A shocking act of sickening violence occurred today in London when two terrorists butchered a soldier in the street near his barracks in broad daylight by axing him to death with a meat cleaver. There are reports that the soldier was beheaded.
As an aside, the picture above bears a strong resemblance to the picture of the infamous lynch of Ramallah in 2000 when two Israeli reservists were torn to death by a blood-thirsty mob.
A man was hacked to death in a street near an army barracks in London on Wednesday in what Prime Minister David Cameron said appeared to be a politically motivated attack.
The victim was a British soldier killed in broad daylight by unidentified assailants who tried to behead him while shouting “God is greatest” in Arabic, media reports said.
“It is the most appalling crime,” Cameron said in Paris. “The police are urgently seeking the full facts about this case but there are strong indications that it is a terrorist incident.”
Video footage filmed by an onlooker and broadcast by Britain’s ITV news channel showed a man with hands covered in blood and holding a bloodied knife.
According to the Daily Telegraph, an eye witness said the attackers had three knives, including a machete, and said: “”They seemed to be encouraging people to take photos and waited there until police arrived as if they wanted a fight. that they encouraged bystanders to take photographs.”
Another eye witness said the attackers prayed as if it was a ritual sacrifice.
Later a video was broadcast by the ITV News channel showing a man with bloodied hands, apparently one of the attackers, holding a knife and a machete.
According to the Daily Telegraph, he can be heard saying in a London accent: “I apologize that women had to witness that, but in our lands our women have to see the same thing.
“You people will never be safe. Remove your Government, they don’t care about you.”
According to the report, he then walks off, still carrying his weapons, back towards the body of the victim who is lying in the middle of the road.
In other parts of the video, according to the Daily Telegraph too shocking to show, it is claimed he says: “This British soldier is an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.”
A British government official who spoke only on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about the investigation said the details that had emerged were indicative of a “terrorist-motivated attack.”
Police confirmed that one man was found dead at the scene and that two men were shot by police and taken to separate London hospitals. One of them is in serious condition, according to London Ambulance Service.
- Both shot men were taken to hospital, one by air ambulance
- One of the men is in a serious condition, the other is also being treated for injuries
- A crowd of 100 – including members of the English Defence League – gathered in Woolwich town centre and were met with a heavy police presence including officers wearing riot gear.
- The Daily Telegraph has spoken to a woman it says was pictured confronting one of the men; cub scout leader Ingrid Loyau-Kennett said she tried to persuade him to hand over his weapons
- Downing Street said Mr Cameron, who had been planning to stay in Paris overnight after meeting the French president, would be returning to the UK later on Wednesday
- At a meeting of the government’s emergency response committee, Cobra, it was decided to tighten security at Woolwich and other barracks in London
- In a joint press conference, Mr Hollande said he wanted to express his solidarity with the UK after the “murder of a British soldier”, but Mr Cameron did not confirm the victim had been a serviceman
- The Ministry of Defence said it was urgently looking into reports the incident had involved a soldier
- Another Cobra meeting will be held on Thursday morning, chaired by Mr Cameron
One witness, identified only as James, said two men had attacked another man, aged about 20, who was wearing a T-shirt of military charity Help for Heroes.
“These two guys were crazed. They were just animals. They dragged him from the pavement and dumped his body in the middle of the road and left his body there,” he told LBC radio.
He said after the “horrendous” attack, the two men, who were also in their 20s, stood around, waving knives and a gun, and asked people to take pictures of them “as if they wanted to be on TV or something”.
“They were oblivious to anything, they were more worried about having their photo taken, running up and down the road,” he said.
Witness Graham Wilders told the BBC he had arrived on the scene to find a car crashed into a wall and a man on the ground.
“Two people were lying over him and I thought they were trying to resuscitate him,” he said.
But Mr Wilders said he had driven on to park his car, and when he had returned another witness had told him the two men had been stabbing the man on the ground.
Thomas, another witness who contacted the BBC, said: “I got there minutes after it happened because you could hear gunshots from Woolwich High Street.
“Basically two men carried out an axe attack on a young army cadet walking along the street, by the looks of things the police responded and then shot them in front of the public, at the same time I couldn’t really tell if the cadet was fatally or not hurt as police were crowded around him.”
According to senior Whitehall sources the people carrying out the attack were heard to say: “Allahu Akbar [God is Great]”, BBC political editor Nick Robinson reported.
Besides the nauseating and senseless violence, and the gall of carrying out such an attack right outside a military barracks in broad daylight, what struck me about this incident was the apparent calmness of the public. There doesn’t seem to be any running about or screaming despite the horrific scene. Passers-by can be seen approaching the attackers and trying to reason with them. We read about this also in the eye-witness reports. I don’t know whether to admire their bravery or be appalled at their foolhardiness. I know that if I were in that situation I would be running for my life, trying to find a place to hide. Is this typical British stoicness or an ignorance of terrorism?
Also the attacker who speaks to the camera appears to be relatively calm despite the crazed violence that he has just committed. He doesn’t seem to want to attack anyone else, and “just wants his picture taken”. And then he apologizes that “women had to see such a sight”. It sounds more like the work of a psychopath than a jihadist (though I think the two are closely related).
And yet he clearly enunciates his reasoning for the attack, and the two terrorists were heard shouting “Allahu Akhbar”, which together with the method of murder makes it look like an Islamic terror attack.
Incidents like these, “lone wolf” terror attacks have been nick-named Sudden Jihad Syndrome, when seemingly normal citizens suddenly turn into jihadist killers. Is there a way to stop them before they turn into murderers? Was there a way for their communities to spot the psychopaths lurking within?
I wonder if we’ll ever know.
My condolences go out to the murdered soldier’s family and sympathies go out to the people of London – who ought to be made aware of the danger of jihadist extremists hiding amongst the regular Muslim population.