolutely I will be seeking for London and for policing generally more resourcing obviously.”

One east London resident reported “loud flash bangs and gunshots” in the early hours of Monday morning as the latest raids took place. BatemanLDN wrote on Twitter: “It woke me up along with the whole street. Extremely loud bangs followed by gunshot bangs.”

On Sunday, four other addresses were raided in Barking, including the home of one of the suspected attackers, and East Ham. Scotland Yard said seven women and five men aged between 19 and 60 were arrested under the Terrorism Act. A 55-year-old man was released later without charge.

Police said they knew the identities of the attackers and would name them “as soon as operationally possible”. Witnesses said one of the attackers shouted “this is for Allah” as he stabbed a man near a pub. Islamic State claimed responsibilityfor the attack in a statement.

The first known victim of the attack was named as Christine Archibald from Castlegar, Canada. In a statement, her family said: “We grieve the loss of our beautiful, loving daughter and sister. She had room in her heart for everyone and believed strongly that every person was to be valued and respected.”

A French man was also among those killed, according to the French foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian.

Two Australians, Candice Hedge from Brisbane and Andrew Morrison from Darwin, were wounded. Australian government officials said there were two more nationals “about whom we have very real concerns”.A vigil for the victims will be held on Monday evening at Potters Fields Park near London Bridge and City Hall.

A British Transport Police officer was stabbed in the head, face and leg after taking on the attackers armed only with his baton. Three Metropolitan police officers were injured, including one who was off-duty.

He was injured while tackling the men and is in a serious condition in hospital.A friend of one of the attackers told BBC Asian Network he had reported him to the anti-terror hotline after he began expressing increasingly radical views and justifying terror attacks, but the man said he was never arrested.

Giving an update on the investigation outside New Scotland Yard in London, the Met assistant commissioner Mark Rowley said “significant progress” had been made in identifying the attackers.

As well as more armed police across the capital in coming days, “the public will also see increased physical measures in order to keep [the] public safe on London’s bridges”, he said.

[H/T - theguardian]