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NYPD Steps Up Security at British Offices in NYC as Precaution After Attack

The NYPD has stepped up security at British locations in the city, including the United Nations and consular offices, as a precaution in response to a possible terror attack that locked down Parliament Wednesday.

In a press conference Wednesday afternoon, police said they immediately moved to redeploy officers to the United Kingdom mission and consulates on Second and Third Avenues in Midtown and other city agencies upon hearing of the attack.

Police said counter-terror teams were sent to provide additional security at the locations, which is customary in such scenarios, and that the NYPD was closely monitoring the situation in Britain.

"Everybody in New York needs to know the NYPD, as well as our federal partners, are working to keep people safe," officials said.

There was no known threat to New York City, but the NYPD told New Yorkers to expect to see more police dogs and counter-terrorism officers with long guns around the city.

Five people were killed in the rampage in the heart of Britain's seat of power, including the assailant, and 40 others were injured in what Prime Minister Theresa May condemned as a "sick and depraved terrorist attack."

A knife-wielding man went on a deadly rampage, plowing a car into pedestrians on London's Westminster Bridge before stabbing a police officer to death inside the gates of Parliament.

Lawmakers, lords, staff and visitors were locked down after the man was shot by police within the perimeter of Parliament, just yards from entrances to the building itself and in the shadow of the iconic Big Ben clock tower. He died, as did three pedestrians on the bridge, and the police officer.

A doctor who treated the wounded from the bridge said some had "catastrophic" injuries. Three police officers, several French teenagers on a school trip and two Romanian tourists were among the casualties.

Police said they were treating the attack as terrorism. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

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Metropolitan Police counterterrorism chief Mark Rowley said police believed there was only one attacker, "but it would be foolish to be overconfident early on." He said an unarmed policeman, three civilians and the attacker died. Forty others, including three police officers, were injured.

Islamic extremism was suspected in the attack, Rowley said, adding that authorities believe they know the assailant's identity but would not reveal it while the investigation was ongoing.

The threat level for international terrorism in the U.K. was already listed at severe, meaning an attack was "highly likely."

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Metropolitan Police counterterrorism chief Mark Rowley said police believed there was only one attacker, "but it would be foolish to be overconfident early on." He said an unarmed policeman, three civilians and the attacker died. Forty others, including three police officers, were injured.

Islamic extremism was suspected in the attack, Rowley said, adding that authorities believe they know the assailant's identity but would not reveal it while the investigation was ongoing.

The threat level for international terrorism in the U.K. was already listed at severe, meaning an attack was "highly likely."

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The incident comes as Belgium marks the one-year anniversary of terrorist attacks at the Brussels airport and subway system that killed 32 people and wounded more than 300. Those March 22, 2016, attacks were blamed on the Islamic State group.

London was the target of a major terrorist attack in 2005, when four suicide bombers detonated backpacks filled with explosives on the city’s public transportation, killing 52 people. And the city has a long history of dealing with attacks.

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Copyright AP - Associated Press
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