The Cable

The Cable goes inside the foreign policy machine, from Foggy Bottom to Turtle Bay, the White House to Embassy Row.

Breaking: Four Dead, At Least 10 Injured in Suspected Terror Attack in London

Details are still emerging of the suspected terrorist incident in London. Here's what we know so far.

By , a global affairs journalist and the author of The Influence of Soros and Bad Jews, and , a diplomacy and national security reporter at Foreign Policy.
uk crop
uk crop

An attack near the British Parliament Wednesday left at least four people dead, including one police officer, and 10 injured. One alleged assailant was reportedly gunned down by police. A London police spokesperson said they were treating this as a “terrorist incident” until receiving information to the contrary, and put out a statement asking people to avoid a substantial section of London “to allow the emergency services to deal with the ongoing incident.”

Commander B.J. Harrington said at a briefing that there is an ongoing investigation by the counter-terrorism command underway and asked citizens to come forward with any information they might have. At present, those who monitor pro-Islamic State channels have seen "chatter," but, so far, no claims.

Some 300 Members of Parliament are still on lockdown in the House of Commons. "We’re huddling around TVs in the voting lobbies to find out what is gong on," Labour MP Clive Efford wrote in a statement from the locked-down building. "There is a calm quietness around the place. We all knew a day like could come," he said.

An attack near the British Parliament Wednesday left at least four people dead, including one police officer, and 10 injured. One alleged assailant was reportedly gunned down by police. A London police spokesperson said they were treating this as a “terrorist incident” until receiving information to the contrary, and put out a statement asking people to avoid a substantial section of London “to allow the emergency services to deal with the ongoing incident.”

Commander B.J. Harrington said at a briefing that there is an ongoing investigation by the counter-terrorism command underway and asked citizens to come forward with any information they might have. At present, those who monitor pro-Islamic State channels have seenchatter,” but, so far, no claims.

Some 300 Members of Parliament are still on lockdown in the House of Commons. “We’re huddling around TVs in the voting lobbies to find out what is gong on,” Labour MP Clive Efford wrote in a statement from the locked-down building. “There is a calm quietness around the place. We all knew a day like could come,” he said.

It is as yet unclear whether there is one incident or two — there are reports of a knife attack outside of Parliament and an attack also by Westminster Bridge, where a car reportedly drove into people before driving into the railings of the Palace of Westminster. Short footage of the aftermath was provided by former Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, who was on the scene.

No. 10 Downing Street released a statement saying Prime Minister Theresa May is “safe and at work,” though it didn’t specify where she was.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Trump spoke on the phone with May and offered her government condolences and full U.S. backing. Spicer didn’t add further details on the specifics of the call.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said U.S. “domestic security posture remains unchanged” in light of the attack.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also released a statement after the attacks Wednesday. “Whether they were carried out by troubled individuals or by terrorists, the victims know no difference,” Tillerson said.

Wednesday was a busy day for Parliament, with question time for the prime minister, which means the chambers would have been full. House of Commons business has been suspended.

A Reuters photographer near the incident said large bangs were heard near Westminster and at least a dozen are injured. A London-based journalist said shots were fired and that journalists were confined to the press gallery in the parliamentary building (they were asked to leave the press gallery at 5 pm local time).

Buckingham Palace also shut its gates following the attack. Queen Elizabeth II is safely inside.

The London Ambulance Service declared a “major incident” responding to the attack. London Mayor Sadiq Khan released a statement thanking the police and emergency services, and urging his citizens to follow the Metropolitan Police for more information.

Wednesday marked the one-year anniversary of the terror attacks in Brussels that killed 32 and injured over hundreds.

Check back for further updates as the story develops.

This story is being updated as new information comes in.

Photo credit: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images

Emily Tamkin is a global affairs journalist and the author of The Influence of Soros and Bad Jews. Twitter: @emilyctamkin

Robbie Gramer is a diplomacy and national security reporter at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @RobbieGramer

More from Foreign Policy

An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.
An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.

Is Cold War Inevitable?

A new biography of George Kennan, the father of containment, raises questions about whether the old Cold War—and the emerging one with China—could have been avoided.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.

So You Want to Buy an Ambassadorship

The United States is the only Western government that routinely rewards mega-donors with top diplomatic posts.

Chinese President Xi jinping  toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.
Chinese President Xi jinping toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.

Can China Pull Off Its Charm Offensive?

Why Beijing’s foreign-policy reset will—or won’t—work out.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.

Turkey’s Problem Isn’t Sweden. It’s the United States.

Erdogan has focused on Stockholm’s stance toward Kurdish exile groups, but Ankara’s real demand is the end of U.S. support for Kurds in Syria.