LONDON – British Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday urged against
“knee-jerk responses” to Wednesday’s Islamist terror attack on a London street,
after several mosques were targeted on Wednesday night.
Ministry of Defense named the victim of the horrific attack in east London’s
Woolwich as 25- year-old Drummer Lee Rigby, from Middleton in Greater
The father of a two-year-old boy served two tours in
Afghanistan with the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, a two-battalion infantry
Government officials said on Thursday that both suspects in the
machete attack that has shocked the nation were known to security services and
had featured in previous investigations by authorities.
Police said that
both were British born and of Nigerian descent, and that one of them was stopped
from leaving the country for Somalia to join al-Shabaab terrorists.
of the suspects was named as Michael Adebolajo, 28, a south London-born
university graduate who reportedly became radicalized during the Second Gulf War
that began in 2003. He was filmed, wielding a bloodied knife, by a passer-by
shortly after the attack.
Both remain hospitalized under heavy guard
after being shot by police in the aftermath of the attack.
preacher Anjem Choudary, the former leader of the banned Islamic group
al-Muhajiroun, said he knew one of the attackers but had not seen him for about
Speaking after a meeting of the Cobra security committee on
Thursday, Cameron said that Britain is absolutely resolute in its stand against
violent extremism and terror.
“We will never give in to terror – or
terrorism – in any of its forms,” he said, adding that there is nothing in Islam
that justified “this truly dreadful act.”
He added: “This was not just an
attack on Britain and on the British way of life. It was also a betrayal of
Islam and of the Muslim communities who give so much to our country.”
prime minister said that confronting extremism is a job for us
“Terrorism has taken more Muslim lives than any other religion. It
is an utter perversion of the truth to pretend anything different. That is why
there is absolutely no justification for these acts and the fault for them lies
solely and purely with the sickening individuals who carried out this appalling
attack,” Cameron said.
London Mayor Boris Johnson vowed that the
perpetrators of the terror attack will “be brought speedily to justice” and told
Londoners to go about their normal lives.
On Thursday, police authorities
searched several locations to determine if the men were part of a wider plot to
instill terror on the streets of London.
Across the city 1,200 extra
police officers were placed on duty in response to the attacks, Assistant Police
Commissioner Simon Byrne said.
The two suspects were seen by witnesses to
deliberately drive their car at the victim, before getting out and hacking the
off-duty soldier to death while horrified bystanders watched.
boasted of their exploits and warned of more violence in images recorded on
witnesses’ mobile phones. Holding bloody knives and a meat cleaver, they waited
for the arrival of police.
The website of Help For Heroes, a charity set
up to help those wounded in conflict, temporarily crashed after donors
clambering to show solidarity with the victim, made a high volume of donations
to the military charity.
On Wednesday night members of the far-right
English Defense League clashed with police in Woolwich.
Woolwich, Braintree in Essex and Gillingham in Kent were also attacked. One man
and one woman, both aged 29, were arrested in connection to the
Muslim groups were quick to condemn the brutal murder on
Wednesday and urged police to calm tensions.
The Muslim Council of
Britain called it a “barbaric act that has no basis in Islam,” adding that “no
cause justifies this murder.”
The British and Israeli people are united
in their battle against terror, Britain’s Foreign Minister William Hague told
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
in Jerusalem Thursday.
“We know the
importance of defeating terrorism. That is well understood here in Israel as
well,” Hague told Netanyahu before their meeting.
Netanyahu said he
wanted to express his solidarity and that of the Israeli people following the
“We wish to send condolences to the family and to the people of
Britain,” Netanyahu said.“We’ve experienced such horrors here, and we sympathize
deeply. We both are facing this battle against this savagery and this terrorism
in our own countries and throughout the world,” he said.
him for his well wishes.
“As our prime minister has said this morning, we
will never give in to terror in the UK,” Hague said.
President Shimon Peres sent a letter to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II.
was deeply saddened and shocked to hear of the terrible attack yesterday in
London. It was an act of horrific brutality,” Peres wrote. “In my name and on
behalf of the people of Israel, I wish to extend my sincere condolences to the
family of the victim and the people of Britain.
“Terrorism is a global
threat and one the world must face together. I know that the people of Britain
will stand strong in the face of this threat and the State of Israel stands side
by side with them,” the president wrote.