Buckingham Palace knifeman arrested under Terrorism Act

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LONDON: A man who attacked police with a knife outside Queen Elizabeth II’s Buckingham Palace residence in London has been arrested under the Terrorism Act, police said Saturday.

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The 26-year-old attacker stopped his car near a police vehicle in a restricted area outside the world famous palace at around 8:35 p.m. Friday (1935 GMT), according to a Metropolitan Police statement.

“Officers spotted a large knife in his vehicle and went to arrest him,” said the statement. “During the course of detaining the man, two male police officers suffered minor injuries to their arm.”

The officers required hospital treatment but have been discharged, according to police.

The man, who was initially arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm and assaulting police, was later arrested under the Terrorism Act 2000.

“Detectives from the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command are now investigating the incident,” police said.

The incident comes with Britain and much of Europe on high alert following a string of major attacks over the past two years—most of which have been claimed by, or blamed on, jihadists—and hours after a knife attack on soldiers in Brussels.

The assailant in Friday’s attack was arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and assault, and taken to a London hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

He has now been taken to a central London police station for questioning, police said.

“The quick and brave actions of both officers meant that the suspect was detained very quickly,” said police officer Guy Collings.

“No members of the public had any interaction with this individual at the scene. It is too early in this investigation to speculate any further.”

The queen was at her Balmoral residence in Scotland, although the palace said it would not comment on security issues.

The incident occurred just two hours after a knifeman attacked two soldiers in Brussels in what authorities are treating as a terrorist attack.

The attacker was shot dead Friday after wounding a soldier.

Belgian prosecutors said the attacker yelled “Allahu akbar” (God is greatest) during the assault before being shot by soldiers in the center of city, which has been on high alert since last year’s carnage at the airport and on the metro.

“We believe it is a terrorist attack,” said a spokeswoman for the prosecutors’ office.

The attack took place around 8 p.m. (1800 GMT) and Belgian media said the assailant was about 30 and of Somali origin.

AFP

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