A man of Somali ancestry, hailing from Norway, is in custody after killing an American woman in a knife attack in London. The attack occurred in Russell Square near the iconic Clarendon Hotel. He also injured five others in the attack in the Bloomsbury district. The nationalities of the victim were reportedly American, Australian, British, and Israeli. The incident occurred very close to the scene of one of the devastating terrorist bombings of 2005.
Local police contend that the attacker has not shown signs of Islamic radicalization. He was brought down by a taser and arrested by police within minutes of the attack. He was described by an eye witness as a black man wearing a t-shirt. Reportedly, he is 19 years old. In some early reports, the attacker was described as white, and wearing a white t-shirt and black shorts.
The American who died at the scene has been described as a woman in her sixties. Her last words were, reportedly, “He’s still here, he’s still here.” First responders arrived at the scene and struggled to save her life, but were unsuccessful. Her body was removed from the crime scene this morning. Two victims remain hospitalized.
The incident occurred at approximately 10:30 p.m. last night in central London. Investigators searched for evidence during the early hours today. An officer was observed placing flowers at the scene of the crime today. The alleged perpetrator has been arrested on suspicion of murder and is held at a South London police facility. The knife used in the attack was seen lying on the ground afterwards.
As the attacker carried out his crimes, victims ran screaming and covered in blood. The assailant chased people at the scene and lunged at anyone in sight with his killing blade. Police say that mental health issues may be involved. However, terrorism has not yet been ruled out.
London’s newly elected Muslim mayor Sadiq Khan urged Londoners to remain "calm and vigilant."
One witness who was riding by on a bicycle encountered a Spanish family that was seeking to help the dying American woman. A Spanish woman comforted the wounded American in her lap. The witness said that the American woman had suffered a stab wound in the back. Others received less serious wounds.
Metropolitan Police officers are out in force today. London’s law enforcement agency had unveiled its new anti-terror division just hours before the deadly attack occurred. Anti-terror cops are heavily-armed and are being trained to utilize off-road style motorcycles and watercraft to more quickly respond to terrorist assaults. Police Chief Sir Bernard Horgan-Howe congratulated police today for forestalling any more bloodletting. Horgan-Howe said, "I am proud that last night our specialist firearms officers were on the scene in six minutes and, using only a Taser, detained the subject. That demonstrates our commitment to use force in a professional and proportionate way. Their swift response undoubtedly helped to prevent more people from getting injured."