Crime, Europe, Legal, United Kingdom

UK Regards Stabbing as Terrorist Incident

At an east London metro station, a man slashed a knife at another allegedly screaming ‘This is for Syria’, an incident which is being regarded by the police as an act of terrorism. On Sunday, a senior Briton minister urged the people not to be intimidated by this incident. The incident occurred at the Leytonstone Underground Station, which is at a distance of 10 Km east of Central London. Some footage was posted on Twitter, which showed a pool of blood near the ticket barriers at the station and later a confrontation between the police and the suspect on Saturday evening.

According to the police, the 29 year-old man had also threatened other bystanders. There were two victims of the slashing incident. The second one suffered from minor injuries while the first one, who was believed to be 56 year-old was recuperating at a London hospital as his injuries were a tad more serious yet not life-threatening. In a statement, the head of the Counter Terrorism Command at London’s Metropolitan Office said that they were considering it a terrorist incident. A Taser was used by the police for subduing and arresting the man. A residential address was being searched by detectives in east London.

The police also said that additional officers have been sent to the rail transport network for added security. An eyewitness was quoted in various British newspapers who claimed that the man said this was retaliation for the Western air strikes being made in Syria for killing Islamic militants. No comment was given by the police on these reports and independent verification wasn’t possible immediately. On Thursday, the Western air strikes had been joined by British war planes for the first time a few hours after parliamentary approval had been given to British Prime Minister David Cameron for bombing the militant group Islamic State in Syria after they had accepted responsibility of the terrorist attacks in Paris that had taken 130 lives.

Cameron’s strategy was mocked by Bashar Al-Assad, the Syrian President, who said that this would only worsen the situation rather than improving it. Britain is currently at its second highest security alert position termed as ‘severe’ indicating that there is a high probability of a terrorist attack, but it is not imminent, primarily because of the threat that Islamic militants in Iraq and Syria pose. Iain Duncan Smith, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions said that regardless of the circumstances, the Leytonstone incident shouldn’t have any impact on the behavior of Britons.

He said that the best way to defeat the terrorists was through their values, freedom of belief and expression and the ability of taking care of families. Nonetheless, the attack will be compared with the incident that took place in May 2013 when two Muslim converts had hacked British army soldier Lee Rigby to death in east London. Cameron has declared that the chances of terrorist attack in Britain will not increase due to the air strikes since it is already a top target of militants and seven plots have been foiled during the past year. 

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