A British soldier is dead, and two suspected terrorists were shot in a shocking daylight attack outside London Wednesday.
Some accounts say the soldier was shot, while other witnesses described the attack as a “beheading,” the London Telegraph reports, and ITV News obtained video of a man with bloody hands carrying knives and a meat cleaver and warning “you people will never be safe” and saying “We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you.”
He also said, “We must fight them as they fight us. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.”
Other witnesses reported hearing the attackers shout “Allahu Akhbar” – God is Great – as they attacked the soldier outside Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolich. The victim was not in uniform.
The attackers left his body in the street and reportedly stayed nearby, “waving knives and a gun, and asked people to take pictures of them ‘as if they wanted to be on TV or something,’” the BBC reports.
Officials are calling it an Islamist terror attack.
Prime Minister David Cameron said the attack was “truly shocking” and called for an emergency meeting of security officials.
“Those meetings are not convened lightly,” writes BBC Home Affairs Correspondent Dominic Casciani. “The fact is that all available accounts point towards this being a terrorist incident carried out by someone inspired by al-Qaeda’s jihadist ideology. If that’s the case it would be the first such incident leading to a death of someone other than the perpetrator since the London suicide bombings of 2005.”
Writer Douglas Murray likens the attack to other Islamist murders, including the killing of Dutch film-maker Theo Van Gogh. “Over recent years, those who have warned that such attacks would come here have been attacked as ‘racists’, ‘fascists’ and — most commonly — ‘Islamophobes,’” Murray writes. “A refusal to recognise the actual threat (a growingly radicalised Islam) has dominated most of our media and nearly all our political class.
“Watching this roll out has made me — and most other ordinary people — feel sick. It should always have been obvious where such idiocy and denial would lead. It leads to Woolwich. It leads to a British soldier being decapitated in our capital city in broad daylight.”