President Donald Trump on Tuesday responded to news of a terror attack in London by saying the "animals" must be dealt with through "toughness and strength."
A male suspect plowed his car into several pedestrians and cyclists before crashing into a security barrier outside the Houses of Parliament early Tuesday morning. The police responded to the incident by saying they are treating it as a terrorist attack, according to the New York Times.
About a dozen armed police officers swarmed a silver Ford Fiesta and pointed their weapons at it, before handcuffing the driver, who was arrested on suspicion of terrorist offenses. The police said the driver, in his late 20s, was the only person in the car, and that no weapons had yet been found in the vehicle.
Neil Basu, the counterterrorism chief of the Metropolitan Police, said the department was treating the incident as one of terrorism, "given that this appears to be a deliberate act," the sensitive location and the method used. Parliament has been attacked before, and past terrorist attacks have involved cars driving into pedestrians.
"Another terrorist attack in London…These animals are crazy and must be dealt with through toughness and strength!" Trump tweeted.
A month before he declared his candidacy in 2015, Trump described the black killers of two police officers in Mississippi as "deranged animals." After the terrorist attacks in Paris that November, the terrorists were "animals" taking advantage of what he described as lax gun laws in France. In early December, members of the Islamic State militant group were "a vicious group of animals."
A few days later, he said that when terrorist "animals" attacked the World Trade Center in 2001, they sent their wives back to Saudi Arabia beforehand and the wives knew what was planned. That is not true.
On the day of the Iowa caucuses, he told a crowd that the Paris attackers were animals. "The press called them masterminds, the mastermind," he said. "They’re not masterminds — they’re animals. We have to stop it. We have to be so tough. We have to be so vigilant."
The suspect in Tuesday's attack was arrested by authorities and taken to a south London police station, where he remains on suspicion of terrorism offenses, the Telegraph reports. He is not co-operating with officers. Officers are working to formally identify the suspect but don't believe he is "known to either MI5 or counter terrorism police."
Sky News obtained photos of the suspect at the scene of his arrest.
On the heels of a terror compound discovered in New Mexico, an attack has rattled London. The suspect’s identity has not been released and the public is waiting for details. Press and public has been blocked off by Terrorist Act cordon. https://t.co/AwKFTpeRAY #London #Terrorists
— Jonathan Lockwood (@JNTHN_LCKWD) August 14, 2018