Copycat attacks Britain, Security increased at military bases in Dorset. “It was like he wanted to be famous or something, but in a stupid way.”
So spoke Joe Tallant, a witness to the actions of the man who had apparently butchered an off-duty soldier on a busy London street in broad daylight. With bloodied hands and carrying a meat cleaver, he danced around the dead body appealing for people to take pictures of him. He and his accomplice, a shyer character, waited for 20 minutes chatting to women who dared approach them, until armed police arrived. They made no attempt to escape.
In London on Wednesday afternoon there was a sense of shock and outrage at the hideous killing, but also puzzlement. How could this bizarre crime be labelled a terrorist incident? Terrorism, for Londoners, means a planned attack such as the four coordinated explosions on the Underground and bus network in 2005, which killed 52 people.
|Copycat attacks Britain
‘Inspired by the Boston bombers’
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe says officers from the counter-terrorism unit are leading the investigation into the murder.
“It is hard to comprehend the shocking and horrific scenes we have seen this afternoon on a busy street as Londoners went about their day as normal,” the Press Association quoted him as saying.
“We have launched a murder investigation, being led by the Counter Terrorism Command. Two men have been arrested in connection with that murder.”
A counter-terrorism expert has suggested the attackers who brutally hacked a man to death on a London street, could have been inspired by the Boston bombers.
Richard Barrett, a former United Nations co-ordinator for the al-Qaeda and Taliban monitoring team, who has served with MI5 and MI6, said the two men arrested in connection with the knife attack could have been “copy cat” terrorists.
Barrett said the pair – thought to be of Nigerian descent – could have been inspired by alleged Boston bombers Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and his 19-year-old brother Dzhokhar. The Chechen brothers are suspected of planting two bombs at the Boston Marathon on April 15, in which three people were killed and 264 injured.
“I don’t think we have seen much of this in terms of attacks on armed service personnel in the UK before,” PA quoted Barrett as saying.
“It may be that this is a copycat after the Boston bombings. That two individuals could cause a lot of mayhem is maybe more of an inspiration than attacking soldiers.”
He said it was clear the attackers wanted to “explain” their actions.
“It looks like an attack which has certainly been done for effect,” he said.
“The way that they are hanging about and wanting to be arrested and explain what they were doing fits a pattern of people who want to send a message.
“The idea that this may be terrorism-inspired by some sort of religious extremist belief is quite plausible.”
Witness reports suggested the two attackers waited at the scene, asking people to film the events.