Good Guy With Narwhal Tusk Foils Jihadist's London Bridge Attack

Narwhal tusk

On Friday, police shut down London Bridge after reports of a shooting. A jihadist had attacked people with knives, but his plot seems to have been foiled by a group of bystanders armed with a fire extinguisher and a narwhal tusk. Convicted terrorist Usman Khan, 28, killed one man and one woman before getting shot by police. He would have killed many more people were it not for a good guy with a narwhal tusk.

Early Saturday morning, footage emerged showing one man chasing the jihadist while spraying him with a fire extinguisher and another man chasing him with the narwhal tusk.

A group of bystanders wrestled with Khan, wresting at least one of his knives from his hands.

Thomas Gray described the situation in an interview with ITV News. Driving northbound over London Bridge, he "saw that there was one chap running away from about five guys running him down with a fire extinguisher. ... When we got there, he was wielding two knives. One was — sort of — duct taped to his hand." After they wrested one knife from Khan's hand, police arrived. It seemed the suspect had an explosive vest, so the bystanders let the police take care of the situation.

Britain's The Times newspaper identified Polish chef Łukasz as the man wielding the narwhal tusk.

"Łukasz grabbed a nearby pole and ran at him, getting stabbed in the hand in the process but continued to pin him down," a co-worker told The Times. "Being stabbed didn’t stop him giving him a beating. Łukasz is a hero."

Łukasz reportedly grabbed the narwhal tusk from Fishmongers' Hall, where Khan began his attack. The Polish chef ran out onto the bridge when he heard Khan had been attacking people.

"A narwhal tusk is not a cheap weapon," historian Guy Walters tweeted. "One sold in auction for £36,000 a few years ago. Elizabeth I so valued the one presented to her by privateer Martin Frobisher that she placed it in the Royal Wardrobe & Treasury. It was valued at £10,000 in 1598 -- some £2 million today."

Walters went on to describe how natives in Greenland added wooden handles to narwhal tusks to create a weapon called a "nuguit."

This was not Khan's first terrorist attack. In 2010, he plotted to bomb the London Stock Exchange with an al Qaeda-inspired group. In 2012, the jihadist was sentenced to at least eight years in jail, but he was released in December 2018. He was still wearing a monitoring tag during the attack.

Cambridge University's Criminology Department was hosting a seminar in Fishmongers' Hall, aiming to help offenders reintegrate into society after their release from jail. Khan had been attending this seminar before the attack.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has advocated knife control — gun control for a country that has already effectively banned all firearm ownership. Had the citizens of Britain been legally armed, they may have ended this threat even more quickly.

The jihad threat from radical Islamic terrorists arguably dates back to the earliest days of Islam, although modern methods of terrorism have enabled horrific events like the September 11, 2001 attacks, the Pulse Nightclub shooting, and the Sri Lanka Easter bombings. In this case, a bystander foiled an ancient threat with an ancient weapon. Greenland should be proud.

Follow Tyler O'Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.