At just after 2:20pm this afternoon, two men exited a crashed vehicle
in Woolwich, South East London, close to the Royal Artillery Barracks near the corner
of John Wilson St and Artillery Place. Armed with a knives, they proceeded to attack young male pedestrian.
The victim of the assault, reported to have been a member of the armed forces, was wearing a 'Help For Heroes
' charity T-shirt. According
to eyewitnesses, the attack was savage and sustained, and the press
report that he was beheaded in the street. Subsequently, the attackers remained at the location, and were both photographed talking with bystanders
as well as being filmed
giving an account of their actions. In this latter, the suspect claimed the attack was "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth", a terror attack committed in revenge for British involvement in the deaths of Muslims abroad, concluding "remove your governments, they don't care about you". When armed police arrived on the scene, the two men are reported
to have attacked them, were shot, wounded
, taken to hospital, and arrested. Political responses
stressed fortitude and sympathy; collectively, immediate media coverage
shared a sense of stunned horror; in light of the attacker's invocation of Islam, there was widespread condemnation
of the attack from British Muslims; there were brief street scuffles
at a protest organised by the far-right EDL. The broadly London accent of the attacker in the video has turned analysis of the attack
towards the issue of so-called 'self-radicalisation' (especially in light of similar discussions of the Boston Marathon Bombers): individuals not previously linked to formal networks of terrorist organisations, acting as individuals or in small groups, making their attacks much harder to prevent.
Please note: the links contain graphic audio/video.