In a brutal murder committed on the streets near the Royal Artillery Barracks in South London, a British soldier became the latest victim of an act that Prime Minister David Cameron described as having “strong indications” that it was linked to terrorism.
Two men were shot and wounded by London police after attacking and savagely murdering the soldier with what witnesses described as a machete and knife. Reports indicate that the soldier was merely walking along the street when his assailants attacked him.
Further reports suggest that the assailants calmly waited by the soldier’s body until police arrived and at one point were talking to shocked bystanders. An ensuing confrontation with police resulted in both suspects being shot and transported to local hospitals.
At one point onlookers filmed one of the suspected assailants stating, “We swear by Almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you.” The unidentified perpetrator added, “This British soldier is an eye for an eye, a tooth for tooth. We apologize that women had to see this today, but in our lands our women have to see the same.”
At a press conference in Paris, Cameron acknowledged the nature of the attack:
Britain has suffered terrorist attacks before, terrorist attacks from the IRA, terrorist attacks from Islamic extremists.… We have suffered these attacks before and we have always beaten them back.
The attack in London is reminiscent of the attack against a Little Rock, Arkansas, military recruiting center in 2009 that took the life of Private William Long, 23. American-born Carlos Bledsoe, having adopted the name Abdulhakim Muhammad, admitted to having killed Private Long and injuring others in a drive-by shooting motivated by a desire to wage war against America.
Following his arrest, Muhammad stated in a pre-trial letter to Judge Herbert Wright Jr., “This was a jihadi attack on infidel forces.” Muhammad also described himself as a soldier in al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
Muhammad ultimately pleaded guilty and received a life sentence without parole.
The attack in London and the 2009 Little Rock shooting, along with other events such as the Fort Hood shooting in 2009, remind us that the dangers facing our nation’s brave military personnel don’t begin and end overseas.