Law enforcement officials in London shot and killed a man on Sunday who allegedly went on a mass stabbing spree in a “terrorist-related” attack.
“Three victims have been taken to south London hospitals,” Deputy Assistant Commissioner Lucy D’Orsi said in a statement. “One man is being treated as life-threatening, one woman has non-life threatening injuries and another woman has minor injuries.”
“As part of a proactive Counter Terrorism operation, armed officers were in immediate attendance and shot a male suspect, who was pronounced dead at the scene,” D’Orsi continued. “A device was found strapped to the body of the suspect and specialist officers attended. Cordons were put in place and it was quickly established that this was a hoax device.”
“The situation has been contained and officers from the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command are now leading an investigation into the incident,” D’Orsi added. “The incident was quickly declared as a terrorist incident and we believe it to be Islamist-related.”
#INCIDENT A man has been shot by armed officers in #Streatham. At this stage it is believed a number of people have been stabbed. The circumstances are being assessed; the incident has been declared as terrorist-related. Please follow @metpoliceuk for updates
— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) February 2, 2020
British Prime Minister responded to the attack by tweeting, “Thank you to all emergency services responding to the incident in Streatham, which the police have now declared as terrorism-related. My thoughts are with the injured and all those affected.”
Johnson later added: “An investigation is taking place at pace to establish the full facts of what happened, and the Government will provide all necessary support to the police and security services as this work goes on.”
The Wall Street Journal highlighted some of the recent terrorist attacks that have rocked London over the last couple of years:
The incident is the latest in a series of terrorist attacks to have hit London in recent years. In November, a convicted terrorist on parole was shot dead by police after he killed two people in central London.
In June 2017, London Bridge and the surrounding area were the scene of a bloody rampage by three knife-wielding men, who plowed a van into pedestrians and stabbed people in nearby bars and restaurants. All three were shot dead by police. Eight people were killed and dozens hospitalized in the assault.
Also in June 2017, a van struck pedestrians outside a London mosque. Earlier that year, another car attack occurred on London’s Westminster Bridge, leaving five dead. And in May 2017, a suicide bomber killed 22 concertgoers in Manchester.
In 2017, EU anti-terror chief Gilles de Kerchove said that Britain was home to up to 35,000 Islamic extremists, more than any other country in Europe.
De Kerchove told Spain’s El Mundo newspaper: “The United Kingdom has identified 20,000 to 35,000 radicals. Of these, 3,000 are worrying for MI5, and of those 500 are under constant and special attention. France has 17,000. Spain many less, but more than 5,000 I suppose. In Belgium almost 500 have been to Syria and there are around 2,000 radicals or more. I wouldn’t like to put a concrete figure on it, but (in Europe) tens of thousands, more than 50,000. We must select those who are really worrying and the most dangerous, and they should be monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
This report has been updated to include additional information.