Horrific scenes on the streets of London today.
More than 1,000 heavily armed police, SAS and emergency services have been staging a mock ‘marauding terrorist attack’ on the streets of London to test how emergency services deal with a deadly atrocity in the wake of the attack in Tunisia.
In the biggest exercise of its kind ever staged in the UK, today was the first of the two day, Operation Strong Tower counter-terrorism exercise.
Elite police firearms units, the military and Government officials responded to a series of rolling mock attacks on locations across the capital.
The terror drill comes amid fears that the UK may experience a ‘lone wolf’ attack similar to the ‘marauding’ gun attacks in Mumbai, Sydney, Paris and the Tunisia shooting on Friday.
Police chiefs say they are better prepared for an attack than a decade ago, but have ordered today’s training exercise to adapt to the evolving threat and stressed that the exercise had been planned since January, though it will take on extra significance after the deadly shootings in Tunisia.
The video below shows three gunmen in balaclavas walking down a London street with their Kalashnikov assault rifles, shooting at screaming of civilians, as part of today’s terror drill
The Mail Online report
In extraordinary scenes, volunteers posing as members of the public have been see with bloody wounds and fake severed limbs being lifted on stretchers by the emergency services.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Maxine de Brunner says the Met has never before put on an exercise of this magnitude and it was designed to be ‘very realistic’.
The dramatic public display of how the UK’s security services would respond to an extremist’s deadly assault comes as efforts continue to identify British holidaymakers killed by an ISIS gunman on Friday.
Details of the plan were made public in advance to prevent panic, as police chiefs said it would include ‘live play’ of a terrorist attack at a tube station, days before London marks 10 years since the 7/7 bombings which killed 52 people.
David Cameron said today’s operation will ‘test and refine the UK’s preparedness for dealing with a serious terrorist attack’.
The two-day training exercise began in central London this morning to see how a large number of agencies work together in the face of a chaotic and dangerous situation.
Ms de Brunner, the exercise director, said: ‘The exercise is designed to test command control and coordination of a multi-site marauding terrorist attack.’
This morning it included ‘a test of the emergency service response to a terrorist attack, at the disused tube station at Aldwych’.
Surrey Street, which runs from the Strand to the Thames, was closed in the exercise which has been ‘highly visible and audible to the public’.
The first officers to arrive on the scene of the fake terror attack were ‘put through their paces by mounting an operation to contain the area, evacuate the public, rescue and treat the wounded, manage a crime scene and importantly catch the people responsible’, the Deputy Assistant Commissioner said.
Many of those taking part had blood-soaked clothes and injuries so that police and ambulance services could practice triage. Others appeared to be playing hostages as they emerged appeared from a building near the old Aldwych tube station with their hands on their heads.
Police stressed that the ambitious exercise had been planned since January, but it will take on extra significance after the deadly shootings in Tunisia.
Met Police Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, said: ‘The threat level for terrorism has been raised over the last year and it is vital that we train and we learn.
‘Today’s exercise will test our people in how to respond to a terrorist threat and we will learn from the mistakes that we are bound to make today.
‘It’s best we make them today in an environment were we don’t have terrorists, than make those mistakes when we do.’