Thursday, 23 May 2013

Shocking Woolwich attack: LIVE UPDATES

Published time: May 22, 2013 18:17
Edited time: May 22, 2013 23:49
A police forensics officer investigates a crime scene where one man was killed in Woolwich, southeast London May 22, 2013 (Reuters / Stefan Wermuth)
A police forensics officer investigates a crime scene where one man was killed in Woolwich, southeast London May 22, 2013 (Reuters / Stefan Wermuth)
British police have shot and wounded two men after a man believed to be soldier was beheaded in an attack on a street outside Woolwich barracks in South East London. Prime Minister David Cameron called the attack “truly shocking.”
23:34 GMT: Police wearing paramilitary garb have restored order to the streets of Woolwich, where a small number of the roughly 100 EDL demonstrators were arrested for lobbing rocks.
22:53 GMT: 
22:50 GMT: Essex police announced they have arrested a 43-year-old man on attempted arson and suspicion of an offensive weapon after he allegedly tried to set fire to a mosque in Braintree, Essex and entered the building with a knife.
He was shouting and waving, and had something in his hand, I don’t know what it was exactly but it was like a smoke bomb, there was smoke everywhere,” one witness told England’s Channel 4 News. 
Another man was arrested in Kent and charged with suspicion of racially aggravated criminal damage outside a mosque
22:39 GMT: British authorities are investigating a “possible Nigerian link” in the Woolwich terrorist attack, according to Reuters.
22:37 GMT:  A Cub Scout leader and mother of two children is being credited with trying to talk the murderers into put down their weapons before police arrived. Ingrid Loyau-Kennett told reporters the assailant told her, "We want to start a war tonight." She can be seen in images taken at the scene of the crime walking right up to the knife-wielding men and trying to prevent them from hurting anyone else.
I started to talk to him and I started to notice more weapons and the guy behind him with more weapons as well,” she told the Telegraph. “By then, people had started to gather around, so I thought, ‘Okay, I should keep him talking to me before he noticed everything around him.'
He was not high, he was not on drugs, he was not an alcoholic or drunk, he was just distressed, upset. He was in full control of his decisions and ready to do everything he wanted to do,” she went on.
22:00 GMT: 
21:44 GMT: Dozens of activists in the English Defence League, a far-right organization dedicated to stopping the spread of Islam, have assembled in Woolwich with police not far away. The organization has long been associated with violence and pictures of the demonstrators show them wearing masks, possibly to avoid being identified in the event of a riot.
Leader Tommy Robinson announced on Twitter that the EDL was planning to put “feet on the streets” in Woolwich “around 9pm” Wednesday night. A message on the EDL’s official feed read “Any EDL members take to the streets in your local town/city take a stand!”
21:32 GMT:  Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe confirmed two men have been arrested in connection with the attack. 
We have launched a murder investigation, being led by the Counter Terrorism Command. Two men have been arrested in connection with that murder,” he said. “We understand concern about the motivation and we will work tirelessly to uncover why this occurred and who was responsible. I understand people want answers, but I must stress we are in the early stages of investigations.” 
20:34 GMT: UK Home Secretary Theresa May said that Woolwich attack was “an attack on everyone in the UK.” The country has “seen terrorism on the streets of Britain before” and always stood firm against it, so “despicable acts like these will not go unpunished,” she said.
20:16 GMT: The Muslim Council of Britain has condemned “unreservedly” what it called a "truly barbaric act" in Woolwich.
“This attack on a member of the Armed Forces is dishonourable, and no cause justifies this murder,”council’s statement reads. “This action will no doubt heighten tensions on the streets of the United Kingdom. We call on all our communities, Muslim and non-Muslim, to come together in solidarity to ensure the forces of hatred do not prevail.’
20:05 GMT: Help for Heroes, the charity whose t-shirt witnesses say the victim was wearing at the time of his murder, have released a statement in response to today’s event.

"Help for Heroes is appalled to hear that a man, believed to be a serving soldier, has been brutally murdered in Woolwich today.”
"We are desperately saddened to hear of this sickening attack and offer our thoughts and prayers to his family, colleagues and friends."
19:40 GMT: "We will look at every aspect of security, we will look at every aspect of what you can learn from these incidents,” Cameron said during a joint press conference with French President Francois Hollande.
"But we also have to remember that in a free country like ours, the best way to defeat terrorism is to make sure that you continue to go about your life, to live your life and show that terrorists can never win, and that's important."
President Hollande added: "We must fight terrorism everywhere. It requires that we share our intelligence, that our intelligence services work together and that we act everywhere we can."
19:30 GMT: Eyewitness Joe Tallant, 20, saw one man holding a gun and a knife, and another holding two knives, the UK Mirror reports.
Police tape marks a cordon set up around a crime scene where one man was killed in Woolwich, southeast London May 22, 2013 (Reuters / Stefan Wermuth)
Police tape marks a cordon set up around a crime scene where one man was killed in Woolwich, southeast London May 22, 2013 (Reuters / Stefan Wermuth)

He described how he saw the victim on the ground as the men urged onlookers to call the police.
"I looked on the floor and I saw a dead body and then I saw one of the men walking around the body,”Tallant said.
"He was telling people to call the police and then five to seven minutes later the police came.” 
"They walked towards the police car with their weapons and a police lady jumped out and shot them both."

He added: "They (the men) had the gun out and they were walking towards them casually with their arms by their side."I think there was a bit of twitching going on and then it all happened in a flash."
 Tallant also said one of the men insisted that "only women" should approach the victim.
19:13 GMT:  London Mayor Boris Johnson said it's 'overwhelmingly likely' the South London killing was a terrorist attack.
18:55 GMT:Cabinet Office Briefing Rooms (COBR) – which was set up to coordinate various bodies within  the UK government in response to national and regional crises – has agreed to tighten security around  Woolwich and other military barracks in London after attack, the BBC reports.
18:37 GMT: The suspect, a black male dressed in a grey hooded jacket and black brimless cap, apologized to people at the scene who witnessed the attack before going on to make several more political statements.

In the video obtained by ITV News, he can be heard saying in clear English without a foreign accent: "We must fight them as they fight us. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.”

"I apologize that women have had to witness this today, but in our land our women have to see the same. You people will never be safe. Remove your government, they don't care about you."
18:30 GMT: French President Hollande, who is speaking alongside Cameron at a joint press conference in Paris, said the man killed in the London attack is a British soldier.
Police forensics officers investigate a crime scene where one man was killed in Woolwich, southeast London May 22, 2013 (Reuters / Stefan Wermuth)
Police forensics officers investigate a crime scene where one man was killed in Woolwich, southeast London May 22, 2013 (Reuters / Stefan Wermuth)

18:25 GMT: British Prime Minister David Cameron said the “barbaric attack” in London could be a terrorist incident, he said at a press conference in Paris after talks with French President Francois Hollande. Cameron characterized the attack as "appalling."
Cameron added: "We have had these sort of attacks before in our country, and we never buckle in the face of them."
18:20 GMT: Footage of a man carrying a meat cleaver with bloodstained hands at the scene of the attack has been broadcast on ITV News. The man made a several politically charged statements, telling the cameraman: "We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you."
18:17 GMT: British Prime Minister David Cameron has called an emergency meeting following the suspected terror attack in London.
18:15 GMT: A British government official speaking on condition of anonymity said that the details which had emerged so far pointed towards a “terrorist motivated attack.”
Police officers man a cordoned off area in Woolwich, east London, on May 22, 2013, following an incident in which a man was killed and two others seriously injured (AFP Photo / Leon Neal)