Yesterday, just outside a military barracks in London, a soldier was killed in broad daylight by two men. The attackers first rammed a car into him and then used a machete and other knives to essentially behead the soldier.
The NYPD issued this statement today: "Based not on information that such facilities have been targeted in New York City but in an abundance of caution, the NYPD has increased coverage of the British consulate, military recruiting stations, and other locations in the city as a result of the fatal attack today on an active serving British soldier near the Royal Artillery Barracks at Woolwich Common in southeast London."
The soldier, who has not been identified, was wearing a t-shirt for a military charity. After the suspects attacked the soldier, one attacker told a witness, who filmed the exchange (there's a horrifying video of the suspect with bloody hands, holding knives), "We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you until you leave us alone. Your people will never be safe. The only reason we have done this is because Muslims are dying by British soldiers every day. This British soldier is an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth... Remove your governments, they don't care about you." (Here's the attacker's statement in full.)
One woman can be seen on a video trying to comfort the victim (she put a coat over him). Another woman, former teacher and Cub Scout leader Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, spoke to one of the suspects immediately after the murder. She says, "I wanted him to concentrate on me and make sure he doesn't have a funny idea. Better me than a child. Unfortunately, there were more and more mothers with children stopping around"—a school is located nearby—"so it was even more important I talked to him and asked him what he wanted."
20 minutes 9 minutes for police to arrive and a little longer for armed police to arrive, and when they did, they shot and wounded the two suspects. One of them has been identified as Michael Olumide Adebolajo. The Guardian reports, "Adebolajo was an ordinary British schoolboy; born in Lambeth in December 1984, he grew up in Romford, travelled to school on the bus, played football and appeared to have a lot of friends. His family - who are of Nigerian origin — were practising Christians, attending the local church." He apparently converted to Islam after college.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said, "What happened in Woolwich yesterday has sickened us all. The people who did this were trying to divide us. They should know something like this will only bring us together, make us stronger." He added, "This was not just an attack on Britain and on the British way of life; it was also a betrayal of Islam and of the Muslim communities who give so much to our country." London Mayor Boris Johnson also said, "The fault lies wholly and exclusively in the warped and deluded mindset of the people who did it."
The British authorities are examining the suspects' ties to Al Qaeda groups; the media has reported that it doesn't seem they have ties to Nigera's Boko Haram militants.