London attack ‘cuts to the heart’ of democracy, area expert says

The attack in London earlier today appears to be “a clear act of terrorism,” said local expert Glen Duerr.

Duerr, a Cedarville University associate professor of international studies, is an American citizen and citizen of the United Kingdom and Canada. At least four people were killed in London today when someone drove into pedestrians on a bridge and then stabbed a police officer outside British Parliament.

“It really cuts to the heart of British democracy,” Duerr said. “If you look at it in terms of trying to inflict harm on civilians, on a police officer as well as those elected officials… really it’s kind of comprehensive in its scope of attacking the core of a society.”

While Wednesday’s attack may not have inflicted as much damage as the 2005 London bombings, Duerr said it will likely be known as one of the most impactful attacks this century in the UK. It will likely serve as a shock to the British people but Duerr said it will affect many in the Dayton area as well.

There are several people in the Miami Valley who have connections to the UK, Duerr said. Thousands of Americans work in the city of London.

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“There are hundreds if not thousands of British citizens that reside in the Miami Valley, people that are very closely connected to the UK,” Duerr said. “I mean, my wife is from Ohio all of my kids were born in the Miami Valley and yet there are ties to the UK through birth and through me.”

Mary Irby-Jones, a Dayton Daily News editor, was visiting London when the attack happened on Wednesday.

She was heading to the area of the attack by train but was told she would have to exit a stop earlier. Shortly after the attack, Irby-Jones started receiving text messages from coworkers and friends asking if she was OK.

Irby-Jones said at first she did not realize the scope of the attack on Wednesday, partly because she did not have internet access on her phone since she is traveling abroad

“The text messages we got early on were about someone being stabbed,” Irby-Jones said. “Someone being stabbed is slightly different from what it did turn into later on.”


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