The total butcher's bill: five dead (three pedestrians run over, a policeman stabbed, and the terrorist himself) and perhaps 40 injured. The Guardian (U.K.) reports:
Police believe the attacker struck alone and was inspired by Islamist-related international terrorism.The event is similar to the widely publicized truck attacks in Nice and Berlin, each featured the use of a motor vehicle as a weapon. Motor vehicles are widely available to people who wish to commit mayhem and have no expectation of, or concern for, getting away unharmed.
Access to firearms is no prerequisite to terror. Just about any good-sized motor vehicle - of which there are millions - can be deadly. A stoppered quart bottle of gasoline, a rag and a match will do the job. Or a kitchen knife. Wielded with vigor, a baseball bat or golf club can hurt a lot of people too.
At this point in the world's history, only one demographic is producing suicide terrorists in any meaningful quantity. Given our inability to keep members thereof separate from the manifold makeshift weapons listed above, wisdom consists of not admitting that demographic to our shores.
Later ... NBC News reports the identity of the bearded attacker, now deceased:
Police identified the suspect as Khalid Masood, 52, on Thursday. Authorities said Masood was born in Kent and detectives believe he was most recently living in the West Midlands.Later still ... it turns out Khalid Masood was born Adrian Elms and converted to Islam.