Terrrorism returns to London as brave passerby potentially saves many lives.

Yesterday the lunch time news in Britain was headlined by the successful conviction of an IRA terrorist who in 1982 killed 11 people and 7 horses in a twin bombing in London’s Green and Hyde Parks.  By 6pm, a new act of terrorism had taken over the news.

At about 2.20pm on Wednesday 23rd May the successful act of terrorism on British soil since the attack on Glasgow Airport in 2007 and the first in London since the 7/7 bombings occurred when an apparent off-duty member of the military was murdered in broad day light in one of the busiest streets in London in manner that would seem too outlandish for a Hollywood movie.

Woolwich Terrorism Map

Site of the murder of off-duty soldier by terrorists in Woolwich, London. (Map courtesy of Daily Telegraph)

The innocent victim, Drummer Lee Rigby of 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment Of Fusiliers aged 25, just a few hundred metres from Woolwich barracks was deliberately run over by two men in a car that drove off the road onto the pavement.  They then got out of the car and proceeded to stab and hack at the man with long knives and butchers tools and continued to do so long after he was dead in a hysterical fashion shouting loudly “Allahu Akbar” as they did so.  There are reports that they beheaded the man, a scene witnessed by a local school child who said to his parent that he could “see his body where was his head?”

Confronting a Knife Wielding, gun toting terrorist

Another brave woman having tended to the murdered man confronts a terrorist.

After a while the two men dragged the body into the middle of the road and started ordering passers-by to take their photos and film them.

Michael Adebolajo alledged terrorist and murderer

Terrorist talking to unarmed civilians seconds after butchering an innocent man.

Here is a video of one of the terrorists.  Warning, this video contains live footage of an armed and bloodied terrorist as well as a distant shot of a dead body.

As it is a proud tradition of British police not to carry fire-arms, the local police who arrived in minutes waited for the special fire-arms unit to arrive a few minutes later.  As soon the police cars arrived, the two men charged at the police leaving no option to shoot the first man carrying the butchers machete and then the second terrorist raised his gun he was shot two by a policewoman praised as being something like Robocop.

The street was closed off my police and the two attackers were sent to separate London hospitals.

As usual, the Prime Minister of the day, David Cameron stated that it was an attack on the British way of life and that as always, there would be no negotiation or changes in policy due to terrorism.  Despite this being an ever-present policy for decades and the great willingness to use forces such as SAS to take on terrorists directly, they don’t seem to notice.  The idea quite frankly that any country would change its policy on any issue due to terrorism is laughable.

In any western country, especially Britain, there is no cause that can’t be won democratically.  The IRA tried for decades to blow up anyone and everyone and nothing happened.  The fact they are in essence part of a regional governing assembly was only gained when peace came and they got no further than if they had just taken the democratic route in the first place that was always open to them.  Likewise with referendums in Scotland, The Falklands, Gibraltar, we are uniquely quite open to tearing apart our own country apart peacefully if enough people vote for it.

There has been an outcry in the media as expected about the role of militant Islam in Britain and the flood of undesirable immigrants in general.  It does seem bizarre that anyone would want to come to a country that welcomes everyone and then decide they hate it so much they want to commit terrorism.

Certainly no-one forces anyone to come and live here and the popular opinion in the country takes the seemingly obvious “if you don’t like it then leave”.

Now though, these two people with apparent Nigerian backgrounds will be treated by the NHS, paid by the taxes of people whose ideals and ethics they hate.  Then if they are lucky, they will be sent to jail where it will cost us tens of thousands of pounds a year to keep them in prison and then hope they don’t do anything similar in 1o, 20 or 30 years time.

Even though, execution is now illegal in the European Union, surely these sort of people deserve it and having been witnessed by dozens of people and filmed with blood on their hand admitting the crime there can be no doubting their guilt.  In other nations they would have been shot dead or suffered a medical complication in hospital that ends their lives.

Inevitably this event will see the rise of extremism from the other side, nationalists, patriots and white supremacists who are already have been reported to attacked mosques in the counties of Kent and Essex.

An unexpected side affect of this is a possible boost to the UK Independence Party who are riding high in the polls for Great Britain to leave the EU and once again 100% controls of immigration and allow the possibility of capital punishment once again.

Amongst all the other things it should be remembered that this attack has been condemned by the Muslim Council of Britain.  Also that Britain has already stated it is withdrawing from Afghanistan and going by the accent of the terrorist, he has about as much to do with Iraq or Afghanistan as I do and probably knows 1% as much on a good day.

Nowhere does it state that Muslims should kill innocent people and anyone who studies Islam knows it is a religion of peace.  Generally speaking, more Muslims are killed by other Muslims and yet no-one seems to want to kill or maim innocent people in predominantly Islamic countries.  Surely it is incumbent on any one who comes to live in Britain whatever their religion or colour to abide by the most basic of rules or not come at all just as I would never dream of going to Saudi Arabia, wearing shorts, playing loud rock music and shouting inflammatory remarks.   Of course, these terrorist and people like them come to Britain and other similar countries precisely because they can do and say what they like when they wouldn’t be able to in their own countries.

In the midst of all this it should be remembered that a small bit of good came out of this.  The people of Woolwich showed their community spirit.  A number of women went to be with the murdered man as the gun toting, knife wielding terrorists waited just feet away for a showdown with the police.

One woman in particular has come to prominence. Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, of Helston in Cornwall happened to be on a London bus and when she saw a body in the street, jumped out of the bus and upon seeing another woman already with the murdered man went to confront the murderers.

She said is widely reported in todays newspapers and news broadcasts: “I went to the guy and when I approached the body there was a lady cradling him. And then (one of the killers), the most excited one of the two, said, ‘Don’t go too close to the body’.

“I thought, okay. And because I was down I could see a butcher’s knife and an axe – that’s what he had – and blood. I thought, what the heck? I thought obviously he was a bit excited and the thing was just to talk to him.”

Ms Loyau-Kennett said she tried to reason with the killer in an effort to focus his attention away from other potential victims, as large crowds began to huddle at the scene.

She said: “I know it’s big today but for me it was just a regular guy, just a bit upset. He was not on drugs, he was not drunk.

“He said, ‘Don’t touch, I killed him’. I said, ‘Why?’ He said: ‘He’s a British soldier. He killed people. He killed Muslim people in Muslim countries.’

“And I said: okay. So what would you like? I tried to make him talk about how he felt. He said all the bombs dropping and blindly killing women, children…

“More and more people were starting to come. There were so many people around. I just looked around and I found it so daunting.”

However, Ms Loyau-Kennett said her thoughts were to “just carry on” talking to the man, while several woman arriving at the scene tried to shield the victim.

She said: “I wanted him to concentrate on me and make sure he doesn’t have a funny idea.

“He (the killer) told me he was a British soldier – he didn’t look like a British soldier to me, he wasn’t in uniform. But I thought if another one passes by, or is in the area…”

Asked if she was scared, the woman replied: “No – better me than a child.

“Unfortunately there were more and more mothers with children stopping around, so it was even more important I was talking to him and ask him what he wanted.”

It is thought that the unfortunate murdered man was identified by his wearing a “Help For Heroes” t-shirt, a charity devoted to helping the families of military personnel killed or injured in action.   Perhaps what sums up the huge challenge any terrorist faces is that this morning the Help For Heroes website had crashed as it was overwhelmed by people trying to make donations.

Help For Heroes

Help For Heroes charity overwhelmed by donations.

The feeling in Britain is that the quiet majority of British people have had enough of their own lifestyle and customs not being respected, partly by foreign extremists and partly by successive governments who have failed to act effectively in numerous arenas.  Every nation can only take so much and after being a refuge for refugees and people wanting to start a new life for thousands of years but all of these people have wanted to fit in and add to the society while now there are too many spongers and criminals whose natural instincts aren’t compatible with the lifestyle we all enjoy and want us to adapt to them and not vice-versa.

Perhaps instead of making things worse and looking for divisions though, we should instead be grateful that there are so many people who are happy to risk their lives for others and stand up to bullies and murderers.  There were many yesterday but non braver than French born Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, exactly the sort of person who is always welcome here.

Ingrid Loyau-Kennett

Mother of two, born in France, lives in Cornwall, hero in London.

Our thoughts also go to the family Drummer Lee Rigby aged just 25 who like many others has given his life for the freedom and safety of others and also to the police and security forces who have foiled 12 serious terrorist attacks in the last few years.

Lee Rigby

25 year old Drummer Lee Rigby 2nd battalion of The Royal Fusiliers, veteran of Afghanistan

(Photos and some text taken from The Daily Telegraph and Independent).

About Stephen Liddell

I am a writer and traveller with a penchant for history and getting off the beaten track. With several books to my name including several #1 sellers. I also write environmental, travel and history articles for magazines as well as freelance work. I run my private tours company with one tour stated by the leading travel website as being with the #1 authentic London Experience. Recently I've appeared on BBC Radio and Bloomberg TV and am waiting on the filming of a ghost story on British TV. I run my own private UK tours company (Ye Olde England Tours) with small, private and totally customisable guided tours run by myself!
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15 Responses to Terrrorism returns to London as brave passerby potentially saves many lives.

  1. Ankur Mithal says:

    Totally mindless and dastardly act. Unfortunately there are many who may want to express their feelings through such outrageous acts of violence. It is no longer someone else’s problem. Each individual, as far as possible, should act in the larger interest. As was done by several women who, despite the danger, engaged the assailants in this case.


  2. Trapper Gale says:

    Attacks against an innocent victim is nothing new, but the extreme and public violence – the very desire to be seen committing this act – is. This was a new and horrifying turn for terrorism.


  3. swaneta says:

    I visited a website today, one of main source of communication channel for Poles living in UK. The thread for Woolwich had 47 entries and apart misjudged opinions, there was one thought – what will happened to those individuals? People taking part in this discussion spoke largely in one voice – is beyond a rational behaviour, why the freedom of expression goes so far. It’s not about any religion, any conflict. Is about safety on the streets and in this country, which many immigrants choose to live and actively contribute to. I shall say “immigrants”, but of course I do think also about Brits robbed from right to protest against terrorism.
    Should many so-called religious manifestation be treated as not accepted – I think many of newcomers would treat this country with more respect. And Brits would think, what they feel do matters.
    I’m so sorry for the guy family. But I’m also angry, that his killers had a freedom of evolving into monsters. They didn’t wake up in the morning with this plan, did they?
    Underneath of political correctness Muslims will be discriminated against – just a human nature. What do happens when a one part of society is treated as outcast?


    • Thank-you for you comment. I do agree with you. I think it is possible for a country to be too relaxed and permitting of too many freedoms. If people have certain ideas, they can act on them here when they couldn’t in their old countries or even in neighbouring countries such as France. Many people in Britain feel they cannot speak or act as they want because of fear of offending people. Whereas in the USA, France and many other places everyone can fly their national flag in public… in the UK many councils won’t fly a flag and one of my neighbours was told to take a flag down from his house as it was offending people!

      I think most immigrants are very good for the country. My wife is not British and she works very hard and is very successful in her career but also does nothing that doesn’t fit in with British life. I have met lots of Polish people and have some Polish friends and I have them all to be hardworking, respectful and friendly people and I think that is all that Brits want or expect for new arrivals in the country.

      Yes, I think it is true that Muslims will be discriminated against in real life even if on television everyone will say that real Muslims would not do such horrible murders. I am not racist against Muslims, I studied Islam for many many years at university and love Muslim countries and culture and nearly all my friends at university were Muslims.


  4. I do not think the history of the Na Trioblóidí (The Troubles) in Northern Ireland can be compared to the threat posed by Islamism. Islamism is a totalitarian ideology and its proponents can no more be reasoned with or appeased than were the Nazis. Neville Chamberlain, to his credit, tried his best to avoid going to war with Germany, negotiating an agreement in Munich in 1938, only to Germany occupy the Sudentenland the next day. You know how this story ends.

    That unrest is stirring in the British Isles, including anti-immigrant sentiments, attacks on peaceful and law abiding Muslim citizens and calls for a return to capital punishment is bad. This is what Islamists want. I hope your society can pull itself together and stand up to this threat and remain the peaceful, democratic, liberal and pluralistic society I so admire and look forward to visiting with my boyfriend Mika this coming September.


    • Thank-you for your great comment. I didn’t mean to compare the threat of militant Islamism with the troubles of Northern Ireland except to point out that 25 years of bombings and shootings did not advance the cause of the IRA at all and didn’t change UK government policy or the opinions of the general public at all and if a very organised and military based terror organisation had no luck, then the latest generation of “Islamic” terrorists have no hope of getting anywhere.

      Relatedly, I do think all the hype of Islamic terror in London is very over-rated. I remember shootings and bombs going off several times a week and they were only mentioned in passing as a minor item of the news. Several times bombs went off in London whilst I was studying there and one time the lecturer told me that such an incident directly between my train station and building was not sufficient reason to be late!! That is how routine things were. It is just the ideology of these new terrorists that seem scarier to us.

      Neville Chamberlain is very under-rated I think. He tried his best to avoid war (maybe he should have built up the military in the background) after already seeing the terrors of WW1 and knowing a second such war would be even worse and devastate his country and Europe. I saw a documentary last year when it featured footage of him going to Germany to meet with Hitler trying to secure peace and he was cheered all the way from the airport by Germans wanting him to succeed on his peace mission and that it totally infuriated Hitler.

      I am sure that you will have a great time in Britain. September is often a good time to visit as there are less tourists and the weather is often ‘ok’. If you want a guide for outside of London, do let me know 🙂


  5. kiwiskan says:

    I am appalled that anyone should try to justify such violence.


  6. Steve Morris says:

    I think that we need to continue being the kind of country that we can be proud of. A country that welcomes peaceful, law-abiding citizens and tolerates different opinions. Let’s not become xenophobic haters like the terrorists themselves. Let’s not be like the Nazis. Let’s support our police and armed forces and enable them to do their difficult jobs knowing that the British people are behind them.


    • Yes, those are very important points. As the saying goes, if we change then the terrorists have already won. There is a lot to be proud of living in a country that welcomes everyone and anyone without any preconditions.

      Many thanks for your comment.


      • Steve Morris says:

        Thanks Stephen. The saying that if we change the terrorists have won is often said, but rather misses the point I find. The terrorists don’t want us to become less tolerant and open, they want to force their way of life onto other people. That’s their objective. But for us to win, we need to assert the kind of world that *we* value. When we look back, that’s how we will judge whether or not *we* won.


  7. “anyone who studies Islam knows it is a religion of peace”.
    I’ll just bite my tongue… No, I won’t!
    Who’s your dealer? I want some of that!!
    All the “peaceful” quotations from the Koran, are superceded by subsequent teachings; – their rules, not me blowing smoke- most of them violent actions against infidels – us. They don’t want to assimilate with their adopted nation, they want to replace the existing culture with their Sharia law. Look at what the Coptic Christians are enduring in Egypt. Look -a matter of history- at what Muslim governments have perpetrated against Christians in other countries, such as the Sudan! Kindly wake up!


  8. yarrpirate says:

    Very good post – a touch of polite controversy as befits your style! I must say the person who said one cannot compare the IRA to this is only defending terrorism, nothing else. A disgraceful comment, basically. Of course you can. As for the ‘yet again’ boring harping that Islam is a religion of violence look at the Qu’ran rubbish it is yet again said by a person clearly basing his knowledge on hearsay. Compare the day-to-day violence in USA, Britain, Russia, South Africa, Kenya, El Salvador and Honduras to ANY Muslem country and then tell me which is more violent – and yes, that does include Iraq and Afghanistan. Terroism has been used by Fascists, Communists, Zionists, Israelis (Stern Gang), European governments (Gladio, P2) US government, and many others. Factors have combined to make pseudo Islam-based terrorism prevalent now. But no, there are not ”many” terrorists at all. They are few, and the knee-jerk reaction of curtailing freedoms for all is frankly outrageous. I am not personally a fan of flag-waving either, as it turns all into ‘little Englanders’ acting like victims with grievances.
    The two murderers, and their evil backers are not part of evidence of failure of our tolerance. They’d be raping, killing and kidnapping in Nigeria if they were there. Our efforts to control terrorism MUST include less tacit racism at official level – the Russian secret service warmed the FBI about the Chechyan terrorist in Boston. The Kenyan government warmed MI5 in Britain about 1 of the terorrists in London. No action was taken either time. What a disgusting bunch of people crew our secret services. Must have interfered with their lunch break. I have had the questionable fortune of seeing some of these guys in action. A helpful warning by another government, assuming it is not North Korea, should result in immediate repatriation.


    • Thank-you! I do agree, I think there is a gross over-reaction about modern day terrorists when in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s it was pretty much an every day occurrence in Northern Ireland and at times a very frequent one in London and some other cities.

      I know I felt more safe in Cairo at 11pm or indeed 4am then I do in my nearest town after dark. Perhaps it is partly due to the increased hype of the news media with all violent crime which they continue to report as if more and more people are getting murdered, abducted etc when actually children aren’t getting abducted any more than they were 30 years ago. Certainly in my 39 years, I don’t know anyone personally who has been murdered, violently assaulted, mugged. Lowering of every day civility and politeness though, that is something that is easy to see but for the moment a reduction of people holding doors open for those behind them or standing patiently for their turn does not relate to increased murders, terrorism or the like.

      I agree with you also about the domestic and foreign security agencies. Also the terrorists themselves seem to be making less rational choices as to their targets. People in Boston have very little influence on the wars and crimes in Chechenya, rationally their targets should be Russia and anyone complaining about innocent Muslims being killed in wars or treated badly in the main need look no further than Islamic countries such as Syria today. Blowing up people in London as anyone who has been to London recently is likely to kill almost as many Muslims as non-Muslims, a real dumb thing to do for a Muslim terrorist compared to a sleepy village in Cornwall, Norfolk, Cumbria or Sutherland where relatively speaking, hardly any Muslims are likely to be.


      • yarrpirate says:

        Very true – in more ways than one – regarding killing Muslems, I lived in Saudi Arabia throughout the 2000s for a decade, and I would say saudi society at some levels was ambivalent towards 9/11, until for reasons of lack of braincells the terrorist networks decided to plant bombs in Saudi Arabia. We had a few terrible ones, but the trouble is, being Saudi Arabia, they tended to kill Muslems and in one fell swoop lost any potential support or sympathy, even of a minor nature. Of course the absurdity of the Bush-Blair led Iraq debacle didn’t help. We credit them with too many braincells:rational won’t be their strong point – and it is all pretty low-tech stuff. I also cannot get my mind around the fact that both on 9/11 and 7/7 (in London for any readers) the government was carrying out terrorist training exercises that mirrored the actual real attacks. I still do not know what this means, except that it is a handy way of confusing communications. If their was ‘prior knowledge’ at some level I do not think it could be hushed up, but the temptation to let it play out, given the agenda of Bush and Blair and backers must have been great. These are men who were quite willing to send a lotof their troops to their death in Iraq and Afghanistan,and indeed surely had Iran in their sights once their first two countries had been sorted out. All that makes the terrorist able to achieve their goals. I do not articularly likeObama that much, but he was very right to downplay the ‘terror’ word. The gruesome murderers referred to in your post were just that: gruesome murderers. To actually think they were terrorists with some kind of goal is somehow too much for me. They were gruesome murderers, seeking self-glorification.
        Most terrorism, if not all, can be traced back to Lebanon , 1982. I think I’ll put a post about that, because it might explain some things – though not the barbarians who murdered in London, nor other attacks.


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