Without the right to bear arms, a group of London heroes had to use creativity when they attempted to stop a knife-wielding terrorist from killing more Brits.
The knife attack allegedly began in Fishmongers’ Hall, a historic London building that hosts events and houses numerous historical items. The man who committed the attack, a 28-year-old Pakistan native with ties to a jihadi leader, was supposed to speak at an event organized by Cambridge University’s Institute of Criminology on criminal rehabilitation.
A man identified only as Luckasz worked at Fishmongers and was there when the knife attack started. The attacker was allegedly moving toward Luckasz and threatening to blow himself up using an explosive device he claimed was strapped to his body. The attacker cut Luckasz’s hand, according to a witness: “Being stabbed didn’t stop him giving him a beating. Luckasz is a hero.”
Luckasz and others chased the attacker onto the street. Luckasz grabbed a narwhal tusk that was hanging on the wall at Fishmongers’ Hall to use against the attacker. One of his colleagues used a fire extinguisher.
Gary Lawrence, 48, told The Times of London what he saw during the attack.
“About three or four guys came out of that building,” Lawrence said. “One had a stick. Another had a fire extinguisher. He was brandishing it at first, then spraying it [at the attacker]. The guy with the stick was poking him. They approached the knifeman at the north end of the bridge and he stood swiping his knives, one in each hand, around him.”
That “stick” was actually the narwhal tusk. Police showed up within minutes and ended up shooting the suspect, whose attacks killed two and wounded three others.
Photos and videos of the men trying to stop the attacker appeared on social media.
This makes me exceptionally proud to be British. pic.twitter.com/WS9W4s3H1z
— Martin Shapland (@MShapland) November 29, 2019
Queen Elizabeth released a statement praising the actions of the men who helped stop the attacks.
“Prince Philip and I have been saddened to hear of the terror attacks at London Bridge. We send our thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathies to all those who have lost loved ones and who have been affected by yesterday’s terrible violence,” she said. “I express my enduring thanks to the police and emergency services, as well as the brave individuals who put their own lives at risk to selflessly help and protect others.
The suspect, according to The New York Post, had attempted previously to deradicalize himself while in prison. In 2010, the attacker had plotted to bomb several London landmarks with eight other people. In 2012, he wrote a letter from prison saying he was “immature” when he joined the group looking to bomb the city and that he wanted to “learn Islam and its teachings” through a “deradicalization course.”
“I would like to do such a course so I can prove to the authorities, my family and soicity (sic) in general that I don’t carry the views I had before my arrest and also I can prove that at the time I was immature,” the attacker wrote nearly a decade ago., ITV News reported. “And now I am much more mature and want to live my life as a good Muslim and also a good citizen of Britain.”
Friday’s attacker apparently sought help to deradicalized a couple times before he was released from prison, but no such programs existed. The knife-wielding attacker was attending a program to educate former prisoners when he lashed out.