Attack near British Parliament rattles London

Authorities say the attack near British Parliament is being treated as terrorism.
15:19 | 03/22/17

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Transcript for Attack near British Parliament rattles London
He got on and Abbas here are continuing to bring you coverage. On the terror incident a police believed to be a terrorist incident. In London on the Westminster parliament buildings to recap for you now Scotland Yard there police officials there have briefed the public. And basically that they are still putting together. They're not confirming any casualties or dead numbers as get our colleagues at the BBC. Houk reported one person was killed as a result of one part of what looks to be. A series of attacks today just to recap for those of you who have missed it there was one as a person who was believed to be in the river that is the Thames river there. Right by the Houses of Parliament there was another person in a car that looked as if it rammed into the gates. Near Westminster plowing into several people who believe one person was killed as result of that attack. And then there was a third person we've a knife who was shot and we believe also killed by police officials there on the scene. We heard earlier from an eyewitness who is there look to the peace teen. The car that ran did to send people and the gates. You've probably seen some photos that made him as a result of that car that eyewitness was saying that the responders came very very quickly. He had called their emergency hotline as many people had heard officials confirm that earlier as well. But still very very much in progress very much an ongoing investigation details still very much coming up stay with us here we're gonna bring that to you live. Asked we have them on the scene for us is Molly hunter who's been following developments. As they come out Molly not a ton of details coming out of that Scotland Yard presser but it sounds like they are still. Looking for ED tales to put together. That's exactly right under the mat that we got fun act presser was that. If you have any information calling any eyewitness his wit their self funds waited. Any possible evidence and that's because this investigation is urgent and ongoing now we did tell you before. This is a very active scene we know that there are heavily armed police officers still in Westminster Abbey. We know that people are still locked down in building. And that's all we heard from the police press that we heard that this investigation was ongoing that they were still looking for information they did not Avnet. Information at her released at numbers to the public they didn't want to say any specifics about the attacker that attacked her. Might be that they did say that londoners going home from work tonight now it's about the end of the day here. Would seen increased police presence in two stations across this city and that's not all we know right now. Thank you Molly out there and let. Didn't Flores pay back here in the US we know that these kinds of incidents have repercussions across the world. Silly being a covers the White House and tell us the latest about what the president how the administration is handling this Cecilia. We know the president trump has been briefed what else do we know. About the administration and this attack. What we don't know very much at this point surprisingly perhaps you know the president who is so prone to take to Twitter and often has in situations like this has been very quiet he is here. At the White House today he is in a series of meetings mostly dealing with health care. We've seen a little bit from the president's as this event was. Going on as it was breaking if you will there were cameras in the room for this meeting the president apologized in front of the cameras to. The women who were there to talk about health care for being late seeing that he's saying that he was telling them rather he was dealing. With this situation in London we know that the president was briefed a little around 11:30 this morning by his national security advisor HR McMaster. And that no comment so far from the white house on. Cecilia weed of the first two months of president trumps administration have been relatively quiet when it comes to the foreign states this is really his first. Big breaking news tax to handle. Yet day 62. This would be of course if this is indeed a large scale terror incident with one of America's closest allies the very first. Incidents as such to land in the president's lap so be interesting to follow how he in fact. Deals with this when he came under fire was criticized for not coming out strongly and quickly enough for that. A Ted that attack on a mosque in Canada I believe in January I could be on the day. But he he would slow any cent to respond to that one I'm. So old prosecutor Sean Spicer how as a briefing that will take place here at the White House soon. We do you expect him to of course talk about this during this briefing and deliver the administration's message. Then a couple of other quick. On how to counter ices and Britain's foreign minister. Boris Johnson is here for that summit he was not in front of the cameras and was not on stage. This summit was taking place as this event was just getting going at this event was starting. Until he was not present for that he is supposed to have a meeting. At 3 o'clock this afternoon with secretary of state Rex Tillerson on the it's unclear whether that meeting will still take place. Sadly they alive at the White House for us let's head back out to London Alex mark part has been their reporting on the scene and Alex you have. The unfortunate distinction of having covered many similar types of attacks across Europe you pointed our earlier in your reporting today is the wind year. Anniversary at that horrific attack. In Brussels are there any parallels that we're seeing so far in terms of what happened today in what we've seen in the past across Europe. There are needed indeed I do have that unfortunate distinction of having covered a number these terror attacks. Which really started just over two years ago with a Charlie had to attack in Paris when a dozen people were killed. Did the that this does have some parallels what we've seen today what we're hearing and and as you've noted that not too many details are coming out from the police a lot of what we're getting our our from individual reports as well as British media reports eyewitness reports but what we understand. Is that that this began when the suspects an attacker in a car drove across the Westminster bridge right there. Right in front of these it palaces of Westminster the Houses of Parliament. And careened off onto a sidewalk plowing into a number of pedestrians we do know that a number of people have been wounded some catastrophically. At the police have said. We don't quite know right now how many attackers there were. There have been reports of as many as three. We note that at least there was one who was shot and killed by police another woman. A civilian was also killed. According to the BBC to answer question terms of the parallels. That we've seen. The that there are number of things we the that the the car that was driving into the crowd. We have seen that last year to be a terror incidents. One in the French the southern French city needs. On the French national holiday July the fourteenth 84 people were killed. Those people lined up all along the beach front to watch the fireworks. When a man of Tunisian origin drove a rented refrigerator truck. Down that road killing more than eighty people and then. Five months later just before Christmas in the German city of Berlin so when we hear this. We immediately assume that this Q is that terror incident the police in fact if that they are treating this. The terror incident. The immediate assumption. Is that it could be ice this related we should make a strong distinction between. And ice this attack and an crisis inspired attack ice is certainly has carried out. Attacks here in Europe in the past two years that major one in November when he fifteen in Paris all across the city outside the sound of Allston a number. Of cafes in which more than 130 people were killed. They just a few months later last year one year ago as you noted in the by a Belgian capital the Brussels airport and and it down in metro stations where more than thirty people were killed those are. What we would call ice this attack there all of the other is that we've seen how would Moore be ice is inspired attacks on ice this certainly has called on their followers. To carry out attacks. Here in Europe. The UK has been largely spared. Top terror officials have warned that it's not a question of if but when. An attack. It would be carried out here but Britain has been spared has been. Relatively quiet relatively safe terror officials here. At kept the alert level at severe which is the second highest level which means that there. That an attack is possible. But so far it has not been officially declared. I. Terror act as police continue their investigation on a Alex that's right entry point out that we are talking about ice is a lot we are mentioning it a lot because of some of the parallel some of the assumptions that. Are being made as police continue to gather details but we do not yet know anything about the assailant. Or the nature of the attack were the inspiration or motivation behind it just yet officials have yet to confirm. Any of those deet tails Alex you did mention London has been largely spared the last major attack and it's hard to believe. 2005. Those terrific 77. Attacks right the coordinated attacks across some of that the two of those subway stations there. But how are folks responding there are now I mean as you mentioned is sort of rush hour people are leaving their offices to go home. Have you notice anything different about the way people are responding especially since it's been so long since they've been put in the situation. Well that they talk attack was shot in the game because it came at a time. When this sort of thing wasn't happening in attack that happened all across the city there for coordinated attacks. In July 2005 wanted to bust three in two stations more than fifty people were killed that was the last major attack. Almost twelve years ago. Since and it in just a short time later in it may 2013. Was really the last what we call real terror attack here in the UK went. Two extremists. Attacked and killed a soldier by the name of Lee Rigby. And since then. British terror officials have said that at thirteen terror plots have been thwarted. They are operating under the assumption that another one could happen at any moment I do have to say that it is remarkable how calm the city is. This whole area has been blocked off is on lockdown because of the incidents that we at the tickets you here we didn't you would come by car. And they've there was no mass pandemonium there was no chaos. There is no panic. In the subway there only one station was shut down the station of Westminster. Which is right accident the the Houses of Parliament. When asked my camera and Bryant it to swing around you're seeing get a sense of this team. This is the south bank of the Thames river right across from the palaces of Westminster. If you didn't know what was going on this would look like a relatively normal day as you mentioned it's 5 o'clock people are going home many of the people you see here who have. Gathered around us are both locals and tourists and I think it would agree with me that there is no real sense of panic. Right now it is really quite calm. One thing I will note if you look up there. That's the the London high. Which is a Ferris wheel which is one enemy tourist attractions here in London and animosity for for many people who visit this city. That stopped after the the terror and to this incident took place and we can see from our vantage point here. That a number. Of those cars. Still have people in the know. So they are stuck up there and and were waiting for it to to start back up again. So that we can talk to them and see what they've what they saw and heard. So much like much of the rest of this area. It is on lockdown. The police tried to figure out what happened they have called on civilians. Two to come forward if they have seen. Or heard anything. For now there are treating it as a terrorist incidents. But it has not yet been declared. A terror attack on them. Aren't that is Alex mark part at this center Audi still developing story live in London for us thanks so much Alex. He Catholics upbringing Pierre Thomas our senior justice correspondent has been following the development here in the State's care we heard Alex mentioned there that officials and Britain have been saying it's not a matter. Of if but when. A lonely look at these kinds of attacks is the same true here in the US. By the United States government has been warning about this style attack particularly. The vehicle is being used to mow down people unsuspecting people who were you know any city. Law enforcement officials have been telling law enforcement. Around the country to be on the lookout for these kind of incidents that these are the most likely type of business that we are to see. You in New York you're seeing today. Routine stepping up of security. Once you hear of it isn't like this overseas because. Great Britain is such a close ally law enforcement officials he would be deeply concerned about what's happening again they can't say specifically. Who's behind us away or to call this any officially a terrorist attack but that's the assumption people working. And care people are probably following the other major announcement about the banning of electronic devices. On a number of flights coming into the US so is there any sense that people out there should be worried about a heightened sense that the threat in the US. But that the temple here for the US government has been at very very high level for quite some time. And we talked to law enforcement sources they tell us that they never really lowered their threshold of concern. What you're speaking concerning restrictions on electronic devices involves. New information that we got overnight. That. This is a response to the fact it. Ice is inspired individuals ice is associates have now developed. The capability apparently. Making electronics devices and turning them into. Bombs basically so law enforcement has been responding to that. Doing tests to make sure that this kind of thing could actually happen. They have a high degree of confidence that this kind of attack is a viable one so law enforcement has been taken measures that you've seen in the last couple days so. Hide simple moment law enforcement. Of course greatly concerned about what's happening in Great Britain but needing ward Ito before they can make any final assessment about what to do here inside the United States. The care folks heading home today here in this day and it's a major cities in the states at least when they look. To London do we expect to see anything different out in our in our streets more law enforcement or heightened security at airports are nothing quite yet. Waivers while some cities like New York that's standard operating procedure when they see something of this scale. Only a foreign country to clear an ally of the United States. The New York NYPD will step up security they'll have it with a college or force. Heavily armed units deployed at key locations around the city justice and the message to the public and to potential. Copycat type people. Not to make it happen. Pierre Thomas thank you so much for the latest there from Washington DC. Guys thanks to all of you for joining us to don't forget we could always go to abcnews.com. For more if you wanna get caught up on the headlines you missed and stay right here. For the latest on this story breaking news out of London a suspected terror incidents on Houses of Parliament there you can get the latest right here thanks for joining us we'll be back accident.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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