Q&A: Key known facts about the London attack
A look at the key known facts about Wednesday's attack in south London, when two men hacked a man to death near military barracks.world Updated: May 23, 2013 14:20 IST
A look at the key known facts about Wednesday's attack in south London, when two men hacked a man to death near military barracks:
Q: What happened?
A: Two men with butcher knives, a machete and a meat cleaver hacked a man to death near military barracks in south London's neighborhood of Woolwich. Two U.K. government officials told the AP the attack seemed to have been ideologically motivated by radical Islam, adding that the assessment was not based solely on video footage of one suspect making political statements against the British government. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the ongoing investigation.
Q: Where is Woolwich?
A: Woolwich is about 10 miles (16 kilometers) southeast of Trafalgar Square. The attack happened a few blocks from the Royal Artillery Barracks.
Q: Was it terrorism?
A: Britain's prime minister said there are "strong indications" the attack was an act of terrorism, and other officials have indicated it was inspired by radical Islam.
Q: Who was the victim?
A: The French president, who appeared at a press conference with the British prime minister, said the victim was a soldier, but British authorities have not yet confirmed his identity.
Q: Who are the suspects?
A: It is not clear who the two suspects are. They were both wounded by armed police, and were transported to hospitals where they remain under armed guard as Britain's counterterrorism officials try to piece together the motive for the attack. Before police arrived at the scene, one of the suspects, hands bloodied, called on Britain to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan.
"We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you," the man, speaking with a British accent declared as he spoke to a cellphone camera. "We must fight them as they fight us."
Q: What about bystanders?
A: There were many bystanders at the time of the attack. The two suspects spoke to several of them. In footage taken by people on the street and obtained by ITV news and The Sun newspaper, one of the suspects apologized that women passers-by "have had to witness this" barbarity, saying that "in our land our women have to see the same."
A woman engaged one of the attackers. The Daily Telegraph identified the woman as Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, 48, and said she confronted the attackers, telling them: "It is only you versus many people. You are going to lose." Saying she wanted to stop the suspect from attacking anyone else, she asked him if he "did it" and what he wanted.
"He said, 'I killed him because he killed Muslims and I am fed up with people killing Muslims in Afghanistan. They have nothing to do there," she told the newspaper.
Q: What else did the video show?
A: Footage showed a man in a dark jacket and knit cap walking toward a camera, clutching a meat cleaver and a knife. He urged the government to "bring our troops back." British troops are deployed in Afghanistan and recently supported the French-led intervention in Mali.
First Published: May 23, 2013 14:18 IST