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June 4, 2017 11:28 am

British Jews Mourn London Bridge Terror Attack, Urge Increased Vigilance

avatar by Ben Cohen

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London police rush to the site of the terror attack in London’s Borough Market. Photo: Screenshot

British Jews reacted with horror to Saturday night’s terrorist attack on an area of London known for its teeming bars, restaurants and night clubs  – the third such outrage on UK soil in the space of ten weeks – calling as well for heightened vigilance at synagogues and other community buildings.

The Community Security Trust (CST) – which works closely with the police and other authorities to ensure Jewish communal security – noted in a statement that “These attacks are at a time of many warnings from Police and Government regarding the high level of terrorist threat.” In the wake of Saturday night’s attack, British authorities raised the threat level from terrorism to “severe,” meaning that the prospect of yet another assault is “highly likely.”

The CST stressed that it had no specific information about a planned attack on Jewish institutions, but urged communal officials to “fully implement” existing security measures. A list of necessary security procedures included an instruction to “Prevent ‘tailgaiting’ – stopping someone close behind you attempting to gain access to the building when gates or doors are opened.”

Seven people were killed and nearly 50 others injured during Saturday night’s attack, when a van rammed into pedestrians on London Bridge. The three terrorists in the van then climbed out and ran to nearby Borough Market where they began stabbing people. Within eight minutes, armed police officers were on the scene, shooting all three terrorists dead. Eyewitnesses reported that the terrorists were screaming “this is for Allah!” as they attacked. The terrorists also wore fake suicide bomb vests.

The Metropolitan Police announced on Sunday afternoon that 12 people had been arrested in connection with the attack, following a raid on a flat owned by one of the terrorists in Barking, on the outskirts of east London.

British Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis reflected with sadness that the London Bridge attack had followed a similar Islamist attack on Westminster Bridge on March 22, in which four people died, as well as the suicide bombing of an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester on May 22, in which 23 people, many of them children, were killed.

“After Westminster and Manchester we stood together defiant,” Rabbi Mirvis said. “Yet it seems the terrorists believe that where they have previously failed to poison our communities, with their destructive ideology of hatred and prejudice, they can succeed with still more bloodshed and murder. But we must not let them.”

Gillian Merron – chief executive of the UK Jewish Board of Deputies (BOD) – said: “We condemn last night’s terrorist incident in the London Bridge area in the strongest terms. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and our gratitude is with the emergency services. People of all faiths and none must come together to defeat this evil.”

The London Bridge attack came five days ahead of Britain’s much-anticipated General Election. The government has confirmed that the June 8 poll will go ahead.

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  • Joseph Feld

    This brings to mind the annual event when media ask a Haredi boy in Meah Shearim to burn an Israeli flag in front of the cameras. Fake news made to order. Once here in London Haredim were nearly arrested for anti-Semitism when they burnt an Israeli flag out-of-doors.

  • David Bitton

    It’s sad to say that these kinds of attacks started by hitting Israel while Western countries have criticized the measures that the State of Israel (ex; the wall…) took to defend against these attacks. Now these terrorists are your neighbors and you have much to learn from the democratic State Israel that you had criticized vehemently on how to defend yourself against these barbarians.I pray and attached my condolences to all the victims of these savages

    C’est triste de le dire que ces genres d’attentats ont commencés par frapper Israël alors que les pays occidentaux ont critiqué les mesures que l’Etat d’Israël (ex; le mur …)prenait pour se défendre contre ces agressions . Maintenant ces terroristes
    Sont vos voisins et vous avez beaucoup à apprendre de l’Etat démocratique Israélien que vous aviez critiqué avec véhémence sur la façon de vous défendre contre ces barbares.Je prie et joint mes condoléances à toutes les victimes de ces sauvages

  • Kris Kristian

    The British police killed the attackers.
    Yet, the IDF soldiers are afraid to shoot to kill terrorist murderers after what happened to the one soldier.
    Time for Israel to stop this nonsense.
    The answer to terrorism is ‘SHOOT TO KILL, before any more Israelis will be stabbed to death.

  • Kwitcherbellyakin

    British Jews should look to Israel, but they don’t. Every person in the city should be outraged, but they are just sad. The terrorism will not stop till you get rid of the terrorists, and potential ones as well. But, I see that the mayor of London says that it is just a part of living in the big city, and people will need to learn how to live with it.
    And Paris is no better.

  • England must consult with Israel on how to intelligently defeat homegrown Islamic fascism.

  • TeachESL

    Arabic speakers have to be employed to go into the communities and mosques and listen to what people are saying; befriend them on line and see what they are planning to do. This will take a long time but this hasn’t been done yet – as far as I know – and should reveal those who are threats so they can be arrested and kicked out of the country.