An American woman in her 60s has been killed after being repeatedly stabbed in the back by a knifeman in a central London rampage as police rowed back on terrorism as a potential motive and said the attack was probably triggered by mental health issues.
The US citizen was knifed by the “large man” – who was reportedly wearing black shorts and a white t-shirt – as he silently and indiscriminately attacked pedestrians in Russell Square on Wednesday night. … Those injured are Australian, American, Israeli and British.
A 19-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, having received treatment in hospital under armed guard after a Taser was discharged as he was detained by police shortly after 10.30pm.
The suspect is a Norwegian national of Somalian origin, but no evidence has been found of radicalisation, Scotland Yard’s head of counter-terrorism Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said.
Police had earlier said they were keeping an open mind over the motive behind the attack – which took place in a popular central London tourist area close to the scene of the July 7 London bus bombing in 2005 – and said terrorism was “one line of inquiry that we should explore”.
They won’t give his name, but the major religion in Somalia is Islam. His passport says Norwegian, but he is from Somalia. This might have nothing to do with the London attack, but here is a list of the Islamic Terror attacks in the last 30 days:
During this time period, there were 141 Islamic attacks in 22 countries, in which 1,165 people were killed and 1,803 injured.
UPDATE: Tim Blair quotes the Express newspaper as reporting “Londoners will wake up to armed police at tube stations, travel disruptions and heightened security following the deadly knife attack in Russell square last night.” He wryly notes: “Must be a lot of escaped mental patients about.”
hat-tip Stephen Neil