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The Edge of Terrorism

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Cameron Decries Act of Terrorism in Beheading by Muslims

May 22nd 2013

Woolich Beheading

Two men wielding a machete and a cleaver hacked a man believed to be a soldier to death on a busy London street Wednesday while yelling "Allahu Akbar," in an attack that was caught on video and left the nation shocked and horrified. The victim, who some reports said may have been a soldier, was killed at the scene, and the attackers waited at the scene until police arrived and shot both. One attacker, his hands soaked in blood and still holding a machete, delivered an angry jihadist screed as stunned passersby watched, the dead man lying on the street, in the southeast London neighborhood of Woolwich.

"We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you. The only reason we have done this is because Muslims are dying every day," he said in a video. "This British soldier is an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. "I apologize that women have had to witness this today, but in our land our women have to see the same," the killer continued. "You people will never be safe. Remove your government, they don't care about you." British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Wednesday that there were “strong indications” that a killing in London was terror-related.

“It is the most appalling crime,” Cameron said, before cutting short a visit to Paris. “The police are urgently seeking the full facts about this case but there are strong indications that it is a terrorist incident.” Cameron called an emergency security meeting on Wednesday after a man was killed near an army barracks in London, and two men were shot and wounded by police. Media reports said the dead man was a British soldier who was hacked to death by unidentified assailants. Some reports suggested his attackers tried to behead him while shouting “God is greatest” in Arabic.

“This is a sickening and barbaric attack,” Home Secretary Theresa May said in a statement. Britain's government convenes meetings of its emergency security committee only to deal with incidents that have implications for national security. A security source told Reuters on condition of anonymity that it was too soon to say whether the incident was terror related. Security was tightened in the area immediately after the attack but details were sketchy. Helicopters hovered above the residential area and nearby roads were sealed off by the police.

“[That] this can happen in the center of a busy town, it's really really shocking and traumatizing for everybody, all local residents,” a witness who gave her name as Tenisan told Reuters in a nearby street.

London was last hit by a serious attack in July 2005 when four young men set off suicide bombs on the underground and bus network, killing 52 people and injuring hundreds. Four others failed to repeat a similar attack two weeks later.

A second attack, aimed at a packed nightclub in central London, in 2007 failed when police found two car bombs packed with petrol, gas and nails in London's theater district on a busy weekend night.

Photographs posted online showed at least two people on the ground who appeared to be injured, but no further details were immediately available.

A teacher at a local school told the BBC earlier he saw a body on the road and afterwards heard gunshots.

“A number of weapons were reportedly being used in the attack, and this included reports of a firearm,” London police said in a statement.

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