-The Angels of Woolwich: How three extraordinarily brave women confronted the Islamic terrorists who butchered and tried to behead a soldier on London street – and prayed next to his mutilated body
-’Religious’ woman in her 50s ‘walked straight up to suspects with no fear’
-Sat next to victim in middle of the road and put her hands on his chest
-Witness: ‘She saw everything and wanted to comfort him. The poor man’s head was beside her’
-Second woman talks to one killer as he wandered around with bloodied weapons and hands
-Female Cub Scout leader tells other attacker: ‘Right now, it is only you versus many people. You are going to lose’
-David Cameron praises her bravery, saying: ‘She speaks for us all’
– Jihadist Ties Emerge in British Soldier Killing
23 May 2013 By Richard Hartley-parkinson and Simon Tomlinson
In the aftermath of the brutal murder of a soldier, the remarkable courage of three women stands out.
They selflessly confronted the two killers and went to the aid of the victim, praying for him and preventing further carnage.
The first heroine, described as a religious woman in her 50s, bravely approaches the attackers as they roam the streets covered in blood and demands they let her sit next to the dead man.
As she comforts him in the middle of the road, a second woman stands over her and appears to talk to one of the killers in an apparent attempt to placate him.
Meanwhile, a third lady, a Cub Scout leader, remonstrates with the other alleged murderer who rants at her: ‘We want to start a war in London tonight’.
Standing firm, mother-of-two Ingrid Loyau-Kennett replies: ‘Right now it is only you versus many people. You are going to lose’.
Do you know this woman? A brave passerby confronted the killers and demanded to be allowed to sit next to the dead soldier to pray for him
No fear: The women selflessly went to the aid of their victim, praying for him and preventing further carnage
Facing them down: Two women confront one of the suspects while cub scout leader Ingrid Loyau-Kennett talks to the second alleged murderer
In broad daylight: The attackers repeatedly stabbed and tried to behead the off-duty soldier
Describing the scene, a witness said he saw the first woman approach the men and ask to go to the soldier’s side moments after the horrific attack in which they nearly behead the soldier.
Joe Tallant told the Daily Mirror: ‘She is a very religious woman. She saw everything and wanted to comfort the man. She just walked straight up to them with no fear.
‘She put her hands on his chest and I think she prayed for him. The poor man’s head was beside her.’
DO YOU KNOW THE ANGEL OF WOOLWICH?
If you know the woman who courageously went to pray for the soldier, please contact us by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
A second woman stands over her and appears to talk to one of the killers as he wanders around with bloodied weapons and hands.
Meanwhile, Ms Loyau-Kennett, 48, jumped off her bus when she saw the soldier’s body lying in the south-east London street, checked his pulse and then tried to talk to the men who hacked him to death.
One told her: ‘We want to start a war in London tonight’.
She replied: ‘Right now it is only you versus many people, you are going to lose’.
Prime Minister David Cameron today praised her courageous actions, and said: ‘She speaks for us all’.
Message of hate: One of the alleged attackers rants at the camera while pointing at the soldier he is suspected of killing
Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, 48, jumped off her bus when she saw the dead man and then spoke to the killers in a bid to keep the situation calm
Incredible bravery: Mrs Loyau-Kennett told the killers that they were going to lose when one of them said they were ‘starting a war tonight’
He added: ‘We will defeat violent extremism by standing together, by backing our police and security services and, above all, by challenging the poisonous narrative of extremism on which this violence feeds.’
Mr Cameron refused to say if the suspected killers were known to police and security services but said it was something the Independent Police Complaints Commission and intelligence committees would look into.
After the attack, one of the alleged killers was filmed launching into a diatribe as he pledged the fight would go on.
Speaking in a clear south London accent, he said: ‘You people will never be safe. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.’
The two suspects apparently shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’, which means ‘God is great’ in Arabic as they hacked the soldier to death.
They waited calmly for the police to arrive before charging at officers brandishing a rusty revolver, knives and meat cleavers.
They were then shot by armed officers, and both suspects are under guard in separate hospitals today.
But it was a brave female Cub Scout leader who confronted the armed men.
In shock: Women lay flowers near the scene where a British soldier was killed in Woolwich
Grieving: Flowers lay outside Woolwich Barracks. British Prime Minister David Cameron has said that the ‘appalling’ attack appeared to be terror related
‘I saw a man on the road, obviously injured and a car badly crashed I assumed it was a road accident, although the car was funny on the pavement, it was not coming on the road,’ she told ITV’s Daybreak.
‘When I approached the body there was a lady cradling him and then the guy, the most excited one of the two said, don’t go too close to the body.
‘I could see a butcher’s knife and you know these axes butchers have to cut -that’s what he had and blood all over him. I thought what the heck happened here?
‘Okay I thought obviously he was a bit excited, so I thought the thing was just to talk to him.
Ms Loyau-Kennett said she was not trained in any way to deal with the situation – she used to be a teacher.
Remorse: A handwritten note is seen near the scene of the killing sending condolences to the dead soldier’s family and comrades
POLICE HIT BACK AT CLAIMS THEY TOOK 20 MINS TO REACH SCENE
Police today defended their response to the killing after eyewitnesses claimed they took up to 20 minutes to arrive at the scene.
Assistant Commissioner Simon Byrne, said: ‘One point I would like to address is around some of the speculation as to how long it took the Met to respond yesterday as this incident started to unfold.
‘We first received a 999 call from the public at 2.20pm stating a man was being attacked, further 999 calls stated that the attackers were in possession of a gun.
‘We had officers at the scene within nine minutes of receiving that first 999 call.
‘Once that information about a gun or guns being present was known firearms officers were assigned at 2.24pm.
‘Firearms officers were there and dealing with the incident 10 minutes after they were assigned, 14 minutes after the first call to the Met.’
‘I know it’s big today, for me he was just a regular guy, just a bit upset. He was not on drugs, he was not drunk.’
She said the man told her ‘Don’t touch, I killed him.’
When she questioned him, he said ‘He is a British soldier, he killed people, he killed Muslim people, in Muslim countries. ‘
Mrs Loyau-Kennett explained the man holding the knife told her it was for ‘all the bomb droppings and killings, blindly, women.’
When asked if she feared for her life she replied: ‘Better me than the children.
‘There were mothers with children. It was important.’
Mrs Loyau-Kennett’s son said her bravery was motivated by her ‘incredible maternal instinct’.
The 48-year-old was in London celebrating her son Basil Baradaran’s 23rd birthday when she came across the horrific scene.
Basil, an animation graduate who lives close to the murder scene with sister Pawony, 24, said: ‘Mum came up to visit for my birthday and we’d had a lovely celebration.
‘I was meeting her at the train station when she walked up and started telling me had happened.
‘My first thought was for her safety but I could see she was completely intact. I couldn’t believe what she was telling me.
‘I don’t know what was going through her mind or how she found the strength to do what she did but I’m totally awestruck. I’m about as proud as a son could be.’
Mrs Loyau-Kennett, who is half-French, brought up her two children alone after their father returned to France when they were very young.
She lives in Helston, Cornwall, works as a language teacher and translator, and has recently completed a further qualification with the Open University.
She previously lived in Ipswich and New Zealand, where she worked with cubs, scouts, beavers and brownies.
How the horror unfolded in Woolwich
Basil said: ‘She’s caring, loyal and very, very protective. I think her incredible maternal instinct must have kicked in when she saw that defenceless man lying there.
‘She could have walked away or stayed on that bus but she was determined to help.
‘She’s always been a single mum and I never had a dad. No doubt it was an incredible struggle bringing us both up but she made it look easy.
‘Guides, brownies, scouts, she’s been involved in all of them over the years. She has a real passion for helping people.
‘As amazed as I am by what she did, it’s actual what I’ve come to expect from her.’
Today, a group of military wives, some pushing prams, arrived to lay flowers at the main gates of the barracks today to pay their respects to the dead soldier.
One of the women, in her 20s, who did not want to be named, said: ‘We live just outside the base. We are all just very numb at the moment – shaken up and very shocked.
‘It could have been any one of our husbands.
‘He was a young guy who cared very much about his job, like they all do. I think he was in training.’
SOLDIER WAS WEARING A HELP FOR HEROES HOODIE WHEN HE WAS KILLED BY TWO CRAZED KNIFEMEN CLOSE TO WOOLWICH BARRACKS
The soldier killed by two crazed fanatics just yards from the Woolwich Barracks was wearing a Help for Heroes top when he was attacked.
The young serviceman was hit by a car and crushed into a road sign on the street in south-east London before he was brutally murdered.
Video footage showed the dead man was wearing a dark blue top with white writing on it – which is believed to be the same as the Help for Heroes hoodie (right).
The killers attacked him with a collection of weapons including meat cleavers and knives before waiting for police to arrive, their hands covered in blood.
Today members of the public were donating to the charity which helps wounded troops with their rehabilitation.
One man called Allan Beattie who donated to the charity wrote: ‘In memory of the soldier brutally murdered yesterday – rest in peace – and a thank you to all of our brave service men and women who do so much for us’
Kelly Alexander, who also gave to the charity wrote: ‘Last night a black cloud went over our country,it will never be the same again,Rip to this young man brutally slain in his home country.I salute you x’
To donate to Help for Heroes yourself, go to http://www.justgiving.com/helpforheroes
‘This is a truly barbaric act that has no basis in Islam’: Killers who butchered soldiers are condemned by Muslim groups
The killers who executed a soldier on a London street were today condemned by Muslim groups for their ‘truly barbaric act’.
The Muslim Council of Britain said the killers’ use of ‘Islamic slogans’ indicated they were motivated by their faith.
A statement from the council said: ‘This is a truly barbaric act that has no basis in Islam and we condemn this unreservedly. Our thoughts are with the victim and his family.
‘We understand the victim is a serving member of the Armed Forces. Muslims have long served in this country’s Armed Forces, proudly and with honour.
‘This attack on a member of the Armed Forces is dishonourable, and no cause justifies this murder.’
The group called for vigilance and solidarity between ‘all our communities, Muslim and non-Muslim’, and for police to ‘calm tensions’.
Akbar Khan from Building Bridges said : ‘We totally condemn the killing of an innocent person in Woolwich.
‘And we also condemn all forms of extremism wherever they are.
‘The thoughts of the Muslim community are with the family of the man who lost his life, and we pray for him.’
Mohammed Shafiq from the Ramadhan Foundation said yesterday: ‘I wish to condemn the evil and barbaric crime carried out in Woolwich.
‘Our immediate thoughts are with the family and friends of the victims. From whatever angle you see the attack, it was at every level evil.
‘We must allow the police to gather all the facts before unnecessary speculation and wait for the facts before determining its impact on our country.
‘But what happens in the days to come, London and our nation will come together and will not be divided. The terrorists will never win and succeed in their evil plans.’
Julie Siddiqi, of the Islamic Society of Britain, told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: ‘We can’t allow the voices of Nick Griffin and the far right to become louder than ours in the coming days.
‘They will say what we have to say and it gives us even more incentive to speak out and come together and not allow people like that to divide us as a country.
‘This is one of the most shocking things I have seen in recent years and to have the people of Woolwich have to experience that so close to them, I just feel is absolutely horrific.’
I would say that the “religious woman” knew that greater was He who was in her than he who was in the terrorist. Bravo to all three “Angels of Woolwich”
Two more arrested as London terror probe expands
British police have made two further arrests and searched multiple properties as they widened their investigation into Wednesday’s fatal hacking to death of a British soldier in broad daylight on a busy London street by two Muslim terrorists.
The two arrests, of a man and a woman — both 29 — on suspicion of conspiracy to murder, raises the possibility that the gruesome attack was not a so-called “lone wolf” killing as once thought. Earlier it had been reported that the attackers were known to UK authorities and one had ties to a radical jihadist group well before the shocking attack that has stunned the United Kingdom and risked inflaming tensions between communities.
The two men, who were captured on cellphone video covered in blood and spouting jihadist rhetoric moments after the attack, have not yet been named, although Scotland Yard confirmed that they remained hospitalized in stable condition after being shot by armed police at the scene. But the killers, who wielded a machete and a cleaver and were dubbed “sickening individuals” by an incensed Prime Minister David Cameron, were already on the radar of security services, according to the BBC.
And Anjem Choudary, the leader of radical Islamist organization al-Muhajiroun — a group banned under anti-terrorism laws in the UK — has told Reuters that he knows one of the reported suspects. Michael Adebolajo, a Muslim convert from Christianity named by the BBC as one of the attackers, attended a number of the organization’s demonstrations, lectures and activities according to Choudary, although he claimed not to have seen him for about two years.
The Ministry of Defense has named the slain soldier as 25-year-old Drummer Lee Rigby, of 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.
In a statement made outside his Downing Street office after having chaired a meeting of the British government’s COBRA (Cabinet Office Briefing Room A) emergency committee, British Prime Minister David Cameron refused to comment about whether security forces had prior knowledge of the suspects. However, he firmly condemned the attack in Churchillian terms, stating: “We will never give in to terror, or terrorism, in any of its forms.”
Additionally, the Conservative Prime Minister emphasized that “there is nothing in Islam that justifies this truly dreadful act,” and that the fault lay solely with the attackers. He also noted that more Muslim lives have been lost in terrorist acts than any other religion.
President Obama, in a statement Thursday afternoon, condemned the attack in strong terms, and reaffirmed the relationship between the US and the UK, stating: “The United States stands resolute with the United Kingdom, our ally and friend, against violent extremism and terror.”
Prime Minister Cameron also praised the bravery of Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, a cub scout leader and mother of two, who got off a bus and tried to reason with the attackers after she tried to help the victim lying on the street.
The 48-year-old tried to keep talking to the two attackers before police arrived at the scene near the Royal Artillery Barracks in the neighborhood of Woolwich.
In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Loyau-Kennett said that when one of the attackers told her that they wanted to start a war in London, she responded: “It is only you versus many people. You are going to lose.”
Saying she wanted to stop one of the suspects from attacking anyone else, she asked him if he “did it” and what he wanted.
Loyau-Kennett said she saw a crashed car and the victim lying on the street and tried to help him since she had been trained in first aid. She had determined the man was dead by the time the attackers confronted her.
She said “a black guy with a black hat and a revolver in one hand and a cleaver in the other came over” and excitedly warned her to stay away from the body.
“I asked him why he had done what he had done,” The Guardian quoted her as saying. “He said he had killed the man because he [the victim] was a British soldier who killed Muslim women and children in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was furious about the British Army being over there.”
She told The Daily Telegraph that the suspected terrorist was “in full control of his decisions” and did not appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
When the man told him he was going to kill police when they arrived, she asked him if that was reasonable and tried to keep him engaged.
Then she spoke to the other attacker, who she described as quiet and shy.
“I asked him if he wanted to give me what he was holding in his hand, which was a knife, but I didn’t want to say that,” she said. “He didn’t agree and I asked him: `Do you want to carry on?’ He said: `No, no, no.’ I didn’t want to upset him,” she is quoted as saying in The Guardian.
Loyau-Kennett said she was not scared and that the armed men did not seem to be drunk or on drugs. She said she was trying to keep them occupied so they didn’t get more agitated.
She re-boarded her bus shortly before police arrived, watching from the vehicle as police shot and wounded the two unidentified suspects, who are both receiving treatment in the hospital.
“The officers shot them in the legs, I think” she told The Guardian.
The British government’s COBRA emergency committee met Thursday after Prime Minister David Cameron said there were “strong indications” it was an act of terrorism, and two other officials said there were signs the attack was motivated by radical Islam.
One of the attackers went on video to explain the crime — shouting political statements, gesturing with bloodied hands and waving a meat cleaver.
Images from the scene showed a blue car that appeared to have been used in the attack, its hood crushed and rammed into a signpost on a sidewalk that was smeared with blood. A number of weapons — including butchers’ knives, a machete and a meat cleaver — were strewn on the street.
Footage — obtained by ITV news and The Sun newspaper — showed a man in a dark jacket and knit cap walking toward a camera, clutching a meat cleaver and a knife. Speaking in English with a British accent, he apologized that female passers-by “have had to witness this” barbarity, saying that “in our land our women have to see the same.”
He gave no indication what that land was as he urged people to tell the government to “bring our troops back.” British troops are deployed in Afghanistan and recently supported the French-led intervention in Mali.
“We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you,” the man declared. “We must fight them as they fight us.” The camera then panned away to show a body lying on the ground.
Scotland Yard confirmed that counterterrorism officers were leading an investigation into the attack. Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said the two men had been arrested and urged Londoners to remain calm. Both men were hospitalized, one in serious condition.
Late Wednesday, riot police fanned out in Woolwich as about 50 men waving the flag of the far-right English Defense League gathered, singing nationalistic songs and shouting obscenities about the Quran.
Meanwhile, Muslim groups quickly condemned the attack, calling for the police to calm tensions. The Muslim Council of Britain called it a “barbaric act that has no basis in Islam,” adding that “no cause justifies this murder.”
Britain has been at the heart of several terror attacks or plots in recent years, the most deadly being the 2005 rush-hour suicide bombings when 52 commuters were killed. More recently, Parviz Khan was convicted in 2008 of plotting to kidnap and behead a British Muslim soldier in Birmingham.
Some extremists have lashed out at Britain’s involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq. Recently, groups have also criticized Britain’s assistance in the French-led mission to Mali to root out Islamic extremists in the north.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
See yesterday’s related post on this blog at the link below: