Footage of the Prime Minister being escorted from Parliament following the Westminster terror attack has prompted questions about her security team. Sky News police analyst Graham Wettone analysed the footage to see whether Theresa May was moved safely. “The initial attack is coming from the Carriage Gates and the Prime Minister’s car is in the other courtyard . That looks a short distance, but essentially it’s quite some distance to cover.
“The attacker is dealt with very, very quickly . There are a number of armed protection officers literally round the corner.
“Then there’s the courtyard, the safe and secure area where the Prime Minister’s car was located while she was in Parliament in Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs). “You see two protection officers coming out into the courtyard to secure it . They’re in constant communication with the team that has the Prime Minister. “Theresa May is being kept in a secure, safe location within the corridors. “You see her come out with the protection team .
She momentarily moves to the right – she saw one officer move to the right and she wasn’t sure whether to follow him or stay with the protection team behind her. “But you see the officer behind her, who’s very close, has indicated she needs to come to the silver car, with the officer standing next to the door ready for her to get in.
“She’s very relaxed . She even steps back from the door and waits for it to be opened for her to get in . No sign of panic, very calm, she has complete confidence and trust in her team. “The officer has got an MP5 (gun) out, a powerful firearm to deal with any threat . He turns towards the Carriage Gate where the threat has come from.
“She’s in the car, safe and secure . The officers get in the back-up car . Her car moves off, goes towards the exit gates but they haven’t been cleared yet.
“It’s common practice to back off and keep your exits open . The driver can either go the route he’s been asked for, or if he gets different information he can go a different route. “That looks like a very good, very well controlled removal of the Prime Minister from the estate.
“To the untrained eye it may look a bit chaotic . But this isn’t Hollywood, it’s not like you see on the films . They managed it in a controlled, calm manner.”
A Parliamentary security review is now under way, with some MPs raising concerns about weak-points in the estate’s perimeter. Others have questioned unarmed officers being positioned in the first line of defence. A security review was launched in October 2014 after the then-prime minister David Cameron had a run-in with a jogger in Leeds.1 The man – Dean Farley – was briefly arrested but released without charge .
He said he just “brushed into someone while running”. The attack has also drawn comparison with US presidential security, which was put to the test during last year’s campaign when a protester at a rally in Ohio jumped the barricade and tried to rush Donald Trump. Four security men surrounded Mr Trump in seconds, and were praised by the now President for doing “a great job”.
A carving knife . A car . An ideology twisted into madness itself and vanity . These are the ingredients that make for the perfect terrorist. Membership of a cell of like-minded monsters may have been a source of confidence and a source of inspiration. But it’s the lone wolves who keep the security services up at night. The Westminster attack on ordinary civilians and police guarding the Houses of Parliament could have been predicted and it was.
But short of ending democracy, of closing access to the democratic process and its trappings, short of delivering strategic effect to lunatics and death cult members, by shutting off the mother of parliaments off from the world, very little more could be done to protect the precinct. Not, that is, unless the United Kingdom turned itself into something resembling the so-called Islamic State or at the very least a nation so preoccupied with its own security that it has lost touch with what it was that was worth protecting. This is both the physical vulnerability and the philosophical strength that extremists so wish to attack. The latest London atrocity is an attempt to repeat the Nice mass murder-by-truck committed last year in which 86 people were killed watching Bastille Day celebrations in Nice. :: First picture of terror attack suspect2
It has fallen on the anniversary of last year’s Brussels attacks too. The Nice attack was echoed in the December Christmas market attacks in Berlin . None of them were planned by a terrorist cell following orders from Raqqa, the capital of the so-called Islamic State. That would have meant that they were vulnerable to penetration and exposure. :: Live updates on attack3
IS and other groups have long understood that all that is required is to find, or make, a fanatic and give them a few basic hints over the internet and the world’s attention will be focused on the bloody outcome.
We’ve seen it in London before with the murder of Lee Rigby in Woolwich . Two semi-deranged wannabe jihadists with egos in inverse proportions to their understanding of Islam can cause mayhem. But it is worth remembering that these attacks are dramatic but they are tactical assaults . They do not result in strategic change. Power will still come on, the wheels of commerce and industry will turn and the United Kingdom will not shudder under the impact of a fanatic with a car. :: Witness: ‘A guy ran past me and stabbed cop with big knife’4
Not, that is, unless the very democracy that terrorists so hate – because, in the end it produces happiness, freedom and prosperity they cannot comprehend – is undermined. And that can only be done by an over-reaction to horrific events.
This is not the clash of civilisations that the terrorists want us to believe it is.
It is, rather, a sign of vicious weakness among the misguided losers who as homegrown fanatics blame the societies that sustain them for their own humiliations.
An airport security dog has been shot dead by police in New Zealand after it escaped from its handler, causing flight delays. Grizz, a trainee explosives detector dog, was being loaded into a van by his handler in the public area at Auckland Airport at around 4.30am on Friday local time. It is not clear what spooked the 10-month-old bearded collie/German short haired pointer cross but he ran off and managed to get into the airport’s secure area when a gate opened to let a truck through. Aviation Security Service (Avsec) spokesman Mike Richards told Sky News that off duty dog handlers were called in to help search for Grizz.
“The fact that the incident took place very early in the morning did not help as it was pitch black for the first two hours and he could not be found,” he said. Grizz had been six months away from graduating but he did not have a permanent handler, which meant he was “less responsive” to those searching for him. Mr Richards added: “When he was located he would not let anyone near him and kept sprinting across the runways.
“We tried everything – food, toys, other dogs, but nothing would work. “The area is too vast and too open to try and use mobile fencing.” Meanwhile, 16 flights were delayed. Auckland Airport decided to have police shoot Grizz, according to Inspector Tracy Phillips of Counties and Manukau District Police.
She added: “This is not an outcome which anyone wanted, and police were only asked to be involved as a last resort.” Airport spokeswoman Lisa Mulitalo told the New Zealand Herald: “The dog was clearly distressed and wouldn’t let anyone near it so the decision was made to shoot the dog.” Mr Richards said that Grizz’s handler at the time and his colleagues were “naturally quite shaken but understand the reasons for the decision”.
Each dog like Grizz costs $100,000 ( 56,500) to train, he added. Among those who criticised the decision to shoot Grizz was popular TVNZ breakfast show host Hilary Barry, who said: “They’ve got to have tranquiliser guns, surely. “They shot the dog dead.
“I don’t care if your plane is delayed, they don’t need to shoot the dog.”
New Zealand news websites also ran polls which showed that the majority of those voting thought Grizz should not have been killed.