a man stabs passers-by, the track of Islamist terrorism privileged

London police at the scene of the attack in Streatham on Sunday 2 February.
London police at the scene of the attack in Streatham on Sunday 2 February. Victoria Jones / AP

The knife attack that left three wounded Sunday February 2 in London is "Islamist in nature" and its author, killed by the police, wore a "Device" fake, British police said in a statement.

The incident took place around 2 p.m. local time (3 p.m. Paris time) on a busy street in the Streatham residential area. Police said two people were stabbed by the assailant, shot dead by the police, and a third was injured by a shard of glass caused by police fire. One of the stabbed people is " hospitalized in critical condition ", said the police. She added that agents of the anti-terrorist units were on the spot. "As part of a preventive operation", suggesting that the assailant was being watched, as claimed by British media.

The assailant was sentenced in 2018 when he was 18 years old to three years in prison and was released in January after serving half his sentence, according to Sky News. He then recognized 13 terrorist crimes, including sharing, in a family group on WhatsApp messaging a magazine related to Al-Qaida, tells the British daily The Guardian.

“Terrorists seek to divide us and destroy our way of life. We will never let them succeed ” said the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson thanked on his side on Twitter "The emergency services that responded to the Streatham incident." And to add that he would announce on Monday "Fundamental changes" concerning the treatment of perpetrators of terrorist acts.

Tightening of anti-terrorism legislation

The attack comes just over two months after a knife attack that killed two people at London Bridge, right in the center of the British capital, and which led the Conservative government of Boris Johnson to announce tougher anti-terrorism legislation.

These notably aim at increasing the penalties for the perpetrators of terrorist acts and prohibit their early release. The perpetrator of the November 2019 attack, Usman Khan, 28, was a former terrorist detainee on half-sentence release. He was participating on the scene in a rehabilitation program for former detainees. The bill, which is to be studied in parliament, also provides that those convicted of acts considered terrorist should be imprisoned for at least 14 years.

In recent years, London has been the scene of several terrorist attacks. In March 2017, a man rushed into the crowd with his vehicle on Westminster Bridge before fatally stabbing a policeman in front of the Parliament, killing five. Two months later, 22 people – including children – were killed in an attack at the end of an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. In 2005, four explosions also left 56 people dead and 784 injured on London's public transport.


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