Three hurt in east London ‘terror attack’

Three hurt in stabbing attack at east London underground station, police treat incident as ‘terror attack’

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Police tape is seen at a crime scene at Leytonstone underground station in east London, Britain on December 6, 2015.

Three people suffered stab injuries at the east London underground train station of Leytonstone on Saturday evening in an attack being treated by police as terror-related.

The attacker was captured in video footage shared on social media from the scene, holding a three-inch knife, after slashing the throat of a fellow passenger near the station's ticket office.

According to eye-witnesses, the attacker screamed “this is for Syria” as he carried out the stabbing, before yelling at other bystanders “go on, run.”

The attacker was arrested by police minutes after they arrived at the scene just after 1900 GMT.

A video uploaded onto Twitter shows the attacker chanting the Islamic declaration of faith as he was being detained by police, who managed to taser the suspect after a number of failed attempts.

Meanwhile, a bystander witnessing the incident was heard shouting at the attacker “you are not a Muslim” as he was being arrested.

None of the injuries sustained by the victims are believed to be life-threatening, but one victim was taken to hospital with serious wounds.

Leytonstone, which is part of the ethnically diverse east London borough of Waltham Forest, has a strong Muslim community which has lived peacefully as part of the community for decades.

Following the incident, the head of London police’s Counter Terrorism Command, Richard Walton, said that the attack was being treated “as a terrorist incident."

“I would urge the public to remain calm, but alert and vigilant,” Walton said.

"The threat from terrorism remains at severe, which means that a terrorist attack is highly likely,” he added.

The UK is currently on his second-highest alert level, fearing a terrorist attack could be imminent, particularly after attacks in Paris carried out by DAESH sympathisers killed 130 people on Nov. 13.

With hundreds of British citizens having travelled to Syria to join the DAESH terrorist group, an attack was almost expected, especially after UK lawmakers voted to commence air strikes against DAESH targets in Syria on Wednesday.  

London experienced a similar incident in May 2013 when British soldier Lee Rigby was murdered  in broad daylight by two converts to Islam who claimed they were acting in revenge for the killing of Muslims in the Middle East by British forces.

In July 2005, 52 people were killed when four British suicide bombers carried out attacks on three underground trains and a bus, again presumably because of British participation in the US-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Particularly after the murder of Lee Rigby and again after the recent attack in Paris, attacks targeting Muslims in the UK have spiked, with such incidents being blamed for a surge in Islamophobia in the country.

TRTWorld and agencies