Sudden jihad syndrome? Why are the Brits refusing to call it Muslim Terrorism?
Woolwich 'terrorist attack': Live updates after 'soldier wearing Help for Heroes t-shirt is beheaded in broad daylight'
Two suspected terrorists shot by armed police after killing man - WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT
Help for Heroes, the charity whose t-shirt witnesses said the victim was wearing, said: "Help for Heroes is appalled to hear that a man, believed to be a serving soldier, has been brutally murdered in Woolwich today.
"We are desperately saddened to hear of this sickening attack and offer our thoughts and prayers to his family, colleagues and friends."
A picture has emerged of the second suspect in today's Woolwich attack. The man is in the right of the picture below wearing a beige coat.
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Labour leader Ed Miliband, who is cutting short a visit to Germany to return to the UK, said: "This is a truly appalling murder which will shock the entire country.
"All of my thoughts are with the family and friends of the victim.
"The British people will be horrified by what has happened in Woolwich. They will be united in believing that this terror on our streets cannot be allowed to stand.
"The Labour Party will offer the Government our complete support in establishing the facts of what happened and ensuring that those responsible face the full force of British justice."
A statement from the Muslim Council of Britain said it understood the victim was a member of the Armed Forces.
It said: "This is a truly barbaric act that has no basis in Islam and we condemn this unreservedly.
"Our thoughts are with the victim and his family.
We understand the victim is a serving member of the Armed Forces. Muslims have long served in this country's Armed Forces, proudly and with honour.
"This attack on a member of the Armed Forces is dishonourable, and no cause justifies this murder. This action will no doubt heighten tensions on the streets of the United Kingdom.
"We call on all our communities, Muslim and non-Muslim, to come together in solidarity to ensure the forces of hatred do not prevail."
Eyewitness Joe Tallant, 20, saw one man holding a gun and a knife, and another holding two knives.
He described how he saw the victim on the floor and the men asking onlookers to call the police.
He said: "I looked on the floor and I saw a dead body and then I saw one of the men walking around the body.
"He was telling people to call the police and then five to seven minutes later the police came.
"They walked towards the police car with their weapons and a police lady jumped out and shot them both."
He added: "They (the men) had the gun out and they were walking towards them casually with their arms by their side."I think there was a bit of twitching going on and then it all happened in a flash."
Mr Tallant also said one of the men insisted that "only women" should approach the victim.
The Cobra meeting, which lasted around an hour, heard that security has been tightened at Woolwich barracks and increased at all London barracks, Downing Street said.
The meeting lasted just under an hour and was attended by the Home Secretary, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, Mayor of London Boris Johnson, Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, Met Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick and intelligence agencies.
The meeting was told there are strong indications that it was a terrorist incident.
Mr Cameron said: "We will look at every aspect of security, we will look at every aspect of what you can learn from these incidents.
"But we also have to remember that in a free country like ours, the best way to defeat terrorism is to make sure that you continue to go about your life, to live your life and show that terrorists can never win, and that's important."
President Hollande added: "We must fight terrorism everywhere. It requires that we share our intelligence, that our intelligence services work together and that we act everywhere we can."
Nigel Farage, the UKIP leader said: "We are all left horrified by this appalling attack on the peaceful streets of London, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the young man who was killed and those who were injured.
"I hope and believe that this is an isolated incident and appeal for calm amongst all our communities.''
At a press conference in Paris, the Prime Minister said Britain has faced terror attacks such as the one in Woolwich before and added: "We will never buckle in the face of it."
In expressing solidarity with the PM, French president Francois Hollande referred to the murdered man as a "British soldier".
A Buckingham Palace spokesman has said that "the Queen is of course concerned by the report of an attack in Woolwich earlier today"
The spokesman also confirmed the Queen will visit the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery at Woolwich barracks on May 31, which was planned before today's attack.
The black man, dressed in a grey hooded jacket and black woolly hat, apologises to members of the public who witnessed the horrific scenes before making a number of political statements.
In the footage, obtained by ITV News, he is heard to say: "We must fight them as they fight us. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.
"I apologise that women have had to witness this today, but in our land our women have to see the same. You people will never be safe. Remove your government, they don't care about you."
The man, who spoke clear English without a foreign accent, is then seen walking towards the victim, lying in the street.
Do you know the man? If so call the Daily Mirror newsdesk on 0800 282 591 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Video of a man at the scene of the attack with bloodied hands carrying a meat cleaver and knife has been shown on ITV News.
The man made a series of political statements and told the cameraman: "We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you."
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Greenwich Council leader Councillor Chris Roberts has said: “We are deeply shocked by today’s events by the Barracks in Woolwich and our thoughts are with the family of the victim.
“Greenwich is a borough whose history and evolution is intertwined with military, both army and navy and any attack by the Barracks feels like a strike at the heart of our community.
“The council will assist the police with their investigations and provide any support requested of us.”
Home Secretary Theresa May has branded the killing as a "sickening and barbaric attack."
She says in a statement: "I have been briefed by the Metropolitan Police Commissioner and the director general of the Security Service.
"It has been confirmed to me that a man has been brutally murdered this afternoon in south east London.
"Two other men were shot by armed police and they are currently receiving treatment for their injuries.
“I have called a COBR meeting where I will receive further briefing. This is a sickening and barbaric attack.”
Sky News is reporting that David Cameron is cutting short his trip to Paris and return to London to take charge of the situation.
In February 2008 a Birmingham man was jailed for life for plotting to kidnap and kill a British Muslim soldier.
Parviz Khan admitted planning to lure the soldier off the streets with the promise of drugs - then film his beheading.
He was described in court as having "the most violent and extreme Islamist views", and the judge said his aim was to deter any Muslim from joining the British Army.
Khan was ordered to serve at least 14 years in jail.
"The next thing that happened was he actually pulled a handgun out. It was a gun that looked as if it could take about 12, 15 rounds so I definitely know it was handgun because I actually seen it in his hand."
He added the silver car then "shot off" and he shouted to warn children coming out of school with their teachers to get back inside the building.
"I was more concerned about the kids because he had a handgun and he'd pull it out. As soon as he pulled that out I panicked, you know what I mean," he told the BBC.
"The police were down at the bottom of the road where I live. They were round the corner and they said they actually couldn't do anything until Trojan turned up.
"I would have waited for someone with a gun because this man had a handgun. He didn't fire the gun. All I heard was four shots when the Trojan people turned up. These men actually went for the police with the machetes, knife and handgun.
"I don't think they cared. I don't think they really cared because they went for the police with a handgun. The police were the only ones who did any shooting."
Eyewitness Graham Wilders described two men surrounding another.
He told the BBC: "I saw two people lying over him and I thought they were trying to resuscitate him. I went down to the garage and another bloke come along and told me they were actually stabbing him.
"Apparently they actually ran the car into him and knocked him down before they did anything.
"And the next minute a silver car came along and a man got out and shouted he was going to phone the police...
Adrian Green witnessed the attack. He was handing out leaflets on the street. He said he heard screams and shouts and went to see what was going on. He told Sky that what he saw was "horrific and shocking".
He said there was a guy with lots of blood and thought he might have been run over.
Government sources have told ITV News that they believe the Woolwich incident was deliberately filmed and at least one of attackers shouted "Allahu Akbar".
Met Police Woolwich Commander Simon Letchford has just released the following statement.
"I am here to give you an update about the incident that has unfolded here in Woolwich this afternoon and to give you further details of the situation and an outline of the facts as we understand them at this time. This is at a very early stage and as such I will provide you with what information I am able to.
"At approx 1420 we were called to reports of an assault in John Wilson Street, Woolwich where one man was being assaulted by two other men. A number of weapons were reportedly being used in the attack, and this included reports of a firearm.
"Officers including local Greenwich officers arrived at the scene and shortly after firearms officers arrived on the scene. On their arrival at the scene they found a man, who was later pronounced dead. At this early stage I am unable to provide any further information about the man who has died.
"Two men, who we believe from early reports to have been carrying weapons, were shot by police. They were taken to separate London hospitals, they are receiving treatment for their injuries.
"I can understand that this incident will cause community concerns, and I would like to reiterate that we are investigating what has taken place today. The MPS will investigate the circumstances that led to a man to lose his life and the IPCC, as is routine, will investigate the circumstances in which police discharged their weapons.
"There will continue to be an increased police presence in this area, and the surrounding areas this evening. That presence will continue as long as is needed.
"I am asking people to remain calm, and avoid unnecessary speculation. I will update you again as soon as I am in a position to do so.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson has tweeted: !This afternoon's attack in Woolwich is a sickening deluded and unforgivable act of violence. My thoughts are with the victim and his family."
Sky News is reporting that sources are telling them that it is understood that the killing was likely to be a politically-motivated Islamist terror attack. They are reporting that it is not yet clear whether the alleged attackers were self-starters or part of a wider plot.
Witness, Shane Webb, 48, an electrician who lives in a tower block overlooking the scene has told the Telegraph: "There was a white man lying in the middle of the street. He was definitely dead. He was wearing a bomber jacket.
"As I was watching a police car pulled up and two cops got out. They both just raised their guns and fired. There were about five or six shots very fast and one of the black guys just went down. I don't know if he was dead or not, but he just collapsed, just went down.
"They were firing at both of them and I think the other was hit as well, but I couldn't see that very well."
We're expecting a police press conference shortly and we'll be bringing you the latest information as we get it.
Mr Mann, who manages Mann Food and Wine shop in Frances Street, told the News Shopper: "I heard the victim, a soldier, went to help some people who were in a car accident and they got out and butchered him up.
"This is what customers have told me although I have been told a lot of different things - it's not clear exactly what happened."
Prime Minister David Cameron described the Woolwich killing as "truly shocking'' and said he had asked the Home Secretary to chair a meeting of Cobra, the Government's emergency committee.
The Ministry of Defence said it was urgently looking at the reports that the incident involved a soldier but had no further comment.
The incident occurred some 200 yards from the Royal Artillery Barracks, adjacent to Woolwich Common, the historical home of the Royal Artillery.
The barracks, also known as the Woolwich station, now houses a number of the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery and independent companies of the Grenadier and Coldstream Guards.
Woolwich Common remains a designated military training area.
The shooting events at the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics were held at a temporary venue at the Barracks.
Eye-witness Clare Foran, 34, was driving from Tesco to her home in John Wilson Street with her husband Nigel when she saw a man lying on the floor.
She told News Shopper: “We thought he had been on run over. Then we saw two black blokes, one with what looked like a screwdriver. They started running down the road as if they were going to go for the police and the police shot them.
"I thought it was a stungun. But obviously not.
“I ducked down – it was like something out of the movies. We managed to drive past but there were loads of cars stuck.
“There was lots of shouting and everyone started to run away.”
A video taken in the aftermath of the attack has been posted on YouTube. It shows the victim lying in the road and police training their guns on two suspects lying face down on the road nearby.
Police sources tell Sky that they are treating this incident as a terrorist attack.
David Dixon, headteacher of the nearby Mulgrave Primary School and Early Years Centre, said he had seen a body lying in the road.
"All the traffic had stopped. There were gunshots after that so I am not sure about the situation after," he told BBC News.
"But all I needed to know was that there was an emergency and we needed to go into our emergency procedures to make sure that the children were as safe as possible.
"That was my main priority.
"We got all the staff to get the children in because some of them were outside doing activities, we locked all the gates.
"I and some of my senior staff liaised with police to find out what we needed to do after that."
He said the air ambulance had landed in the playground of the school.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating the incident.
A spokesman said: "The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has been made aware by the Metropolitan Police Service of incident in Woolwich, south London.
"IPCC investigators have been deployed to the scene and to the post-incident process.
"The IPCC has declared this as an independent investigation."
You can listen to the full interview below.
James told the radio station how incredibly some "brave" women tried to shield the man on the ground from the attackers.
He also said that it was 20 minutes before armed police arrived at the scene.
"When the armed police came flying around the corner, the man with the beanie hat, the tall guy, he charged at the police vehicle," he said.
"A shot was fired by the other guy with the gun.
"Six shots were fired, both men went down and we now know they are dead as well."
"They were oblivious to anything, they were more worried about having their photo taken, running up and down the road," he said.
"They had no intention of running off or leaving or anything.
"In my opinion, they were waiting for the police to arrive to be shot by the police. That's the only thing I can think.
"It's horrendous what they were doing to that guy."
We're getting more from the eyewitness called James who spoke to LBC radio.
He said his partner saw two black men attack a young man aged around 20 in a Help for Heroes T-shirt with kitchen knives.
Fighting back tears, he added: "These two guys were crazed.
"They were just animals. They dragged him from the pavement and dumped his body in the middle of the road and left his body there."
He said that after the "horrendous" attack, the two men, in their 20s, just stood around, waving knives and a gun, even asking people nearby to take pictures of them "as if they wanted to be on TV or something".
Cheryl Spruce, who lives near the incident, told Sky News that a nearby school was put into "lockdown".
She said: "The police were telling us to take an alternative route to get to school.
"There were police everywhere. There were 30 to 40 police officers.
"Police officers in each road were stopping people from walking anywhere. It's mayhem out there at the moment."
The eyewitness reports are pretty horrific.
Leila Salih told the News Shopper that her friend saw a head in the street.
The 24-year-old added: "It's disgusting - kids are going to school here."
Julia Wilders, 51, of Charles Grinling Walk, told the News Shopper: "I saw some blokes trying to resuscitate another man on the floor.
"We walked down to have a look and we saw a black bloke walking up there with a gun.
"Another bloke had two meat cleavers in his hand.
"A response team turned up.
"One of the blokes ran to the police car with the meat cleaver and they shot him.
"And then they shot the other one."
London Air Ambulance have confirmed that one patient was confirmed dead at the scene and another was airlifted from the scene, while another was taken away by road ambulance. They are conflicting reports as to whether they have died from their injuries.
An eyewitness called James told LBC that the attackers treated their victim as a "piece of meat'' after he was dead.
He said: "These two guys were crazed. They were just animals. They dragged him from the pavement and dumped his body in the middle of the road and left his body there.
Nick Raynsford MP for Greenwich and Woolwich is telling LBC that he has spoken to has spoken to a senior officer at the nearby barracks and the victim is a serving soldier.
A number of victims have been recovered from the scene.
The victim was apparently wearing a Help for Heroes t-shirt and was attacked with a machete-style knife and dumped in the street.
One witness, identified as James, said he and his partner saw two black men attack the young victim with knives, including a meat cleaver.
"They were hacking at this poor guy, literally," he told LBC.
"They were hacking at him, chopping him, cutting him."
Twitter user Boya Dee has claimed he witnessed the horrific attack.
He wrote: "Ohhhhh myyyy God!!!! I just see a man with his head chopped off right in front of my eyes!
"Mate ive seen alot of s*** im my time but that has to rank sumwhere in the top 3. I couldnt believe my eyes. That was some movie s***.'
"The two black bredas run this white guy over over then hop out the car and start chopping mans head off with machete!!
"People were asking whyyy whyyy they were just saying we've had enough! They looked like they were on sutn! Then they start waving a recolver
"Then thats how u know they were on sutn cos they actually went for armed feds with just two machete and an old rusty lookin revolver.
'"he first guy goes for the female fed with the machete...Then the next breda try buss off the rusty 45 and it just backfires and blows mans finger clean off..."
Pub worker Sam, who works in the Dial Arch pub in nearby The Warren told the News Shopper: "We heard rumours someone got attacked by an axe then the axe wielder got shot dead.
"I’m surprised at the severity of the incident but not that there’s been an incident because it is Woolwich.
"The severity of the incident has surprised me."
A brave group of women tried to protect the injured man as his attackers stood over him.
The attack took place outside a local primary school.
There are numerous reports on Twitter that the victim may have had a military background.
One eyewitness is telling LBC Radio that one of the attackers asked people to take photos of him after the attack.
He says that as soon as the police arrived one of the suspects charged at the police.
He says six shots were fired and both men went down.
The victim was aged in his mid 20s.
According to reports shots were heard following an alleged sword attack in the street close to the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich.
It has been reported by an eyewitness that armed police opened fire on two suspects and shot them dead.
Here's a picture from the scene in Woolwich. We have very few details so far but there are horrific reports on Twitter that somebody may have been beheaded. We stress at the moment these are unconfirmed reports.
Apparently there's been a shooting/stabbing in woolwich twitter.com/KingAdeIV/stat…
— Gustavo Fring (@KingAdeIV) May 22, 2013
There are reports of a major incident taking place in Woolwich, south-east London.
Eyewitnesses have reported a shooting taking place.
A spokesman for the Metropolitan police has told Mirror.co.uk that officers have responded to an incident in John Wilson Street after being called at about 2.20pm.
The spokesman added: "We believe at this stage officers were called to an assault."
A tweet from the force's official police helicopter Twitter account said it was assisting with a ‘serious incident in the Thamesmead area’.
A number of photographs posted on the social networking site show an injured man lying in a road along with two other men surrounded by police officers.
A helicopter and several ambulances can also be seen in other pictures.