The attack in London last night was directed against people at am Islamic institution, and initial reports indicate that the perpetrator, who drove a van into a crowd of people, deliberately targeted Muslims. The suspect, a 48-year old man, has been detained. At least one person has been killed and several injured.
While it is early days yet this attack raises several concerns. The method of attack suggests this may have been an improvised action, possibly by a single person and thus very hard for security forces to track and prevent. It may also be the case that the perpetrator has been motivated by the latest spate of attacks in the UK. If so, the concern will be that of a self-sustained cycle of violence and attacks, which of course has always been the aim of the organized groups who commit the larger-scale attacks we have seen.
The risk to the ordinary traveler remains low. Make sure your health- or travel insurance provides cover in case of terrorist attacks or unrest, including medical evacuation and repatriation. Note also that the cycle of violence we witness will put police and security forces on hair triggers and high alert. Respect and follow directions given by uniformed personnel. If you find yourself in the vicinity of an attack (far more likely than being struck by one), you should always remain calm and show your hands if approached by security forces.
Travel may become disrupted and delays may occur with little or no warning as authorities may respond to attacks or threats. You should allow for extra travel time if possible, arriving at airports etc. with time to spare.
Note the emotive nature of the situation. Do not take a stance on the situation or engage in discussion with strangers.