Attack near UK Houses of Parliament declared terrorism: Police

London's Metropolitan Police said an attack near the Houses of Parliament in which an assailant apparently plowed a car into pedestrians and an officer was stabbed has been declared a terrorist incident.
15:35 | 03/22/17

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Transcript for Attack near UK Houses of Parliament declared terrorism: Police
This is an ABC news special. George Stephanopoulos. And we're coming in here again with the latest on this attack on British parliament that happened earlier today being treated as a terrorist incident that is Scotland Yard the police updates. To read the on the white. This is that while the Mets counter terrorism won't. At this stage all confirm what we now has happened while I will not speculate. We received a number of different reports which included a person in the river. I can't graduate pedestrians and a man home from the north. Officers were already in applications pull to retain basic. But immediately additional offices was sent back to the state and bank could borrow it. Well working closely with the London ambulance service and the London barber got it but like repeat your question the public to avoids the following areas. Paul in the square. Watchful. Westminster bridge. Lamberth bridge. Victoria street up to the junction with Brooke White and the Victoria embankment uptick in thanking troops stationed. They cease to allow emergency services to deal with its own diving incident. Their reason I don't got a investigation being led by the counter terrorism promote. And we would cost any bulletin who has indicated film told the instant poll goes to the place. We know there are a number of casualties including resources but at this stage we cannot confirm numbers for the night Jeff of these injuries. Our response will be ongoing for some time and it's important that we got those who posted information and that. Public safety seats council priority and we are reviewing all placing stones across London. Throughout the capital itself today there will be additional offices owned cutesy and deployed across the captors. But what else the public to remain vigilant and let us know if they see anything suspicious that whole defense concern and expectation that don't know and on knowing immediately. The acting commissioner right MacKey is being treated as a significant witness as he wouldn't say when the incident stopped its. Whilst he is not injured it would be inappropriate. For him to be here to talk about the incident this dike. How of course and he stores all with all the thugs involved I'm responding threatens to deceive me. Always stressed that anyone has information about to dice incidents. There is a narrowed to cool our lights hundreds and seven night knowing 321. And always stressed if the public had any information or -- see anything suspicious to don't know and no anoint a Majorly that's thanks for instance speed. And I'll look respect I would go you'll see the response who would go here officers responding polish stretch today's high a self priority to kick on the site. People going Hun receiving we'll see additional officers deployed by phone that on the on the cross on them into the twitching dime. Yeah Phillips fired. And hog I've told you information or had I don't we will keep continue to keep you up dikes that we finally are not prepared to speculate. At an ice and gentlemen I'm gonna thank you very much it's on interstate bank I would actually be stretched to the public. Off number one priority working without policies to people on the site. If people have information please stop and on the I way hundreds. Seven I know it's reaching one but most importantly if people see anything suspicious don't know and annoyed if they think it's an emergency thank you very much. Brief official update there from Scott. And yard of what is increasing be seen as a very serious attack in London today on the British parliament Wes person that's the scene you see right now and air ambulance on the ground. This is being treated as it Terrence isn't being treated as an ongoing incident. As well from we just heard from that police officer right there. Three separate but I bet potentially connected. I'm incidents this morning were involving a person in the river the town's. Person and a car crossing the Westminster bridge you see that car right there rammed into the gates of the parliament as well and then after that apparently a man with a knife. Got onto the grounds of Westminster you see the video video right there police officer in the bottom right. The screen. Running out they appear to have the assailant cornered. And then you'll see in this still he is surrounded by armed police he was shot according to reports and killed in other reports from local hospitals at least one woman. Get as well but the police officer right there did not give any official numbers but said there were a number of casualties. Including police officers. Our Alex Moore court is on the scene and Alex parliament still on lockdown. Probably still is unlocked earned Georgia we understand that police are pushing people farther away from the scene that is the Westminster bridge right there behind me. That's where the first stage of this attack took place. Where that car careened onto the sidewalk hitting a number of people as you mentioned one woman has been confirmed killed we should. Notes that when the British say casualties. They mean wounded so for now we understand that two people have been killed one attacker. And Wonder Woman to please of course treating this as a terrorist incident they haven't declared that this is a terrorist incident. We noted earlier that this also comes on the first anniversary of the Brussels attacks one year ago. When more than thirty people were killed in the airport and in several metro stations. In Brussels of course. A Europe has been racked by several terror attacks over the course of the past two years more than 200 people killed in France. Terror attacks in Belgium. And in in the Germany. Britain has been spared the largely because they have a very good security service very good intelligence is also an island. So it's hard for people to smuggle in weapons the kinds of weapons and explosives that we seen in other attacks the last major attack. Here in Great Britain was in July of 2005. When more than fifty people were killed. However just recently a top terror official said that since that attack they have they have stopped they've been able to. Catch and and and and prevent thirteen. Attacks from taking place buys lottery Joseph quote from that top terror official whose name is Max hill. He warned of indiscriminate attacks on that innocent civilians he called it an enormous ongoing risk which none of us can ignore it just two weeks ago they put out. A video. To the public asking them two showing them. What as suspicious scene might look like he heard just heard from nepalese official. Just now to call into the police if they saw. Or heard anything suspicious today nor the entire city on alert now as people prepared to go home from their day at work we're we're keeping our eye and the bridge. Right there in and out you're talking about this before. This is at least the third attack in Europe recently using you know crude form of tax simply starting out with a vehicle. Yeah that's actually right George last summer and on July 14 in fact that the French national holiday. We woke up to the horrible news that Tunisian a man of Tunisian descent had rented a refrigerator truck. And had careened down the bid the beach front there. On the night of of July 14 that you killing 84 people. This is a very rudimentary crude tactic. That that they fit. Summit should should chosen to adopt we sought again. In Berlin. Just before Christmas when twelve people were killed. The fear now is that these I had that these ice is attacks could be on the rising sea ice is losing territory in Iraq and Syria fact in Iraq. They've lost almost everything except their foothold in the city of Mosul they're just in the western part of the city. They're losing territory. In Syria where they have there. Their capital their de facto capital rock gusts of the assumption is that these. Attacks. Are going to grow. Here in Europe and beyond but we have to make strong differentiation between. I sit actual license attacks and those that are inspired by iasis. Did a nice this attack for example is the one that took place in November 2015. In Paris when more than 130 people were killed and then again a year ago in. In Brussels as we mentioned other terror attacks that we've seen on the continent's. Again that when a niece was inspired by crisis as was the one in Berlin. Remains to be seen what this incident here today actually is as we've said the police are for now treating it as a terrorist incidents. Treason terrorist incidents still being treated as an ongoing incident in longer right now and bringing our chief global affairs anchor Martha Raddatz. As well and Martha disappears have been somewhat crude. Attack but it comes on the heels just 24 hours ago the United States and Great Britain. Putting a ban on the carrying of certain electronic devices devices in the cabins. Of direct flights from Middle Eastern airports the United States. That's right Georgian and if there was such an attack on an airliner. That would be a very sophisticated. Attack we keep saying these are crude attacks and if it in fact is ices. This is exactly the kind of attacked. That crisis is telling its supporters its followers to carry out. Just go grab a knife just get in the car and plowed down as many people. As you possibly can those are the new instructions from crisis just to go after westerners. And and their in the UK they have had about 850. People go off and fight. In Syria hinder it in Iraq and about half of those have returned again we do not know for certain. This is ice it's inspired or an ice is intact attack. But if there are two or three different people involved it is coordinated. And that it that is the concern right now we're we're now seeing a number appeal being of them being ushered outside of parliament right now some indication that the lockdown. And they have been lifted Martha do that the White House informed this morning as well as well the president briefed by is NASA skewed about your general McMaster. And yes he was briefed by HR McMaster in given all the details or whatever details they have at that point. This also coincides right now with the conference in Washington DC the global coalition. To counter crisis you have foreign ministers foreign secretaries including the British foreign secretary. Here in town in fact Boris Johnson was at some meetings they had a photo opportunity he was not in that photo opportunity just a short time ago. I'm sure he was probably getting briefed on this and is heavily involved. Cecilia Vega at the White House any more indication from the White House and whether the president is going to address the finally addressed to briefly. In one of his meetings later this morning. There were cameras inside that meeting here in the White House George that I meeting and the president was a little bit delayed he told. The women who were gathered there to talk about health care he apologized for being late said that he was dealing with this situation in londoners are his words up. No word as you Martha just discussed yet SA in addition to that from the White House from the president he's not treated as we know he is. He is prone to do we do know that Press Secretary Sean Spicer has a briefing in a little. Over forty admits now give or take we do expect him to. Talk about that then but so far the only word that we've got right now George from the White House. Is of course this tweet from Sean Spicer this at the president had been briefed the little more than an hour and a half ago still waiting more word from them on that front. Cases say thanks for much Pierre Thomas a senior justice correspondent. As well we know the USA intelligence officials justice officials have a close relationship. With the British here in New York. There's been heightened security now it. Areas connected to the British the British consulate and and I and etc. but right now what else is now Department of Homeland Security. Doing here in the United States. But George are checking with their counterparts. In Great Britain trying to get more details obviously this affects sleep threat posture inside the United States. Call it security has been putting up Billiton releases December warning that these type of attacks involving vehicles. We're becoming the mold of the preferred mode of attack by. Ices and their followers so that is obviously going to be on the last a lot of people here also you see as you said in New York they are all of usually routinely step up security at key locations so a have a show of force. And one of the things that struck me about that press briefing that we had a few minutes ago wasn't. They were warning and asking the public to help. It's clear that while this is that may have been somewhat contained they don't quite know where there's more to come so that's what law enforcement here will be focused on. Is there something else. And what more should be done here sit inside the united. Six yen that need each up from the briefing that apparently there might have been a person reports of a person. In the cans in the river that might have been connected to the attack. As well okay Pierre Thomas thanks very much want to go back to Alex Mark Clark. In London right now Alex we did see those pictures of people being ushered out of parliament any other information on that. Not for now George well we do know is that the area all around parliament has been locked down the police officer who just spoke outside Scotland Yard rattled off. A number of squares and streets in this area. That have been locked down there Westminster bridge where that the attack took place. Still locked down you can see the vehicles the cars in the buses at a standstill there are number of what we consumer police officers. There and reflective vest I'm gonna ask my camera and Bryan dentist has been around here smacking you a sense of of the scene here. We are along the south bank of the Thames river you can see it actually looks relatively normal. As you noted earlier George people are going home it's just or at 5 o'clock right now people are heading towards. The V what they call the tube stations here to go home this is what it might look like on a normal day but I do want to look up there. That is the London eyes that is one of the main tourist attractions here in London and what we can see from our vantage point might you might go see from. The camera lens is there are people. Who are still stuck. Inside the lung tonight we look up into the sky. There are a number of helicopters we assume that there are our security. Forces as well as as media helicopters but this London I. Has come to a stop at mid this a huge security operation. So while things are calm he relatively calm here on the ground it is is still quite a dramatic scene. Lots of sirens lots of flashing lights. Lots of helicopters we took the subway to get here because there was so much traffic because this area has been locked up blocked off to give you a sense of did did did did did the authorities not wanting to create a sense of panic. Only one that subway station that we saw was shut down that was the Westminster station. That is under. Under the Houses of Parliament. So wild that whole area is still very much on lockdown people are trying to go about their normal lives at the police. Try to figure out what what happens afternoon. Okay Alex thinks and we are waiting here also from the British prime minister Theresa may who we were told earlier was whisked out of parliament the moments when the attack began and taken off. Site to recap again terror incident in London one person is dead after a cup car plowed into people on the Westminster bridge. That was followed by an assailant on the parliament grounds itself the assailant apparently had a knife was shot. By police one police officer was stabbed. London police are now treating this is a terrorist incident an ongoing incident. Also seeing that there are several casualties were missing on top of this all day long comeback when we have more information. And of course a full recap tonight. On world news I'm George Stephanopoulos in New York. This has been a special. BP.

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

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