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

    Turkey, US Splits Deepen Over Support for Kurdish Militants

    Ankara summons American ambassador to protest remarks by State Department spokesman who said Washington does not consider Syria's Kurdish Democracy Union Party (PYD) a terrorist organization

    Obama Seeking $19 Billion for National Cybersecurity

    Move, touted as attempt to build broad, cohesive federal response to cyberthreats, calls for increase in cybersecurity spending across all government agencies

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire, who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the wars in Iraq, Syria and Yemen

    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.
    Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clownsi
    X
    February 09, 2016 8:04 PM
    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay Prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East Affairs and national security.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.