by Graham Pierrepoint
As the tragedy of the recent attacks in London Bridge reverberated around the world on June 3rd leading into June 4th, tributes and condolences poured in from all over the globe – among them, US President Donald Trump, who took to Twitter to state that ‘we are with you’ in light of the knife attacks that have taken the lives of seven people and reportedly injured 48 others. The US President’s warm words were welcomed by many – however, the statement was preceded by a fairly political statement, and the President having retweeted an unverified news source.
Trump had initially tweeted ‘We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety’ shortly ahead of his condolences, which has been picked up by some media outlets as the President using the tragedy to further his intentions to bar citizens of select Muslim nations from travelling to and from the USA. The ban – which Trump himself had previously denied had ever been called a ban at all – has since been blocked by the courts, and it remains to be seen if it will be allowed through in an amended form.
Trump spoke to his followers on Twitter to advise that political correctness must be put aside in order to focus on ‘the business of security for our people’ – criticizing London mayor Sadiq Khan for stating ‘there is no reason to be alarmed’. A spokesman for the Mayor responded by saying that Mr Khan was attending to ‘more important things to do than respond to Donald Trump’s ill-informed tweet’, stating that Trump’s statement ‘deliberately takes out of context his remarks’. Khan had, in fact, stated that there was ‘no reason to be alarmed’ by armed polices and representatives appearing to patrol the city the day after the attack. Trump further stated on Twitter that ‘we are not having a gun debate right now’ as a result of attackers using ‘knives and a truck’.
At the time of writing, the story behind the attacks is just starting to unfold – with arrests having already been made and intelligence already being gathered on who may have been responsible for the savagery. British Prime Minister Theresa May has taken a hard-line approach to the second high-profile terrorist attack on UK soil in two weeks, stating that ‘enough is enough’ – and that there would be proposals for changes to approaching extremism hot on the heels of action taken by the police.