News / Europe

'Britons of African Origin' Kill Soldier in London

Soldier Killed in London Street By 'Britons Of African Origin'i
X
May 23, 2013 4:20 PM
British Prime Minister David Cameron has described the killing of a British soldier in broad daylight in a London street as an 'attack on Britain' and a 'betrayal of Islam'. The attackers, who said they were taking revenge for the killing of Muslims, are thought to be British citizens of African origin. Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital.
Soldier Killed in London Street By 'Britons Of African Origin'
Henry Ridgwell
British Prime Minister David Cameron has described the killing of a British soldier in broad daylight on a London street as an 'attack on Britain' and a 'betrayal of Islam'. The attackers - who said they were taking revenge for the killing of Muslims - are thought to be British citizens of African origin.

Witnesses say a British soldier had just left an army barracks in east London when he was hit by a car. The occupants got out and attacked the victim with meat cleavers and knives.
 
One attacker spoke to a witness filming with his phone, saying 'The only reason we have done this is because Muslims are dying every day by British soldiers."
 
"[They were] walking around with the weapons and just saying the most random things that anyone could ever say, saying that men are not going near the body, only women, saying 'This is what God would have wanted', and then they was telling people to video record them doing it," recalled witness Joe Tallant as he described what he saw.
 
Suspects in custody

Police shot both suspects after they charged at officers. Both are in custody in hospital.
 
Prime Minister David Cameron returned early from a trip to France to chair an emergency meeting. He said many details were still being investigated - but said Britain would respond resolutely.
 
"This was not just an attack on Britain and on the British way of life, it was also a betrayal of Islam and of the Muslim communities who give so much to our country. There is nothing in Islam that justifies this truly dreadful act," Cameron said.

Both attackers are reported to be British citizens of African origin who had converted to Islam and were known to security services.

One has been named as 28-year-old Michael Adebolajo - who was reportedly raised in a devout Christian family.

'Lone Wolf'

Security experts said it bears the hallmarks of a so-called 'lone wolf' attack.
 
"Of course at this point we still don't have a complete picture," noted Raffaello Pantucci, from the Royal United Services Institute. "However, it increasingly looks like we're dealing with an attack of individuals who decided to launch an attack, that it would be suprising if it turned out that there had been outside direction."
 
The London attack - the first fatal terror incident since the 2005 - comes just a month after the bombings at the Boston marathon in the United States, an attack carried out by radicalized US citizens.
 
Pantucci said the method of carrying out terrorist attacks is changing.
 
"In recent years we have seen a growing trend toward these sorts of lone actor or small cell attacks, where we have these individuals who, in some cases, may actually prove to have connections abroad," he noted.  "But there is no evidence necessarily that there was any direction from abroad."
 
One of the attackers is in a serious condition. Investigators are waiting to question the two men under armed guard in hospital.

Photo Gallery

  • A police officer carries an evidence bag containing a knife near the scene of the killing of a British soldier in Woolwich, London, May 23, 2013.
  • Police officers search near the scene of the killing of a British soldier in Woolwich, London, May 23, 2013.
  • The mayor of London, Boris Johnson, speaks to police officers near the scene of the killing of a British soldier in Woolwich, London, May 23, 2013.
  • A wooden cross and a poppy, left as a tribute, are seen near the scene of the killing of a British soldier in Woolwich, London, May 23, 2013.
  • Tributes are seen near the scene of the killing of a British soldier in Woolwich, southeast London, May 23, 2013.
  • A police forensics officer investigates a crime scene where one man was killed in Woolwich, London, May 22, 2013.

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Oye from: London
May 24, 2013 5:29 PM
Its so SAD! But why 'Britons of African'? the guy is a Black Briton. After all black americans are refered to as black americans...

by: Laurie from: Alabama USA
May 24, 2013 4:50 PM
Do u see what has happened when a country disarms it citizen? If this had happened here in the USA and particular in the south the minute these thugs got out of their car with Knives and a meat cleavers the law abiding citizens with CWP would of made their bullets count instead of taking pictures!!!! I only hope that this young soldier was dead before they started hacking him up. The perpetrators should be hung!
In Response

by: laurie from: springville
May 29, 2013 8:51 AM
Australia is vast and wonderful country, however have u not been dis-armed? In news accounts unless they are all lying your crime rate has gone up? Yes we have a large crime rate here in cities that have the toughest gun control or gun free zones and climbing! The world has seen what can happen when a people be it Americans, Australians, Britons etc have been dis-armed! The 20th. century speaks volumes to this matter! What right did these two have and I might say a cowardice way of running him down 1st. with a car to make sure he couldn't fight back? I still feel had just one person in the crowd been armed he may have had a chance, I for one would of gone to jail to give him that chance! Thank you for your response!
In Response

by: bob_job from: Australia
May 24, 2013 11:15 PM
i can not see how you can claim that this would not have happened if the British public were armed. granted they would have been shot after the fact. but the end result would have been the same except perhaps that the perpetrators would be in a morgue rather than custody.

by: David
May 23, 2013 3:15 PM
What a terrible crime - just ironic the death penalty has been abolished. Perhaps families of those involved such cases, should be deported back to Country of origin, with the loss of their British Citizenship. Remind again of a citizen's duty? mmmmm

by: Will from: Berlin
May 23, 2013 2:15 PM
Britain needs to deport all these people and quit appeasing them with concessions to Sharia law. If they are going to live in Britain, they should follow British rules!
In Response

by: laurie from: Alabama USA
May 24, 2013 6:11 PM
Do u not have the same problems in Germany? However I do agree that they should follow British law or go home! We are having the same of these problems in my country, however we are not dis-armed yet, but they are working on it!!!!!!

by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
May 23, 2013 1:28 PM
A horrific end and terrible tragedy for the soldier and his family, may he rest in peace and may his family receive all help they need to overcome their grief.
PM Cameron is not a Muslim, thus his comments do not make sense; his views do not mesh with reality. Over the past decade, there has been an exponential increase in the number of Islamist, with a literal extremist understanding of the Quran. What the World community must not forget, is that the greatest number of victims, of these Islamist, by far have been moderate and secular Muslims.

In most Muslim nations, normal moderate/secular Muslims live in fear from the Islamists, and many have sought refuge in the West. Western countries like Britain have taken in hundreths of thousands of these refugees, but unfortunately now the children of some of these refugees have fallen prey to the Islamists. Concurrently, with this exponential global growth of Islamists, we are observing an exponential growth of racists and hardened nationalist groups in most countries, especially in the Western World. Normal tolerant democratic societies are begining to fail, under the pressures of these two opposing extremist groups, Islamists and nationalists.

The future does not bode well, because both groups are on a collision path. In my opinion, the fault rests, absolutely, in the failure of the legislative and judiciary systems to produce/enforce laws, to rapidly deal with criminal cases, and to ensure that no anarchistic paths/avenues are allowed to escape the enforcement of anti-extremist laws. Today the internet, and even other media, are routinely used to undermine the very foundations of tolerant, free, and democratic societies. Billions are spent on wars, but nothing is done to stop the proliferation of the extremist ideologies and their intellectual proponent, advocates, and provocateurs in the anarchistic media pathways, this needs correction ASAP, to slow down global extremism.
In Response

by: Mustapha Smith from: Orlando, Florida
May 23, 2013 4:28 PM
American federal police the FBI slaughtered the other day an innocent young man in Florida after they have been following him and harassing him for a while b/cause he was a muslim and shared ethnicity w/ the idiot who bombed the boston marathon. Now the VOA propaganda machine in an effort to taint his name as bad person and condone the killing of this young poor muslim man VOA headline writer wrote "Florida FBI Shooting May Be Linked to Boston Area Triple Slaying". They want us to be gullible readers & just take their word for the truth, but where is the proof for the linkage. VOA is a lie machine.

by: kthor from: Moon
May 23, 2013 12:21 PM
Police motto should be "to wait, let people get killed, then pretend to protect" ... they are inept!

by: skiimaan from: usa
May 23, 2013 11:24 AM
There's a much bigger terrorist that no one dares to confront. He terrorized everyone with drought, high winds, heavy rains, storms, tornadoes, cyclones, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc.
Guess who it is.
In Response

by: Ted from: Mission, BC
May 23, 2013 12:17 PM
What an incredibly strange and stupid comment!!
In Response

by: lamano from: usa
May 23, 2013 12:07 PM
did you british really think you could appease the terrorists and be spared?appeasement didn't work for chamberlin and it won't work now. this is a wake up call.

by: Mort pra mohammd from: Brasil
May 23, 2013 10:57 AM
Too bad it took "armed police" 20 minutes to show up; in the US these scumbags would be killed before they could finish the job. Thats why you need to be able to arm law abiding citizens . Was there no one near who could have stepped up to stop or distract these animals before they could finish their gruesome work? So called citizens(cowards really) are more interested in filming the carnage with mobiles than stepping in to help... How bout' grabbing a brick or something and stepping in? I just don't understand; this apathy didn't exist in tougher times, why now?
In Response

by: James from: Scotland
May 24, 2013 9:32 PM
You will find that the vast majority of British citizens do not want to be 'armed'. They are happy to have any weaponry restricted to the police and would look in horror at the prospect of Britain becoming like America where the murder rate is (proportionately) over four times as high. Amazingly there are many U.S. citizens who actually advocate increasing the spread of guns believing that this would reduce the violence! But if you are trapped in a mindset that trumpets the second amendment as unassailable, then perhaps you are as much a slave to dogma as a Muslim fanatic.
In Response

by: Eric from: US
May 23, 2013 12:36 PM
Very well said!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs