- The accused is a 25-year-old Libyan citizen, who has been arrested by the police on suspicion of terrorism.
- In the wake of the bloodshed, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the attacks "appalling."
- The suspect struck shortly after noon in front of a crowd of protesters.
According to reports from Reading on Sunday, a bloody attack that took place in a park in the English city on Saturday evening was terrorism. The accused Libyan suspect stabbed three people to death, and seriously injured three others. Reading, in the south of England, is located about 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of the British capital, London.
According to British security sources, the accused is a 25-year-old Libyan citizen, who has been arrested by the police on suspicion of terrorism. Thames Valley Police said Sunday of the attacks, “anti-terrorism police confirm that the incident in Reading was a terrorist incident and have investigated the crime from the same angle.”
Prime Minister Johnson Chairs Meeting
In the wake of the bloodshed, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the attacks “appalling” at a meeting of senior ministers, senior police officials, and top security officials on Sunday. Both the police and the government had initially said that the stabbing was not a terrorist act, but that the motives of the accused would be investigated from all angles.
At the same time, it was said that in connection with these killings, the police investigators are not looking for anyone or more possible suspects besides the detained accused. “(If) there are lessons that we need to learn,” or legal changes needed to prevent such attacks, Johnson said, “then we will learn those lessons and we will not hesitate to take action where necessary.”
The suspect struck shortly after noon in front of a crowd of protesters. Police said on Sunday that the incident was a confirmed incident of terrorism. The Libyan suspect, who was not named, carried out the attack with a large knife just before sunset last Saturday evening in a park called Forbury Gardens.
He carried out the attack in Reading while protesting against racism in the same park. The protest had just ended. However, according to police, the terrorist act and killings had nothing to do with the anti-racism demonstration.
According to eyewitnesses, the assailant immediately pulled out his knife and started attacking a nearby group of eight to ten people in a row. Many previous attacks in the UK have been described as “knife” or “dagger” attacks.
The previous two deadly attacks were in February this year, in South London, and in November last year on London Bridge. The suspects in both attacks were killed on the spot by police.
Personal trainer Lawrence Wort said:
“The park was full of groups sitting on the grass Saturday evening when one lone person walked through, suddenly shouted some unintelligible words and went around a large group of around 10, trying to stab them. He stabbed three of them severely in the neck and under the arms, and then turned and started running towards me, and we turned and started running.”