Surrey village stabbing declared a terrorism incident
Man, 50, arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and racially-aggravated public order offence
The stabbing of a 19-year-old man in a Surrey village is being investigating as a suspected far-right-inspired attack, counterterrorism police have announced.
The teenager was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries after being attacked by a man armed with a baseball bat and knife who shouted racist abuse. A 50-year-old local was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and a racially-aggravated public order offence following the incident in Stanwell, near Heathrow Airport, reports Metro.
Surrey Police were called to a residential street in the village just before 10.30pm on Saturday following reports of an armed man acting aggressively. Another caller then reported that someone had been stabbed.
Armed police who rushed to the street also found several vehicles damaged, reports the BBC. The suspect was arrested at the scene and remains in custody.
Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, head of Counter Terrorism Policing, said the attack had “hallmarks of a terror event, inspired by the far-right, and therefore it has been declared a terrorism incident”.
Local resident Vincent Sutherland, 54, told reporters: “He was shouting ‘kill a Muslim’ and ‘white supremacy’, and then I went inside and I heard a load of banging.”
Neighbour Nemer Salem, 24, added that he had passed the attacker, who was “walking in the middle of the road swinging a shiny weapon”.
“I turned around and ran down the next road, hid in an alley, waited for the coast to be clear and ran,” added Salem, originally from Syria. “He had something covering his mouth and nose and his hood up, so I could only see his eyes and his forehead. It was very scary.”
Counter Terrorism Policing South East are urging the public to “remain vigilant and report anything suspicious to police”.
Following the attack, Theresa May tweeted her thanks to the emergency services and said her thoughts were with the injured man and his family and friends. She added: “Vile, hateful far-right extremism has no place in our society.”