London Man Hacked to Death in Suspected Terrorist Attack

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A man has been killed in a violent attack in the southeast London area of Woolwich. Police arrived at the scene and shot the two assailants, who according to eyewitness accounts had a firearm.

There have been unconfirmed suggestions, including from local MP Nick Raynsford and French President François Hollande, that the victim, who was wearing a Help for Heroes T-shirt (a military charity for wounded British soldiers), was a soldier.

Prime Minister David Cameron has not confirmed that the incident, which took place close to a primary school and an army barracks, is a terrorist attack, but said during a press conference in Paris, where he is visiting Hollande, that “there is a strong indication that it is a terrorist attack.”

According to a statement from Metropolitan Police Commander Simon Letchford, police were called to an incident on John Wilson Street at 2:20 p.m. this afternoon. Eyewitness accounts, including from some who took to Twitter to report the attack, suggest that two men drove into the victim and then got out of the car to hack him with a machete. The two men then allegedly dragged his body into the middle of John Wilson Street before asking bystanders to photograph and film them.

(PHOTOS: Terror in the U.K.)

Witness James Heneghan told radio station LBC 97.3 that he and his wife saw two men “hacking this poor guy, hacking him, chopping him.” He said they “were oblivious to anything, they were more worried about having their photo taken, running up and down the road.”

Footage (which may be distressing to some viewers) has emerged of one of the alleged attackers, carrying a meat cleaver and knife with bloodied hands, saying, “I apologize that women have had to witness this today, but in our land women have to see the same. You people will never be safe. Remove your government, they don’t care about you.”

Speculation that this is terrorism has been spurred by rumors, which BBC political editor Nick Robinson says have been repeated by senior Whitehall sources, that the attackers were heard saying “Allahu akbar [God is great].”

Some Twitter users who witnessed the scene have suggested that the assailants were perhaps on drugs. One user, Boya Dee, tweeted the following, which users on Reddit have edited for an American audience here:

Once firearm police officers arrived on the scene, and following a brief shoot-out, the two men were taken down. They are being treated at separate hospitals; one is said to be in serious condition.

Home Secretary Theresa May, who called the attack “sickening and barbaric,” summoned a meeting of the government’s emergency-response committee, Cobra. The Prime Minister’s office confirmed in a statement following the meeting, which lasted just under an hour and was also attended by London Mayor Boris Johnson, that there are strong indications that this is a terrorist incident.

Cameron, who was meant to stay in France after his meeting with Hollande, is also returning to London tonight so that he can chair a second Cobra meeting on Thursday morning.

Click here to read Catherine Mayer’s in-depth TIME International cover story on British Prime Minister David Cameron, available exclusively for TIME subscribers.

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Multiculurism a failure???  The English have been a pack of mongrels for at least a thousand years!  I seem to recall this small population had two-fifths of the world as an empire.  Not everyone will agree but I see our Muslims as one of the most valuable assets this nation has.


On either side of the raging battlefield of beliefs people are helplessly categorised, to their own potential detriment. The murdered soldier's deeds abroad may or mayn't have contributed to Muslim deaths; the expected collective branding, following the Woolwich brutality, of Islamists as murderous souls, is equal folly.

johnjamesroberts1961 1 Like

The ancient prose of Kandahar lauds the feminization of young boys. Northern commanders in Afghanistan have been known to fight over the "prettiest" boy. This devolves from a religion and tribalism that will kill a young man who impregnates a young virgen without being married or agreed to be married by the two families: It's considered "better" to feminize a young weak boy in the madrasa. When you create your own religion by borrowing on the works of others to enforce mono-theism which was counter to the culture of his time and, do so with a human intent to have a mono-theistic culture for war, you end up with this animalism. Just google what is happening to the Coptic Christians in Egypt... This is not a war against terrorism - This is a counterattack to the attack (again, I might add), from islam - the 'great' counterfeit of the ages. Forget muhammad - just look at how islam treats women, sexually molests its boys, marries its ten year olds off for money and then dismally abandons their health needs when they end up pregnant and underage, denies its Women due process and the rule of law. islam is not under attack as these animals averred - after enjoying the gracious Londoner culture that accepted them. It's not a 'great' religion as former president Bush stated after 9/11: It has proven itself as a scourge of a cult that leads its followers to sociopathic, irrational acts in order to gain acceptance from pathological and sadistic leaders. We in the west will do best to use our superior technology to limit growth from Syria through Pakistan and areas south, daunt any ability of these nations to gain access to weaponry, let them kill each other when they so choose and just limit their ability to travel, immigrate or expand their influence anywhere until they evolve - Say, perhaps; 700 years from now. In the meantime, save your mammon, progression and freedoms from being soiled by anyone of this regions liars.

RavenAlmaFox 1 Like

I recently read the history of the life of Muhammad. I recommend that everyone does the same so they can see the type of man who has instigated all of this nonsense. Knowledge is power.

Briefly: He created a cult which raped, pillaged, and murdered thousands of innocent men, women, and children. He was a pedophile. He was originally a salesman.


Arm yourselves and shoot muslim terrorists.  Two in the in the head.

MarilynGlaser 1 Like

Multiculturalism is an absolute failure. I feel great sorrow for the English people and especially those who had to witness this barbaric act. That poor young soldier - my deepest sympathy to his family, friends and fellow soldiers. I am a grandmother in Australia with two serving grandsons of whom I am immensely proud. Let the Muslims fight their own battles which they have been doing for eons. Interesting isn't it that they seek safety in civilized countries then bring all their hatreds, violence and demands to the very country that has been gracious enough to accept them - I just don't get it


Could Michael Adebolajo have simply been attempting to serve the notion that he was a kind of freedom fighter and be the one to install validation and consciousness to the plight faced in the Muslim world? Or was this in the end a man’s attempt to install fear in the community as a last desperate resort to avail himself of his own fear and inability to come to terms with his own unease about his wavering identity...?

EdLifton 2 Like

A proper understanding of the actions of the Woolwich attackers may not be in terms of politics but in terms of a particular psychopathology -narcissism. While Tsarnaev, Atta and Merah are Islamist jihadis, another was a scourge of Muslims – Anders Breivik. The Norwegian was found not be psychotic but to have narcissistic personality disorder.

The narcissistic pattern goes like this. Some recent experience of humiliation is followed by a time of brooding and ineffectual rage. A few months of isolation includes a break with the mosque and reliance on Salafi literal interpretation of the Qur’an. The idea of “shahid” witness through self-sacrifice – includes the idea that the faithful will admire his acts, giving the recognition that he craves. Vagueness of the target is typical of the eventual outburst of rage. 

TamerlanTsarnaev’s brooding sense of humiliation increased when his aspiration to box for the USA was crushed by a change in the nationality requirements. This diminution of self was followed by a desire to increase his perceived worth by commanding awe from his audience: his February 12th tweet was “Do I look like that much of a softy ... little do these dogs know they're barking at a lion”, and in March: “never underestimate the rebel with a cause”. Why did he choose to blow up random people in Boston? It is extremely difficult to see any achievable political goal, such as Chechen independence in this. His anger was directed at Americans around him. He tweeted: "I don’t understand Americans, don’t have any American friends” and "there are no values anymore. People can't control themselves”.

Mohammed Atta flew a plane into the twin towers believing he was hurling himself against the centre of the worldwide Jewish conspiracy. His Saudi fellow conspirators thought they were attacking “The Great Satan”. They thought they would be shahid in the eyes of an adoring audience. They imagined being transported straight to paradise, bypassing the interrogating angels Munkar and Nakir and the possibility of going to Hell.

Mohammed Merah died in a shootout with police in March 2012 after killing seven people on a gun rampage in Toulouse in France. Merah had reportedly split from his wife days before the shootings. He admitted antisemitic motivations, and said he attacked the Jewish school because "The Jews kill our brothers and sisters in Palestine." He turned to Salafism in prison and his radicalization increased after two journeys he made to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

These beliefs have little to do with achievable political goals, but everything to do with narcissism. We predict that Michael Adebolajo will have a similar biography.

Hadrewsky 1 Like

Islam - the religion of peace

or is it the religion that will teach you to cut others into pieces? oh bother i cannot remember

GarethCoats 1 Like

God almighty! the British youth really need to learn English! 

poliphobic 1 Like


The fact that he continually refers to "feds", which of course we don't have, not being a federation, indicates to me he's either one of yours, watches too much Hollywood or is on something - or any combination thereof.


Is just like an act of Boko Haram doing.

btt1943 1 Like

This horrendous crime. Just because one strongly believes in the supremacy of one's religion, it does not mean one has the right to take away other's life at will. Extremism has no place in this world. Stop killing.  (mtd1943)  

johnjamesroberts1961 3 Like

Dear Wonderful Londoners,

My thoughts and prayers are with you - I have served with your brave young men in Afghanistan. Bottom line: Restrict immigration to those friendly to western and democratic ideals. Slow down the process and expel most that only muddle the culture. (e.g., India has many polytheistic, former colony adaptive immigrants, other areas hailing from despotic mono-theistic ultra-religious regimes would be best to resolve their problems in the place of their origin - They just don't have the cultural literacy to "get" us). Let them rot in place.



forgetting the Indians that served for the Crown the past two hundred years?


@Hadrewsky @johnjamesroberts1961  Empire was a massive mistake.  The US and China shows us how to do hegemony proper style.


@PaulNicholson @Disco_House @Hadrewsky @johnjamesroberts1961   If you capture something then you have to live with it forever.  Fine if you do want to live with it forever, but not so good if you just want the resources and nothing else.

Far better surely to simply exert muscle [financial or other] to get 'them' to give over to you whatever it is you want but not have any other responsibilities. 


@Disco_House @Hadrewsky @johnjamesroberts1961 Rubbish! European empire building started because Portugal, Spain, Britain and France etc, lacked the natural resources that the USA and China have with their massive lands. And don't kid yourself that America hasn't built an empire. They tried to capture Canada in the 1812 war before starting a war with Mexico, to steal California, Arizona, etc. Was that a mistake?