UK PM Theresa May vows to fight ‘all forms of terrorism’ in wake of London attack

After a vehicle drove into pedestrians near a mosque in north London, killing at least one person, Prime Minister Theresa May said the attacker had acted alone. The UK will look at increased security for mosques.

Prime Minister Theresa May chaired an emergency Cobra cabinet meeting on Monday, telling reporters afterwards that the alleged perpetrator was a 48-year-old white man and that according to early assessments he had acted alone.

May also said the government was assessing the security of mosques in the UK, adding that there had been “too much tolerance” of extremism and vowing to fight it in the same way the UK had fought racism.

The attack was a “sickening attempt” to destroy the freedom to worship, the prime minister said outside Downing Street. “It was an attack that once again targeted the ordinary and the innocent … this time British Muslims,” she said.

“London is an extraordinary city of extraordinary people,” she added.

A map of the Finsbury Park area of north London.A map of the Finsbury Park area of north London

Details of the attack as we get them

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu of the Metropolitan police – the senior national coordinator for counterterrorism policing – said it was too early to tell whether the man who died at the scene had been killed in the attack.

Eyewitnesses reported seeing a group of people giving an emergency heart massage to one man before the attack happened.

Eight others were taken to hospital and two were treated at the scene, Basu said, adding that all of the victims were Muslim.

Authorities named the suspect as Darren O., a father of four who was living in Cardiff, Wales. He has been arrested on suspicion of terrorism and murder.

“He has further been arrested for the commission, preparation or instigation of terrorism including murder and attempted murder,” Scotland Yard police headquarters said in a statement.

Interior Minister Amber Rudd said police “immediately” treated the incident as a suspected terrorist attack. Rudd, who is in charge of government law enforcement, called on everyone to remain united after a string of recent Islamist inspired terror attacks in London and Manchester. 

“We must all continue to stand together, resolute, against all those who try to divide us and spread hate and fear,” Rudd said.

The chairman of the Finsbury Park Mosque, Mohammed Kozbar, complained that the “mainstream media” had been unwilling to call the attack a terrorist incident for many hours.

Read more: A chronology of terror in Europe

The leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn – in whose constituency the attack took place – said he was “totally shocked” by the attack. He said in a tweet he has been in touch with mosques, the police and the local council regarding the incident.

As it happened

Police said they were called just after 12:20 a.m. (2320 GMT Sunday) to reports of a collision on Seven Sisters Road, which runs through the Finsbury Park area of north London.

A witness who lives opposite the scene of the incident told the BBC a white van stopped near the Finsbury Park Mosque, as Muslims celebrated Ramadan in the multiethnic area.

“From the window, I started hearing a lot of yelling and screeching, a lot of chaos outside…Everybody was shouting: ‘A van’s hit people, a van’s hit people’,” she said. “I didn’t see the attacker himself, although he seems to have been arrested, but I did see the van.”

Police stand at the scene of what they described as a 'major incident' in Finsbury ParkPolice stand at the scene of what they described as a ‘major incident’ in Finsbury Park

One witness, Abdul Rahman, told the BBC he saw the van “deliberately run over about 10 or 15 people.” Rahman said he and another man wrestled the suspect to the ground and held him down for 20 to 30 minutes before police arrived.

“This big van just came and went all over us,” witness Abdulrahman Saleh Alamoudi told BuzzFeed News. “He was screaming… ‘I’m going to kill all Muslims.'”

The UK’s largest Muslim umbrella body, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), said on Twitter that the crash happened outside the Muslim Welfare House, just down the road from Finsbury Park Mosque. “Our prayers are with the victims,” it said.

At least two witnesses told Sky News there were three men in the van, but the police statement seems to contradict that, saying no other suspects had been identified or reported to police.

Harun Khan, the head of the MCB, described the incident as the “most violent manifestation to date” of Islamophobia, and called on authorities to do more “to tackle the growth in hate crime.”

UK on high alert

London is on edge after eight people were killed in a van and knife attack on London Bridge and the Borough Market area earlier this month. In March, a man drove a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and stabbed a police officer to death before being shot dead. In May, the city of Manchester was targeted with a suicide bombing at a pop concert that killed 22 people.

Britain’s terrorist alert has been set at “severe,” meaning an attack is highly likely.

Police said they had deployed extra policing resources “to reassure communities, especially those observing Ramadan.”

Emergency vehicles and police officers in the street at Finsbury Park LondonPolice, the ambulance service and fire brigade block the road in Finsbury Park where a van drove into pedestrians

A spike in hate crimes has been reported since the attack in south London two weeks ago.

Finsbury Park: hotbed of radical Islam

The Finsbury Park Mosque had been associated with radical Islamist ideology in the past, but its image changed after it was shut down and reopened under new management.

Its former imam, Abu Hamza, was jailed in Britain for inciting violence and racial hatred before being extradited to New York, where he was sentenced to life in prison for terrorism in 2015. That same year, the mosque took part in an open day organized by the MCB to promote a better understanding of Islam following Islamist-inspired attacks in Paris. It has not been associated with extremist views for more than a decade.

cw/jbh/rg (Reuters, AP, AFP, dpa)

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London fire: Protesters storm town hall

  • 12 minutes ago
  • From the sectionUK
Media captionAngry protesters stormed Kensington Town Hall, demanding answers

Protesters demanding help for those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire have stormed Kensington and Chelsea Town Hall with a list of demands.

Between 50 and 60 people broke off from a protest outside to go into the council building.

One member of the public said people made homeless needed help “right now”.

After meeting survivors near Grenfell Tower, Theresa May announced a £5m fund to pay for emergency supplies, food, clothes and other costs.

There were angry scenes outside the Clement James Centre, in North Kensington, where the meeting had been held.

The Press Association reported one woman was crying at the scene saying it was because the prime minister had declined to speak to anyone outside.

Earlier, the Queen and Prince William visited a relief centre for the victims, while the missing could number about 70, the BBC understands.

Police say at least 30 people died as a result of the west London blaze and are likely to be among the 70. Three of those who died have been identified.

There was nothing to suggest the fire was started deliberately, police said.

The town hall protest began at around 15:00 BST and scores have since joined it.

Protesters outside the Town HallImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionProtesters outside the Town Hall had a list of demands for the council

At around 16:30 BST, people began to rush up the steps and make their way into the building.

One member of the public said people made homeless by the fire needed help “right now”, adding: “Nobody knows what is happening. People are so angry. Those people shouldn’t be sleeping in the street”.

The organisers of the protest said council leaders would not come out to talk to them, but had released a statement, promising to rehouse as many people locally as they could and to provide funding for those affected.

However, they refused to give out the number of people who lived in the tower block – which was one of the protesters’ demands, organisers said.

Public ‘not satisfied’ with answers

Mustafa Al Mansur, who organised the protest, said the council’s response was “flimsy” with “no concrete answers”.

“The people were not satisfied with the answers,” he told BBC News. “The people were getting frustrated and they walked towards the building. They did not force themselves inside. They got inside the main building and were in the foyer, just speaking.”

Police then arrived on the scene and formed a barricade, which Mr Al Mansur said led to “physical confrontation” between the two sides.

“We would like the chief executive of the council to make public commitments on what the council is going to do for the victims of this borough, and for all the other buildings in the borough that [could] stand the same fate at Grenfell Towers.”

Protesters inside the buildingImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionBetween 50 and 60 protesters rushed into the council building

The £5m Grenfell Tower Residents’ Discretionary Fund, announced by Mrs May, includes the aim to rehouse residents within three weeks as close to where they lived before as possible, to pay for temporary housing in the meantime and to provide extra financial assistance.

During her meeting with survivors, the PM also said they would be consulted on the terms of the public inquiry announced on Thursday and receive state funding for legal representation.

Mrs May said: “Everyone affected by this tragedy needs reassurance that the government is there for them at this terrible time – and that is what I am determined to provide.”

Royal visit

The Queen and Duke of Cambridge met volunteers, residents and community representatives during their visit to the Westway Sports Centre.

The Queen paid tribute to the “bravery” of firefighters and the “incredible generosity” of volunteers now offering support.

Media captionThe Queen meets people affected by the Grenfell Tower fire

Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy said that of those who were killed, one died in hospital.

He also said there was nothing to suggest that the fire was started deliberately, and that everyone in hospital has now been identified. Police say some of those killed in the fire may never be identified.

The fire broke out shortly before 01:00 BST on Wednesday.

It tore through all floors of the building and took more than 200 firefighters 24 hours to bring it under control.

Mahad Egal, who escaped his fourth floor flat with his family, said: “At first it seemed it was controllable, but really quickly the fire started to rise as the cladding caught fire. It is incredible we survived.”

Emergency services are spending a third day searching for bodies in the burnt-out Grenfell Tower in North Kensington.

Fire chiefs say they do not expect to find more survivors. Police have launched a criminal investigation into the fire and PM Theresa May has ordered a public inquiry.

The Queen being shown food suppliesImage copyrightPA
Image captionHer Majesty was shown the food supplies donated to those made homeless by the fire

The prime minister faced criticism for not meeting survivors on a visit to the scene on Thursday, unlike Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

When Leader of the Commons Andrea Leadsom visited the scene, a man shouted: “Why are Sadiq Khan and Corbyn coming down here to speak to people and Theresa May is coming here with police, walking around, not meeting no-one, not meeting families?

“Enough is enough, I have got friends in that tower. We have a right to be angry.”

Downing Street said the purpose of her visit was to get a briefing from emergency services and she later announced a public inquiry.

But former cabinet minister Michael Portillo said the prime minister “didn’t use her humanity”.

Prime Minister Theresa May with firefightersImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionThe prime minister spoke to fire commissioner Dany Cotton as she surveyed the damage

So far in the investigation:

  • Six victims of the blaze have been provisionally identified by police
  • A total of 24 people remained in hospital – 12 in a critical condition
  • A criminal investigation has been launched
  • MPs have called for the public inquiry to be “swift” and get answers on safety as quickly as possible
  • Mr Khan has written an open letter to the prime minister, calling for her plan to help the community “as a matter of urgency”.
  • Mrs May is chairing a cross-Whitehall meeting on how to help the community recover
  • UK councils are carrying out urgent reviews of their tower blocks, according to the Local Government Association
  • The British Red Cross has launched an appeal to raise money for those affected
  • The emergency number for people concerned about friends and family is 0800 0961 233
Media captionMetropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy said the recovery is being done with dignity

The leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council told BBC Two’s Newsnight it would not use the type of cladding fitted to Grenfell Tower on other buildings in the borough.

The cladding – installed on the tower in a recent renovation – has come under scrutiny, with experts saying a more fire resistant type could have been used.

Grenfell Tower

On Thursday, the first victim of the fire was named as Syrian refugee Mohammed Alhajali, 23.

The Syria Solidarity Campaign said Mr Alhajali, a civil engineering student, had been in a flat on the 14th floor when the fire broke out, and had spent two hours on the phone to a friend in Syria.

Media captionVictim’s brother recounts final call: “He said: ‘Why did you leave me?’.”

He had been trying to get through to his family while he was waiting to be rescued.

His older brother, Omar, told the BBC he had lost Mohammed on the way out of the building.

Two other victims have also been named.

Five-year-old Isaac Shawo reportedly got separated from his family in the smoke and later died.

Artist and photographer Khadija Saye, 24, lived on the 20th floor and also died.


At the scene

By Peter Hunt, BBC royal correspondent

This is the British monarchy, in action, showing it has learnt from its mistakes of the past.

Mistakes that have included the significant time that elapsed before the Queen visited the site of the Aberfan disaster in the 1960s and the “Show us you care” newspaper headlines that were printed 20 years ago, in the days following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.

As Theresa May is learning to her cost, it is a tragedy with a growing political dimension. There is a howl of pain and anger being directed at an establishment which has the royals at its heart.

There’s the talk of the divide between rich and poor. The Queen’s grandson is a millionaire prince living in a palace in the same borough as Grenfell Tower.

In coming to the site, the Queen was acting as “head of the nation” – a focal point at a moment of considerable pain. She was also providing her prime minister with a masterclass in how to respond on such occasions.

Read more from Peter Hunt here


Stories of how people managed to escape have also emerged.

Christos Fairbairn, 41, a resident who lived on the 15th floor, described how he collapsed while fleeing the building, only to be rescued by a firefighter.

“I can’t believe I am alive,” he said. “I will never forget what happened and how traumatising it was. I know I will never live in a tower block again.”

Meanwhile, it has emerged that Elpidio Bonifacio, a partially blind man in his 70s, was rescued from his 11th-floor flat after having been seen at the window waving a jumper.

His son Gordon, 41, said on Facebook that his father was now in intensive care.

Media captionLabour leader Jeremy Corbyn visited the site and spoke to locals

Rydon, the company that carried out the £8.6m refurbishment of the tower, welcomed the public inquiry, but said it had met all building and fire regulations, plus health and safety standards.

Housing minister Alok Sharma said the government was working with the local authority to ensure that “every single family will be rehoused in the local area” – but Kensington and Chelsea Council said it may “have to explore housing options… in other parts of the capital.”

Media captionOne eyewitness said he saw people blinking lights within the building

Terrifying videos of west London tower blaze: 120 apartments engulfed, falling debris (VIDEOS)

Terrifying videos of west London tower blaze: 120 apartments engulfed, falling debris (VIDEOS)
A huge blaze, falling debris, and people reportedly still trapped inside – terrifying footage of the inferno at the massive block in West London has emerged online.

“The fire started happening on the third floor. We called the fire brigade. They came 20 minutes later. And then the whole thing just went off. An hour and a half later I saw a kid on the 22nd floor on fire. He went to the window and jumped,” Greg Stevens, an evacuee, told Ruptly news agency.

Another video featured a figure in a window of the burning Grenfell Tower in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Another evacuee, Daniel Williams, described how fire brigades were battling the blaze.

“They’ve come down, and they’ve tried to put the fire out but they weren’t reaching it… As the fire got higher, then they decided to use the ladders. But even then, the fire has just gone up. And now half of the building is gone,” he told Ruptly.

As of early Wednesday morning, the building is still engulfed in flames.

At least 45 fire engines and over 200 firefighters and officers have been deployed to the scene, the London Fire Brigade said.

“Firefighters wearing breathing apparatuses are working extremely hard in very difficult conditions to tackle this fire. This is a large and very serious incident and we have deployed numerous resources and specialist appliances,” Assistant Commissioner Dan Daly said.

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‘I Trusted Him’: London Attacker Was Friendly With Neighbors

Photo

Newly installed barriers on Westminster Bridge in London on Monday. A car drove into pedestrians on the bridge on March 22 in a terrorist attack. CreditHannah McKay/Reuters

LONDON — Everyone called him “Abs.” He gave out Halloween candy to children and taught them how to play Ping-Pong. He invited his neighbors to a barbecue.

But Khurum Shazad Butt was not the typical resident of the East London neighborhood of Barking. He dressed in the religious gown of a conservative Muslim — with a tracksuit and sneakers underneath. He turned up in a Channel 4 documentary, “The Jihadis Next Door.” And now London’s Metropolitan Police have identified him as one of the three men who carried out the deadly terror attack on Saturday at London Bridge and Borough Market.

Mr. Butt and his accomplices drove a van onto the sidewalk of London Bridge, running over pedestrians, before jumping out of the vehicle and stabbing patrons at the bars and restaurants of Borough Market. They killed seven people and injured dozens before they were shot and killed by the police less than 10 minutes after the rampage began.

With questions mounting about whether authorities had let the killers slip through their fingers, the police confirmed that Mr. Butt “was known” to them and to MI5, the British intelligence service.

Continue reading the main story

“However, there was no intelligence to suggest that this attack was being planned and the investigation had been prioritized accordingly,” the police said in a statement. “The other named man, Rachid Redouane, was not known.”

Even so, Prime Minister Theresa May found herself on the defensive on Monday, as rivals challenged her record on security after the third terrorist episode in three months.

Mrs. May, who is leading her Conservative Party into a national election on Thursday, held the portfolio in charge of security for six years before replacing David Cameron as prime minister in July, and she oversaw a reduction in police forces, including armed officers, during that time.

The Metropolitan Police released photographs on Monday of Mr. Butt, 27, and Mr. Redouane, 30.

Photo

An undated handout photo of Khuram Shazad Butt, left, and Rachid Redouane. CreditMetropolitan Police

Mr. Redouane had claimed to be Moroccan and Libyan, the police said, and also sometimes used a pseudonym, Rachid Elkhdar. The authorities are still trying to confirm the identity of the third attacker.

Mr. Butt appeared briefly in a Channel 4 television documentary last year about extremists living in Britain. The film, which is available on Netflix, featured a number of British Muslim men openly expressing their support for violence. In one scene, Mr. Butt stands in line with five other men in Regent’s Park in London as another man kneels in front of them unfurling an Islamic State flag.

In Barking, residents of the Elizabeth Fry Apartments on Kings Road said Mr. Butt had lived in the building with his wife and young children, including a newborn.

“His wife just gave birth, the baby was 2 weeks old,” said Nasser Ali, who lives in the building facing Mr. Butt’s apartment.

Photo

Hundreds attended a vigil on Monday in Potters Fields Park in London for the victims of the terror attack on June 3. CreditJack Taylor/Getty Images

Another neighbor said he would see Mr. Butt coming and going from the apartment complex. “I just saw him going in and out,” said the neighbor, Shehzad Khurram. “I saw him walking his kids.”

It was the van that struck a chord with Ken Chigbo, one of Mr. Butt’s neighbors in Barking.

“He approached me about a week ago, making conversation, and found out I’m moving home,” Mr. Chigbo recalled in a phone interview on Sunday, before the police had officially identified Mr. Butt as one of the attackers. “He was just being polite. Then he said, ‘Look, Ken, where did you get your van from? How much did you pay? Do they do it in automatic?’ ”

Mr. Chigbo knew Mr. Butt only as Abs, the nickname everyone seemed to call him. He had recalled how “he would always be in a religious gown to his shins, with tracksuit bottoms and trainers underneath.” But on Monday Mr. Chigbo identified Mr. Butt in a photograph released by police as the same man.

The two men met barely a week after Mr. Chigbo moved into the complex three years ago. “He invited me and everyone to a barbecue in the block’s shared garden green area a week ago,” Mr. Chigbo said. “He’s a neighbor. I trusted him, we got on.”

Sarah Sekyejwe, who lives with her husband and children in the newly built row of houses next to the Elizabeth Fry Apartments, said Mr. Butt had moved to the street in 2014 and befriended the local children. “My daughter says he’s the one who on Halloween would open the door and give them lots of sweets,” she recalled. “And in the summer he put out a table-tennis table and taught the kids how to play.”

Mr. Chigbo said small groups of three or four “Muslim guys” used to regularly visit Mr. Butt’s apartment. “I found them quite intimidating, actually,” he said. “They were always in religious robes and wearing red and white checkered scarves wrapped around their heads.”

Twelve people were arrested in the investigation into the terror attack, and homes in East London were raided. But on Monday night, the police said that all those in custody had been “released without charge.”

The main political parties suspended campaigning on Sunday as a sign of respect for the seven people killed and the scores wounded in the attack, but as electioneering resumed on Monday, so did the pressure on Mrs. May.

Although there has been widespread praise for the professionalism and courage of the armed officers who shot and killed the assailants within eight minutes of being called Saturday night, the country’s broader antiterrorism strategy was questioned.

“I am so sick of Theresa May blaming others for terror when the system she presided over has obviously failed so lamentably,” Steve Hilton, once a close adviser to Mr. Cameron, wrote on Twitter. Mrs. May, he added in a separate tweet, “should be resigning, not seeking re-election.”

Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition Labour Party, when asked by a reporter if he would support calls for Mrs. May’s resignation over the falling number of police officers, replied, “Indeed, I would.”

Photo

Back on the campaign trail on Monday, Prime Minister Theresa May spoke at a security think tank in London about the terrorist threat to Britain. CreditDan Kitwood/Getty Images

Stung by the criticism just days before a national election that will decide her political future, Mrs. May responded at a news conference. “We have protected counterterrorism policing budgets,” she said. “We have also provided funding for an increase in the number of armed police officers.”

A focus on security would normally be expected to help the prospects of Mrs. May’s Tories in the approaching election. But as the investigation builds, so does speculation of potential security lapses that could have been prevented, possibly along with Saturday night’s attack.

Late on Sunday, Mr. Corbyn criticized the decrease in the number of police officers since 2010. “You cannot protect the public on the cheap,” he said.

The total number of officers in England and Wales fell more than 19,500 from September 2010 to September 2016, according to the Home Office. Authorized firearms officers declined to 5,639 in March 2016 from 6,976 in March 2010.

The government says, however, that the number of armed officers is to increase by more than 1,000 in the next two years, that additional specialist teams are being set up outside London and that there will be 41 additional armed response vehicles.

Mr. Corbyn also accused the government of failing to publish a report, undertaken in early 2016, on foreign financing of extremist groups, for fear of upsetting foreign governments, although he himself is vulnerable on security issues.

He has demonstrated past support for Irish republicans and expressed doubts two years ago about a so-called shoot-to-kill policy for police officers during serious terrorist attacks.

Also on Monday, Mrs. May came to the defense of Mayor Sadiq Khan of London, who has been accused of being soft on terrorism by President Trump. Mrs. May said that she was working closely with the mayor and that he was doing “a good job,” adding, in answer to persistent questioning by reporters, that it was “wrong to say anything else.”

Mr. Khan, the first Muslim mayor of the British capital, had said after Saturday’s attack that Londoners should not be “alarmed” if they saw more police officers on the street. On Twitter on Sunday, Mr. Trump mischaracterized the quote to make it seem as if the mayor was telling his people not to be alarmed by terrorism; Mr. Khan’s office said that the “ill-informed tweet” deliberately took his remarks out of context.

The president fired back on Monday. “Pathetic excuse by London Mayor Sadiq Khan who had to think fast on his ‘no reason to be alarmed’ statement,” he wrote.

On Monday night, Mr. Khan led a brief vigil for the victims at Potters Fields Park, near the River Thames.

“I want to send a clear message to the sick and evil extremists who commit these hideous crimes. We will defeat you,” he said, adding, “as a proud and patriotic Muslim I say this: You do not commit these acts in my name.”

London Mayor Khan suggests calling off Trump state visit to Britain

London Mayor Sadiq Khan escalated his war of words with President Trump late Monday, suggesting the U.S. president’s planned state visit to Britain should be canceled.

Speaking on Channel 4 News, Khan said Britain should not be “rolling out the red carpet to the president of the USA in the circumstances where his policies go against everything we stand for,” when asked whether the visit should be called off.

The comment comes amid a spat between the two leaders in the wake of Saturday’s London terror attack. Trump initially had criticized Khan for a post-attack quote in which the mayor said there was “no reason to be alarmed.” Khan’s comment was in the context of a broader quote regarding a bolstered police presence, but Trump on Sunday night suggested the mayor was downplaying the terror attack itself.

“At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is ‘no reason to be alarmed!’” Trump wrote.

Khan brushed off Trump’s initial censure, with his office saying the mayor “has more important things to do than respond to Donald Trump’s ill-informed tweet that deliberately takes out of context his remarks urging Londoners not to be alarmed when they saw more police — including armed officers — on the streets.”

Trump took a more direct shot Monday morning, calling the statement a “pathetic excuse” by Khan.

It’s unclear whether the dispute will have any broader implications for the visit agreed to during Prime Minister Theresa May’s January visit to Washington.

No date has been set, and British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson reportedly said Tuesday he saw no reason to cancel the Trump trip.

But Khan, who made a similar call to block Trump’s visit back in February, suggested in the Monday interview he sees his stance as one of tough love for an important ally.

“I think one of the things, when you have a special relationship it is no different from when you have got a close mate. You stand with them in times of adversity but you call them out when they are wrong,” he said. “And there are many things about which Donald Trump is wrong.”

London terror attack: British officials eye burka ban and stripping citizenship

Hollie McKay

After yet another deadly terrorist attack swept through the streets of Britain late Saturday, lawmakers and leaders were scrambling to take back the reins and foil any further tragedies.

British Prime Minister Theresa May, speaking Sunday after a meeting of the government’s COBRA emergency committee, claimed there was “too much tolerance” of Islamist extremism in the U.K. and insisted that the country’s counterterrorism strategy would be reviewed.

While such reviews remain in preliminary stages, a British intelligence source told Fox News that it is an “all hands at the pump” approach, with Joint Intelligence Operations to be carried out collaboratively with M15, Scotland Yard and the Army’s Special Air Service (SAS) all involved.

The points of focus include: recruiting and deploying even more counterterrorism officers, and pushing through new laws to “round up” suspected terrorists and, if convicted, stripping them of their citizenship as a deterrent.

“There is also early talk that things could go as far as banning the burka,” the source said.

The burka debate has, for more than a decade, divided much of the British community. In 2006, MP and government minister Jack Straw first advocated support for such a prohibition in the media, but several years later apologized following the backlash. Nearby European countries such as France, Austria, Germany and Belgium have, over the years, implemented different degrees of legislation to restrict the wearing of full-face veils.

“It is just whispers at the moment, but if that goes live, one would guess that it will be enforced across the U.K.,” the source noted.

Furthermore, the U.K. government is said to be planning how to dismantle the pockets of extremism and enforce better mechanism for community integration.

“There are a lot of Muslim strongholds in the U.K. from London and Luton to Birmingham, Burnley and Blackburn,” added the intel source. “Right now, through weak policies, we have allowed the fundamentalists to spoil it for the majority.”

British authorities also are said to be looking at ways to “force large Internet companies to ban extremist material on their search engines and additionally report any content that they find.”

In her address Sunday, May vowed that the Internet could no longer function as a “safe space” for jihadism. Another intelligence source confirmed that May’s focus is very much on the role of the Internet – restricting and monitoring – in the quest to infiltrate where cells congregate and how they communicate.

Seven people died and 48 were wounded – several critically – when three masked assailants plunged a van into pedestrians on London Bridge. The attackers, also donning fake suicide vests, then embarked on an on-foot stabbing spree at a nearby bar and were quickly shot dead by police. Tony Schiena, founder and CEO of Multi Operational Security Agency who has been in contact with officials, told Fox News that the vests were “stab proof,” but not even bullet proof.

Authorities announced Sunday that raids were under way and that 12 individuals had been arrested in connection with the latest attacks. Saturday’s assault marks the third to have taken place in the U.K. in 2017 alone.

MAY CONDEMNS LONDON TERROR ATTACKS THAT KILLED 7; POLICE ARREST 12 IN RAIDS

TRUMP ASSAILS ‘POLITICAL CORRECTNESS’ IN TWEET ON TERROR ATTACKS

On May 22, a British suicide bomber slaughtered 22 people – including children – and injured dozens more after an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. In March, a British convert to Islam killed four when he rammed his vehicle into people on Westminster Bridge, and then fatally stabbed a police officer outside Parliament.

The British Embassy in Washington, as well as a spokesperson for May, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Hollie McKay has been a FoxNews.com staff reporter since 2007. She has reported extensively from the Middle East on the rise and fall of terrorist groups such as ISIS in Iraq. Follow her on twitter at @holliesmckay

Madrid to Manchester to London: A chronology of terror in Europe

Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Manchester and now another attack in London? European cities have been increasingly targeted by Islamist extremists in recent years.

UK London am Tag nach dem Anschlag (Reuters/P. Nicholls)

London, March/June 2017

Watch video02:20

London police shoot attackers dead

On June 2, three men drove a van into civilians on London Bridge then exited the vehicle and stabbed people in restaurants and bars in the nearby Borough Market area. British police killed the three perpetrators, who were wearing fake suicide bomber vests, eight minutes after the first call was received by emergency services. An attacker steers a car into pedestrians on a bridge in the center of London and then stabs a policeman. Of the victims on the bridge, four eventually die of their injuries. British security forces shoot the perpetrator dead.

Read more: Opinion: In Britain, we stand against terror together

Manchester, May 2017

After a concert by US singer Ariana Grande, a 22-year-old suicide bomber detonated a bomb near the event’s exit area killing himself and 22 civilians, including several children. Over 100 more people were injured.

Stockholm, April 2017

Five people die after a truck hit pedestrians on a busy shopping street in the Swedish capital. On the same day, police arrested a 39-year-old Uzbek on suspicion of carrying out a terrorist act.

Paris, February/March/April 2017

In a series of incidents across the French capital at the start of the year, soldiers are targeted at the Louvre Museum in February and Paris’ Orly airport in March. In April, a gunman opens fire on a police vehicle on the Champs Elysees, killing one officer. The attacker, identified as a 39-year-old Frenchman, is quickly shot dead by other officers.

Berlin, December 2016

Twelve people are killed shortly before Christmas, when the German capital becomes a target. A supporter of the “Islamic State” (IS) militant group steers a captured truck into a Christmas Market. A few days later, the 24-year-old Tunisian is shot dead in a police check in the Italian city of Milan.

Deutschland Neun Tote und viele Verletzte auf Berliner Weihnachtsmarkt (picture-alliance/dpa/P. Zinken)Shortly before Christmas, an attacker steered a truck into a Christmas Market in Berlin

Nice, July 2016

At least 86 people are killed when an attacker drives a truck into the crowded Promenade des Anglais in the southern French coastal resort. IS claims responsibility for the atrocity.

Brussels, March 2016

Islamist attackers detonate a number of bombs at the airport of the Belgian capital and in a metro station, killing 32 people.

Istanbul, January 2016

An IS suicide bomber blows himself up in the middle of a tourist group near the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, killing 12 Germans.

Paris, November 2015

IS supporters kill 130 people and injure hundreds more in a coordinated series of attacks on the Bataclan music venue, several restaurants and the Stade de France football stadium.

Copenhagen, February 2015

A 22-year-old opens fire on a café in the Danish capital, killing one person. The attacker then shot and killed a man who was guarding a synagogue before himself being shot dead by police.

Paris, January 2015

Seventeen people die in an attack on the headquarters of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine and a seperate incident at a kosher supermarket in the French capital.

Brussels, May 2014

A French Islamist is arrested after four people are shot in the Jewish Museum of Belgium. The gunman, a self-proclaimed jihadi, had previously fought in Syria.

London, July 2005

Four British Muslims detonate bombs on the Tube – London’s underground rail system – and on a bus. The attacks kill 56 people and injure about 700.

Madrid, March 2004

Some 191 people are killed and 1,500 are injured when coordinated bombs explode on Spanish commuter trains.

wa/rc (dpa, AFP, Reuters)

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