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Londoners living in Richmond react to terrorist attack: ‘Something must be done’

Posted at 12:33 AM, Jun 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-06 00:41:01-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Two days after seven people were killed, and 48 were wounded in a terror attack in London, security was noticeably tighter on the streets of the iconic city.

Many residents, still absorbing the shock of the assault, say they are determined to live by the old wartime slogan “Keep Calm and Carry On.”

“They’ve had no effect on me, except for the sheer emotion at the horror of it all,” said London resident Helen Bartolme.

But the incident is the third terrorist attack in the United Kingdom since March, leaving many British citizens fearful both at home and abroad.

“People are worried for their lives,” said Richmond resident Paul Marsh.

Marsh has lived in Richmond for decades, but grew up in Luton, a Muslim community outside of London.

Marsh said London, with its diverse population, is reeling from extremist activity that hasn’t been seen since the 1970’s and 80’s, when the IRA launched several attacks.

“I’ve got tremendous friends who are Muslim,” Marsh said. “To this day, after living here for 30 years, I still keep in contact with them.  It’s the radicals that have gone crazy… something has to be done.”

Richmond resident Paul Marsh

On Monday Scotland Yard publically identified two of the suspects in Saturday’s attacks on London Bridge and nearby restaurants.

They include 27-year-old Khuram Shazat Butt, a British citizen born in Pakistan and Rachid Redouance, who is believed to be Moroccan or Libyan.

British citizen and Richmonder, Joseph Cashin, said the attacks bring back memories of the IRA, but he believes the government needs take a tougher approach to combating extremism since terrorists are now targeting innocent citizens, including children.

Khuram Shazad Butt, 27 and Rachid Redouane, 30

“You’re dealing with people who’ve got no rights, no morals.  You’ve got to get mean with them,” Cashin said.

As of Monday night, of the 48 wounded in the attacks, 36 remain in the hospital.