It was the deadliest terror attack in years for England: at least four victims dead, dozens injured, after a terrorist struck near Parliament Wednesday.
According to The U.K. Telegraph, Khalid Mahmood, a 52-year-old British-born man, killed three civilians by ramming his car into a crowd on Westminster Bridge and then stabbed Constable Keith Palmer to death outside Parliament.
To most of the world, Palmer was just another victim in a sickening attack, perpetrated by a man British intelligence said had been on its radar as a “peripheral” figure in a previous terrorism investigation. To the Australian Thorogood family, though, Palmer was a man they remembered vividly.
In a Facebook post that’s been shared over 100,000 times, Andrew Thorogood described meeting Palmer on their visit to London last year and shared a picture of the constable with their family.
“We were in London last October and visited the Houses of Parliament. An officer by the name of Keith Palmer was happy to pose with us for a photo once he learned that we had traveled all the way from Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, Australia,” Thorogood wrote.
“It sent a shiver down my spine when I realized Keith was the officer who was killed in the London terror attack which took place last night.
“I spoke with Keith for quite a while and found him to be a genuinely nice bloke,” Thorogood continued. “He said he would love to visit Australia with his family one day. The girls suggested if he did make it to Australia, he should visit Alice Springs and we would show him how special a place it is.
“That will never happen now, all because he was doing his job and trying to keep people safe in the face of yet another crazy terror attack,” he wrote. “Our thoughts are with his wife and family.”
That is what we forget in times like these — the human cost of these attacks. This is a man who had a family, and he’ll never go home to them again. All because of one crazy man who had apparently been radicalized by the sickest aspects of his faith.
Mahmood was shot dead on the scene, but the BBC has reported that officials have made two other “significant arrests” in this case. Let’s hope that Keith Palmer’s family can look those individuals in the eye, if they’re guilty of terror, and let them know exactly what they’ve done.
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