British police said a man arrested over a stabbing incident officers initially treated as terrorism that injured five people in a shopping centre in northern England on Friday is now believed to have acted alone.
The man attacked people around him and chased two unarmed officers shortly after entering Manchester’s Arndale shopping centre in the heart of the city at about 11.15 a.m. (1015 GMT), police said.
He was overpowered by armed officers, with pictures on social media showing them using a stun gun to detain him. The man, in his 40s, who was arrested on suspicion of terrorism, has been assessed by doctors and is detained under the Mental Health Act, Greater Manchester police said in a statement.
There is not believed to be any wider threat to the public and the attacker is believed to have acted alone, police said.
“He was armed with a large knife and … he began lunging and attacking people with the knife,” Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson told reporters.
Shocked by the incident in Manchester and my thoughts are with the injured and all those affected. Thank you to our excellent emergency services who responded and who are now investigating what happened.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) October 11, 2019
Earlier, police said three people suffered stab wounds; two women, one aged 19, and a man aged in his 50s. Jackson said the injuries were “nasty” but none suffered life-threatening wounds.
“We do not know the motivation for this terrible attack, it appears random – it’s certainly brutal and of course extremely frightening for anyone who witnessed it,” Jackson said.
“We have the man we believe to be the attacker safely in custody. We will now be working to understand why he committed this awful attack.”
Britain has long been at a high state of alert and is currently at its second highest threat level, meaning an attack is considered highly likely.
Manchester was the location for Britain’s most deadly attack in recent years when Salman Abedi, a 22-year-old Briton born to Libyan parents, killed 22 people in May 2017 when he blew himself up at the end of a pop concert by Ariana Grande at the Manchester Arena, not far from the Arndale centre.
Islamic State said it was responsible in the immediate aftermath of that bombing, but security services have always treated the claim with scepticism. Abedi’s brother, who is suspected of involvement, was extradited from Libya in July.
“This is bound to bring back memories of the awful events of 2017,” Jackson said. “At this time we do not believe there was anyone else involved in this attack but we will constantly be keeping this under review.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Twitter: “Shocked by the incident in Manchester and my thoughts are with the injured and all those affected.”
Republican’s latest anti-Schiff sign hilariously backfires
House Republicans have had a difficult time defending President Donald Trump and his actions on Ukraine. They've tried to pivot to attack the process and claim that somehow Democrats are stacking the deck against the GOP. Unfortunately, however, they can't even do that correctly.
After a lunch break, Republicans in the House Intelligence Committee propped up a sign reading, "Days since Adam Schiff followed the rules 0." That would mean that Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) is following the rules today. If Republicans meant to attack Schiff or claim that Democrats were ignoring the House rules it would read a larger number of days, for example, "4 days since Adam Schiff followed House rules."
Trump’s Syria withdrawal was an ‘intelligence and propaganda gift to Russia’: report
In a surprise move last month, President Trump withdrew a contingent of US troops from their posts in northeast Syria, sparking widespread outrage from observers who saw it as yet another betrayal of Kurdish factions who were fighting as allies of the US. According to a report from Business Insider this Thursday, Trump's decision not only undid years of US-led efforts to combat ISIS, it also was an "intelligence (and propaganda) gift to Russia."
Within days of the US withdrawal, Kremlin-funded propaganda outlets were broadcasting from America's abandoned bases in the region while "Russian and other hostile intelligence officials" were mining the facilities "for insights into Western intelligence," Business Insider reports.
Fiona Hill’s impeachment testimony serves as a warning about US election security and the 2020 race
During her bombshell impeachment testimony before members of the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday morning, foreign affairs expert Fiona Hill not only made a strong case for President Donald Trump’s impeachment — she also gave Americans plenty of reason to be concerned about U.S. election security and the 2020 presidential election. Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller, during his public testimony earlier this year, made it abundantly clear that the Russian government under President Vladimir Putin interfered in the 2016 U.S. election and will no doubt interfere in the United States’ 2020 election if it can — and Hill, a former National Security Council (NSC) senior director specializing in Russian and European affairs, gave Americans plenty of reasons to be concerned about next year’s election.