European Center for Counter terrorism and Intelligence Studies in Germany and Netherlands.
Counter-terror police investigate after two women stabbed in Burnley M&S
Theguardian ـ Counter-terrorism officers are leading the investigation after two women were stabbed inside a Marks and Spencer store in Burnley.The Guardian understands that police are investigating claims that anti-Jewish rhetoric was shouted at the scene, with officials in central government being kept updated.A 57-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after the stabbings, with the investigation looking for any evidence of jihadist extremism and examining a history of mental health issues.
The attack is currently not being classed as a terrorist incident, but counter-terrorism officials at regional and national level are monitoring the investigation.The victims of the attack were a member of the shop’s staff, in her 40s, and a shopper in her 60s. Both were taken to hospital for injuries that are not thought to be life-threatening.The suspected attacker was initially restrained by shoppers and staff, as he shouted the comments that prompted anti-terrorist police to investigate. He was later arrested and is in custody.
The decision on whether or not to declare the incident as terror-related will be made by the senior national coordinator for counter terrorism, deputy assistant commissioner Dean Haydon.The victims were not related to the attacker. A knife was recovered at the scene.The force is appealing for information about the attack. Supt Stasia Osiowy said: “We recognise that this incident will have caused a great deal of concern in the community, and I would like to reassure people that we have a dedicated team of officers and staff carrying out inquiries and a number of extra patrols in the town centre as reassurance.
“This is not being treated as a terrorism incident, but due to some comments made at the scene, counter-terrorism detectives will be leading on the investigation. At this time we are keeping an open mind as to motivation, but what I can say is that we are considering the mental health background of the man we have arrested.“I would like to appeal to members of the public who may have seen or filmed this morning’s incident, or who have information which could assist, to get in touch with us.
“I would like to thank those members of the public who acted very quickly, and without regard to their own safety, this morning in order to detain the attacker. Without their brave actions, this incident, while serious, could have been so much worse.”Carl Stredder, who was shopping with his wife at the time, told the BBC he had stopped at a cash machine opposite the shop when he heard shouting and saw a man “holding down” another man before the emergency services arrived. “Within a couple of minutes, the police had arrived. There were six or seven police cars, sirens all over the place,” he said.
“Then within another five or so minutes, an ambulance came. It was apparent by then that some sort of major incident had occurred … It was a bit of a frightener when we came home and realised in the cold light of day what could have happened.”Anyone with information or video footage should contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.