People Mourn Victims Of London Terror Attack

A police officer stands guard at Scotland Yard, headquarters of London’s Metropolitan Police in London, Britain, on March 23, 2017.     - (Xinhua/Han Yan)

 

 

Experts On Terrorism Stress Need for ‘Stiff Upper Lip’ After London Attack

LONDON, March 23 (Xinhua) — The re-opening of London’s famous Westminster Bridge less than 24 hours after Britain’s bad atrocity sent out a loud signal to extremists, experts said Thursday.

The Metropolitan Police in London named the terrorist as Khalid Masood, 52, who was born just outside London in the county of Kent, and lived in Birmingham, Britain’s second biggest city.

He was shot and killed by armed officers as he attacked and killed an unarmed police officer, Keith Palmer, a married man aged 48.

Terrorism officers continued to interview a number of people while colleagues carried out intensive searches of properties in London and Birmingham.

As well as police officer Palmer, a London mother, an American and a 75-year-old man were killed after a car ploughed into a group of pedestrians on Westminster Bridge. Nearly 40 others were injured by the car.

And while the police activity continues behind the scenes, life in the British capital was getting back to normal.

Professor Gary Rawnsley, from the University of Aberystwyth in Wales, told Xinhua in an interview how lone-wolf attackers could cause the same degree of disruption, terror and fear as organized terrorism.

Rawnsley, an expert in international politics, said: “There has always been the possibility of such incidents in London, but such things are never inevitable until they happen.

“The nature of lone wolf terrorism is that it can happen anywhere, at the worst possible time in the worst possible place.

“Terrorism thrives on publicity, and that is one of the lessons we have had to learn in the past few years. One man, with a knife, driving a car can in an instant cause terror, fear and suspicion, all things terror groups thrive on.

“The media feeds into this by providing 24-hour coverage of such events around the world. We are living in a media age in which information and misinformation can be spread in seconds,” Rawnsley said.

“Yet we cannot impose sanctions or limitations as that is not the way to defeat extremism. We need to become more aware of how we use media because of speed at which information is spread.

“We also need to send out signals to show our resilience, to let terrorists and extremists know that we won’t be terrorised. We need that sort of stiff upper lip, rather than see everything closed down when terror strikes.”

Professor Peter Neumann, director of the International Center for the Study of Radicalization (ICSR) at King’s College London, said: “You can be a lone attacker but you can still be radicalised as part of networks as part of, for example, a Jihadist scene.

“I think even though it is true that people are communicating very widely and we even hear about people communicating with people in Syria,” he said.

Dr Shiraz Maher, who also works at ICSR as deputy director said: “Unfortunately, we’re seeing an increasing number of terrorist attacks in the West which use unsophisticated methods.

“These are plots that are very easy to construct, require little money, planning, and expertise, but which are nonetheless highly effective in causing death and destruction.

“We have already seen similar attacks in Nice and Florida, and the challenge for all of us is to now work out how we can identify and prevent these attacks before they occur,” said Maher.

 

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Indian Lawmaker Brags About Hitting National Carrier Crew With Slippers

NEW DELHI, March 23 (Xinhua) — A senior Indian lawmaker Thursday landed into a major row after he bragged about hitting an employee of national carrier Air India with his slipper as he was denied a business class seat in a Delhi-bound flight.

Employees of Air India have now demanded strict action against Ravindra Gaikwad, the lawmaker of the western state of Maharashtra’s regional Hindu fundamentalist Shiv Sena party, which is also an ally of the country’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government.

The incident took place when Gaikwad was coming to Delhi from the Maharashtra’s Pune city on an Air India flight that apparently did not have a business class. After thrashing the Air India employee, the Shiv Sena parliamentarian even bragged about in when local TV channels sought his reaction to the incident. “He was arrogant. I hit him 25 times with my sandal,” he told the media.

The Air India flight crew has, however, alleged that he was “humiliated in front of the entire crew and his spectacles were broken.”

As the chorus for action against the 57-year-old lawmaker grew stronger, Indian Aviation Minister quipped, “No citizen should ever resort to any kind of physical assault let alone a Member of Parliament.”

Even the BJP has strongly condemned the incident. “Elected representatives need to respect people who are doing their job, irrespective of whether the Air India man was rude,” said Shaina NC, the BJP spokesperson.

 

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Gruesome Rape Case Underscores Trump

Supporters’ Concerns Over Illegal Immigration

 WASHINGTON, March 23 (Xinhua) – A gruesome rape case in the United States last week has grabbed headlines nationwide, sparking outrage from many supporters of President Donald Trump.

Last Thursday may have been a normal workday for many Americans. But for one 14-year-old girl in a Washington D.C. suburb, it was a grizzly, life changing event.

The girl was forced into a school bathroom by two fellow students from Guatemala and El Salvador, where she was sodomized, raped, and where oral sex was forced on her.

One of the assailants, 18-year-old Henry Sanchez, was confirmed to be in the country illegally, and had been placed in a class of 14-year-old 9th graders. The other alleged attacker is also suspected of being an illegal migrant.

The case has been the top story on many nationally broadcast prime time television media outlets this week, including Fox News, has tens of millions of viewers, many of them support Trump’s tough hand on illegal immigration.

The case underscores Trump supporters’s concerns over unfettered illegal immigration into the United States, which they view as a nationwide breakdown of law and order.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer weighed in on the case on Tuesday, saying the brutal case is the reason Trump is making illegal immigration a top priority.

“I think part of the reason that the president has made illegal immigration and crackdown such a big deal is because of tragedies like this. We act so many times when we talk about this and say why is the President dealing with this, because of this priority,” Spicer said.

Some groups have said the case is a result of former President Barack Obama’s catch-and-release immigration policies, in which individuals caught entering the U.S. illegally are released and told to show up at court on a specific date.

In the vast majority of cases, they do not show up for their court date and simply melt into the massive population of 11 million illegal immigrants.

“What we are experiencing is the impact of a catch-and-release program….and we’re paying the price for it now. We hope to see a huge improvement in that,” Marguerite Telford, director of communications for the Center for Immigration Studies, told Xinhua.

The massive tide of illegal immigration into the United States was one of Trump’s main campaign platforms, and supporters now expect the president to tackle the issue.

Telford said that under Obama administration, there was a huge surge of unaccompanied minors crossing into the U.S., which the country didn’t have previously, as they previously had not been allowed in.

Minors who enter the U.S. illegally can claim asylum and are allowed to take up residence in the country. However, many people exploit the law, as there is no way to verify claims that they are under 18.

In one recent case, two men in their 30s claimed to be minors, were allowed to take up residence in the U.S. and attend high school, and ended up sitting in a class with 9th graders.

Some experts said there have been cases of single men exploiting the laws that allowed children and family units to enter, so they would look for — or in some cases abduct — children in order to enter the U.S. as a family unit.

But Dan Mahaffee, senior vice president and director of policy at the Center for the Study of Congress and the Presidency, told Xinhua that several studies have indicated that criminals are less likely to commit crimes than those born in the United States.

“That said, the emotional and political impact of anecdotes about crimes committed by immigrants often gain far more media coverage and public attention than the actual data,” Mahaffee said.

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