Officials are calling a fatal knife attack Wednesday on an unidentified man in southeast London an act of terrorism. Footage surfaced of one of the alleged assailants with blood-stained hands holding a meat cleaver and a knife and telling viewers to “remove” their government.
The incident, which occurred in broad daylight and left a man believed to be a soldier dead, sparked a terrorist alert that saw Britain’s crisis committee Cobra convene an emergency session.
The footage shows one of the alleged attackers brandishing two knives, with a body lying yards away. According to The Guardian, the suspect said: “We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you. The only reason we have done this is because Muslims are dying every day. This British soldier is an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.” He apologized that women had to see the killing, but explained that Muslim women witness equivalent events every day.
“You think [British Prime Minister] David Cameron is going to get caught in the street when we start bussin’ our guns?” the man continued, again quoted by The Guardian. “You think politicians are going to die? No it’s going to be the average guy, like you, and your children. So get rid of them. Tell them to bring our troops back so you can all live in peace.”
Cameron commented on the attack with standard Western machismo in a remark that exhibited no curiosity about the crime’s possible motivation: “We will never buckle in the face of it,” he said.
The two suspects were shot and arrested by police and were being treated under armed watch for their injuries.
—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.
Witnesses said a man was hacked at by two assailants with weapons including a machete, carrying strong echoes of attacks abroad, at about 2.20pm. It is understood that the victim was a soldier, although neither his identity nor profession was confirmed . It is believed the person died after suffering knife injuries, possibly around the head.
The two men remained on the scene, until armed police arrived up to 20 minutes later. They were shot and apprehended by armed officers and taken to two separate hospitals where they were being treated for their injuries under armed guard in the aftermath of the first al-Qaida inspired attack to claim a life on British soil since the 7 July bombings in London in 2005.