Police, experts advise residents to remain vigilant following Lo - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Police, experts advise residents to remain vigilant following London attack

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People stand near a crashed car and a injured person lying on the ground, right, on Bridge Street near the Houses of Parliament in London. (James West via AP) People stand near a crashed car and a injured person lying on the ground, right, on Bridge Street near the Houses of Parliament in London. (James West via AP)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Following a deadly attack in London, Connecticut troopers said they will continue to remain vigilant while patrolling the state’s roadways.

On Wednesday, a man with a knife drove a car into pedestrians who were on London’s Westminster Bridge.

The Associated Press said the man then stabbed an armed police officer to death inside the gates of Parliament.

Five people are dead, including the attacker. About 40 other people were injured.

“Police said they were treating the attacks as a terrorist incident and had launched a full counterterrorism investigation. There was no immediate claim of responsibility,” the Associated Press reported.

State troopers are asking Connecticut residents to continue to remain vigilant as well.

Anyone who sees anything suspicious should report it to police immediately.

You can contact local state police barracks, police department or the Homeland Security TIPS Line: 1-866-HLS-TIPS (1-866-457-8477). For immediate danger, threats or emergencies call 911.

A counterterrorism expert in Connecticut says the tragedy in London would likely have an impact on law enforcement strategies across the globe, as well in the state.

The thing that pops into my mind is people using an unconventional weapon in the process of an attack,” said Professor Kenneth Gray, a counterterrorism expert at the University of New Haven.

He was an FBI agent for more than 20 years, and now teaches at UNH. He pointed out that the London attack mirrors recent terrorist strikes in Germany and France, where vehicles were used as weapons.

“The person just drove from being in a regular lane on the bridge to up on the pedestrian walkway, mowing down people as he preceded to cross the bridge. And then rammed into the gate at Parliament with the knife. How do you defend against that?” Gray said.

He said the target of the attack, England's center of government, could be troubling especially if the criminal has ISIS ties because Britain and the United States have been allies.  

Law enforcement agents in the United States are on high alert.

“Agents are being tasked with contacting their sources to see if there are any other threats that are on the horizon here in the United States,” Gray said. An attack like this could be part of an orchestrated attack where there may be other attackers intending to do likewise.”

He said he understands that the attack in London could have political implications in our country, but he stresses the need for people to remain calm but vigilant.

“Go ahead and live your lives as you ordinarily would. But be aware of where you normally are and what's going on around you,” Gray said.

He said law enforcement needs more help than ever when it comes to dealing with unconventional weapons, so as you have heard before, if you notice something that seems strange don't be afraid to speak up.

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy said "his heart goes out" to the victims and their families. 

"As one of our strongest allies, a threat to the U.K. is a threat to us. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has been in close contact with British law enforcement to offer support in the ongoing investigation," Murphy said in a statement on Wednesday. 

Murphy is a member of U.S. Senate Foreign Relations subcommittees with jurisdiction over Europe and counterterrorism. 

"I will continue to support robust counterterrorism efforts and strongly press our European allies to do more to collect and share information with the United States about any potential terrorist threats," Murphy said. 

Continue to follow updates here.

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