- By Emily TamkinEmily Tamkin is a staff writer at Foreign Policy. She writes for FP’s The Cable, a real-time take on the news in Washington and the wider world. She has been at FP since the fall of 2016, before which she was an associate editor at New America, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington. She has a B.A. in Russian literature from Columbia University, an M.Phil. in Russian and East European studies from the University of Oxford, and studied Soviet dissidence in archival centers in Moscow, Tbilisi, and, on a Fulbright, in Bremen — all of which means that at FP, she writes when she can on Russia and Central and Eastern Europe.
The London police said they know the identity of the three individuals who attacked civilians on Saturday night. They said names would be released “as soon as operationally possible.” The three attackers were all shot dead within minutes of striking. The police also said “a number” have been detained in connection with the incident.
The attack caused further tension between the United States and its traditional ally, the United Kingdom, which was already under some strain after U.S. intelligence leaked the identity of the man responsible for the attack in Manchester just weeks ago. President Donald Trump took to Twitter hours after the attack to belittle the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, criticizing Khan for telling Londoners not to be alarmed by heightened police presence in coming days.
Undeterred by grammar or the actual context of Khan’s statement, Trump doubled down on Monday.
Pathetic excuse by London Mayor Sadiq Khan who had to think fast on his "no reason to be alarmed" statement. MSM is working hard to sell it!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2017
How the attack impacts the upcoming general election will be seen this Thursday, when Brits take to the polls in snap elections. British Prime Minister Theresa May called for early elections thinking she could consolidate support for her party, but the maneuver may end up — like the Brexit referendum — backfiring on the Tories.
Her opponent, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has surprised many by rising in the polls, said May should resign over her cuts to police funding and accused her of trying to keep the United Kingdom safe “on the cheap.” May, who was home secretary before becoming prime minister, said police are fully funded and have “very powerful counter-terrorism capabilities… We have protected counter-terrorism policing budgets.” Corbyn, she said, would not empower them to hunt terrorists.
While those two battle it out and Khan does all the things he deemed more important than responding to Trump’s “ill-informed tweet,” Trump will have a chance to boost ties with an increasingly eager ally — Romania. Romanian President Klaus Iohannis will meet with Trump on Thursday. The Romanian government recently announced it will spend tens of millions of dollars on new weaponry, which, given Trump’s speech at the NATO meeting in Brussels, should be music to the U.S. president’s impatient ear.
Also Thursday, Russiagate comes back to Washington in a big way: Ousted FBI director James Comey will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Sure to come up? The dispute over whether Trump tried to get Comey to quash the Russia investigation before summarily firing him.
Photo credit: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images