(By Karla Adam and William Booth, Washington Post)

LONDON – The queen on Saturday led tributes to individual acts of bravery on London Bridge, which included a Polish immigrant helping subdue the British-born terrorist with a five-foot narwhal tusk grabbed from a wall…

As more details emerged about Friday’s deadly knifings – carried out, police said, by 28-year-old Usman Khan, previously convicted and jailed for a terrorism plot – new profiles in courage appeared in the British press. They were bolstered by amateur video clips, witness statements and paeans by the London mayor and the British prime minister.

British media reports also said that one of the people who intervened in the attack is a convicted murderer.

The intervention of several members of the public appears to have stopped the attack from being far worse, witnesses said, as Khan was seen running onto London Bridge with a large knife in his hands.

WIN a R 2,000 Woolworths Voucher

Subscribe to our Free Daily All4Women Newsletter to enter

He was then confronted by at least three men. One jabbed with the decorative narwhal tusk. Another let loose a spray from a fire extinguisher. A third used his fists and feet.

In this grab taken from video made available by @HLOBlog, a man is surrounded by police after an incident on London Bridge, in London, Friday, Nov. 29, 2019. A man wearing a fake explosive vest stabbed several people before being tackled by members of the public and then shot dead by armed officers on London Bridge, police and the city’s mayor say. Police say they are treating it as a terrorist attack. (@HLOBlog via AP)

The attacker was later shot and killed by police.

Queen Elizabeth II, in a statement, praised their bravery. “I express my enduring thanks to the police and emergency services, as well as the brave individuals who put their own lives at risk to selflessly help and protect others,” she said.

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, no relation to the dead attacker, said he was in “awe of the people who ran toward danger to keep us all safe.”

Asked about reports that one of the defenders was from Poland – whose identity has not been made public – the mayor confirmed he was a Londoner of Polish origin.

“One of the great things about London is its diversity, so I’m not surprised at all. When I say ‘the best of us,’ I include E.U. citizens as well,” the mayor said.

Many social media posts also pointed out that campaigners for Brexit used stereotypes such as the “Polish plumber” and other tropes about workers coming to Britain from across the European Union.

British Transport Police said Saturday that another man widely seen in social media videos carrying away a large, bloody knife seized from the assailant was a plainclothes police officer who helped detain the suspect. The police asked that the news and social media obscure his image and do not name him.

The police block is moved to allow a bus to be moved from from the scene at London Bridge in London, Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019, as police forensic work is completed following Friday’s terror attack. A man wearing a fake suicide vest was subdued by bystanders as he went on a knife rampage killing two people and wounding others before being shot dead by police on Friday. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

It all began just before 2 p.m. Friday, when Khan allegedly entered the historic Fishmongers’ Hall beside the London Bridge.

Police said Khan was attending an event hosted by Learning Together – a Cambridge University-backed programme that works to re-educate and socialise prisoners – when he launched the attack.

In dramatic footage shared widely online, three individuals – the one wielding the tusk, the one with the fire extinguisher, and the one who was seemingly armed with nothing but quick reflexes – brought the attacker to the ground.

The assailant was shot dead after he fatally stabbed a man and a woman. Three others were wounded.

A police forensic officer walks by a sign where a man was shot dead by police on London Bridge following an incident in London, Friday, Nov. 29, 2019. British police shot a man on London Bridge in the heart of Britain’s capital on Friday after a stabbing that left several people wounded. The Metropolitan Police force said the circumstances were still unclear, but “as a precaution, we are currently responding to this incident as though it is terror-related.” (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

The assailant was wearing what appeared to witnesses as a “suicide vest.”

London’s mayor pointed out on the BBC that they would have had no clue at the time that the explosives were fake.

“They had no idea whether this man had a bomb you could detonate by pressing a button, they had no idea how many other people were involved,” he said. “What do they do? They run toward him.”

The man with the narwhal tusk was identified only by the name Luckasz, according to British newspaper the Times, which contacted his colleague. Poles on social media pointed out that his name was likely spelled Lukasz.

He reportedly took the tusk from a wall in Fishmongers’ Hall, where the Times said he works setting up events and managing porters.

In this undated family photo issued Sunday Dec. 1, 2019, by London’s Metropolitan Police showing Saskia Jones, 23, right, who has been formally identified by the police as the woman who died following a terror attack at London Bridge on Friday. A man wearing a fake suicide vest was subdued by bystanders as he went on a knife rampage killing two people and wounding others before being shot dead by police on Friday. (Family photo/London’s Metropolitan Police via AP)

A narwhals is a type of whale sometimes called “the unicorn of the sea” for its distinctively long tusk.

The Polish man’s colleague told the Times: “Being stabbed didn’t stop him giving him a beating. Luckasz is a hero.” He was “cut in the hand but not in critical condition.”

Many on Twitter pointed out that the man was a European Union citizen and praised immigrants. Others suggested the act could help unite the country.

One person wrote, “If a Polish chef attacking a terrorist with a whale horn can’t unite our country I don’t know what can.”

Other “hero” is a convicted murderer

Meanwhile, several British media outlets reported that another man who helped subdue the attacker was 42-year-old James Ford, who was jailed for life in 2004 for the murder of 21-year-old Amanda Champion, who had learning difficulties.

According to British media reports, Ford was believed to be serving the final days of his sentence at an open prison in Kent and was on London Bridge as the attack unfolded and that he was attending the same conference as the attacker.

“He is not a hero. He is a murderer out on day release, which us as a family didn’t know anything about. He murdered a disabled girl. He is not a hero, absolutely not,” Champion’s aunt, Angela Cox, told the Daily Mail on Friday. “I don’t care what he’s done today, he’s a murderer.”

It was the not the first time that bystanders have fought back against terrorism.

In August – in a video shared to Twitter and viewed more than 4 million times – people used chairs and a milk crate to trap a man during a stabbing rampage in Sydney.

Accommodation offers from

20,000 listings in 2,000 locations with 10,000 reviews.

 

Author: ANA Newswire