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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

London Attack Suspect Recorded Statement After Killing, Video Shows

One of two suspects in a deadly attack in London on Wednesday spoke to a witness who was recording video in the immediate aftermath of the killing.ITV News One of two suspects in a deadly attack in London on Wednesday spoke to a witness who was recording video in the immediate aftermath of the killing.

Last Updated, 6:27 p.m. Moments after a man was hacked to death on a street in London on Wednesday, one of two suspects in the attack, carrying a meat cleaver and a knife in his blood-drenched hands, approached a witness who was recording the scene on video and asked to make a statement. ITV News obtained the graphic, distressing video, in which the suspect described the killing of a man wearing a British military charity T-shirt as retaliation for the actions of British troops in Muslim countries.

As my colleague John Burns reports, the local member of Parliament for the south London neighborhood of Woolwich, where the killing took place, told news organizations that the dead man was a soldier at a nearby barracks, although the defense ministry did not immediately confirm that information.

According to an ITV reporter, Lucy Manning, the suspect clearly took the victim for a soldier and told the bystander who recorded his statement: “We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you until you leave us alone. Your people will never be safe. The only reason we have done this is because Muslims are dying by British soldiers every day. This British soldier is an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.”

In a portion of the video obtained by ITV made available to The Times, the suspect told the man holding the camera: “We apologize that women had to see this today, but in our lands our women have to see the same. You people will never be safe. Remove your government. They don't care about you.”

Despite the reference to “our lands,” the suspect spoke with what the Guardian live-blogger Paul Owen described as “a broad London accent.” In a second recording of the same speech obtained by The Sun, the suspect even got briefly confused about his identity, saying: “Do you think David Cameron is going to get caught in the street, when we start busting out guns? Do you think the politicians are going to die? No, it's going to be the average guy like you, and your children. So get rid of them. Tell them to bring our troops back, so we can - so you can all live in peace.”

The recording posted online by The Sun also includes a clue as to just how strange the street scene was after the killing. A woman pulling a shopping cart behind her was so oblivious to the danger that she walked right past the suspect as he spoke to the cameras.

Several witnesses told news organizations in London that the two suspects had made no attempt to flee after killing the man in a Help for Heroes T-shirt, and even posed for photographs near the body as they appeared to wait for police officers to arrive. One photograph circulating on social networks appeared to show the second suspect, also holding a knife, speaking to a woman on the pavement after the killing.

The woman who confronted the second suspect was later identified by The Telegraph as Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, a 48-year-old mother and cub scout leader. She told the newspaper that she rushed to take the pulse of the man lying in the street and then spoke to the suspect:

Being a cub leader I have my first aid so when I saw this guy on the floor I thought it was an accident then I saw the guy was dead and I could not feel any pulse. And then when I went up there was this black guy with a revolver and a kitchen knife, he had what looked like butcher's tools and he had a little axe, to cut the bones, and two large knives and he said ‘move off the body.'

So I thought ‘OK, I don't know what is going on here,' and he was covered with blood. I thought I had better start talking to him before he starts attacking somebody else. I thought these people usually have a message so I said ‘what do you want?'

I asked him if he did it and he said, ‘Yes,' and I said, ‘Why?' And he said because he has killed Muslim people in Muslim countries. He said he was a British solider and I said ‘Really,' and he said ‘I killed him because he killed Muslims and I am fed up with people killing Muslims in Afghanistan they have nothing to do there.

A witness identified only as James gave a harrowing account of the brutal killing and bizarre aftermath in an interview with Iain Dale of LBC Radio.

The ITV report posted on the broadcaster's Web site also included footage recorded a short time later, after police officers arrived on the scene and shot both of the suspects.

A witness who uses the Twitter handle @BietLe_ posted an iPhone photograph of the scene taken just after the officers shot the suspects, showing the dead man's body on the street in the foreground and the two suspects being subdued not far away.

Another witness uploaded edited video to YouTube showing bystanders milling around on the street after the suspects had been shot.

Video posted on YouTube showed the aftermath of a killing in south London on Wednesday.