The idiom ‘in the right place at the right time’ springs to mind.
Wednesday’s London attacker — the barbarous 52-year-old British-born jihadist, Khalid Masood — was purportedly shot dead by Defence Secretary Michael Fallon’s SO1 close protection officer.
The BBC’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg tweeted this yesterday:
“Sources tell me attacker was shot by one of the Defence Secretary’s bodyguards, trying to confirm with [the Metropolitan Police Service].”
The officer reportedly acted after the raging jihadist had just ploughed through crowds of people on Westminster Bridge before stabbing PC Keith Palmer to death.
Kuenssberg’s report is, as of yet, unconfirmed — but it must be noted that several news and commentary outlets have cited their own sources alleging the same.
Long-time Westminster hack Guido Fawkes, aka Paul Staines, the man behind the fantastically irreverent blog Order-Order.com, elaborated, calling in to question the capability of the entire security apparatus in place at the Palace of Westminster:
“One source tells Guido’s the officer was in Fallon’s bulletproof BMW parked inside parliament a few metres away and he ran over, withdrew a handgun from underneath his suit jacket and shot him.”
If you have ever visited the landmark site, you will be aware that armed and unarmed Metropolitan Police officers are permanently present — but according to Guido, “this explains why it was a plain clothes officer who was at the scene.”
But, as Guido mentions, the only government ministers with bulletproof BMWs and SO1 close protection officers are the Defence Secretary, Home Secretary, Foreign Secretary and Northern Ireland Secretary.
So, what if Fallon and his team were not in parliament at the exact time of the attack? Having penetrated the parliamentary estate’s perimeter fence, just how far could Masood have got? What if his methods of attack had been much more sophisticated or, say, explosive?
Although Labour Party ‘Corbynista’ Diane Abbott has called for resisting the urge to “militarize” parliament — stupidly missing the point altogether — it is clear that there is still some sense within the British governmental establishment.
After Wednesday’s traumatic events, it has been revealed that the Metropolitan Police, parliamentary authorities and the Cabinet Office are going ahead with a security review.
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