Prime Minister David Cameron is cutting short a visit to France to return to the UK. In a press conference alongside French President Francois Hollande he condemned the “sickening” attack, and said there were “strong indications that it was a terrorist incident.” He added: “We have had these sorts of attacks before in our country, and we will never buckle in the face of them.”
Since the London bus and subway bombings of July 2005 there hasn’t been a significant terrorist attack in the UK. Numerous bomb plots have been foiled, and last summer the London Olympic Games passed without incident, despite widespread fears of terror attacks.
Today’s attack seems to have been designed to generate the maximum outrage, horror, and fear among the British public, with the intention of both inspiring copycat attacks and encouraging reprisal attacks against Muslims in a bid to create a cycle of violence.