Suspect arrested on suspicion of terrorism in Manchester stabbing spree

Suspect arrested on suspicion of terrorism in Manchester stabbing spree

There was an apparently random stabbing spree inside a mall in Manchester, England earlier today. Video showed the suspect being arrested just outside the mall by two police officers. As you can see, one of the officers had fired a taser at the suspect:

The BBC describes the scene inside the mall:

One witness said they saw a man “running around with a knife lunging at multiple people”, while another described people “screaming and running”.

The centre was put on lockdown as officers confronted the attacker, with some shoppers taking refuge in stores.

A shop worker, who only gave his name as Jordan, 23, said: “A man was running around with a knife lunging at multiple people, one of which came into my store visibly shaken with a small graze…

Freddie Holder, 22, from Market Drayton, Shropshire, said he heard “a load of screams just outside” the shop he was in.

He said a woman then came into the shop and told others “a guy just ran past the shop and tried to stab me”.

He added: “I’m still kind of in shock from it, I’m shaking a little bit… all shops had been locked down just for safety.

Three people were transported to the hospital with serious injuries and are expected to live. Police gave an update in which they said that almost immediately after the attack began the man was confronted by two unarmed officers. The suspect began chasing them and they radioed for help. Other officers arrived and the suspect was arrested. Police are still saying they don’t know the motive for the attack but the suspect was arrested on suspicion of terrorism:

Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson told a press conference that while the suspect was initially arrested for serious assault, he has now been arrested on “suspicion of the preparation, commission and instigation of an act of terrorism.”

There was a similar knife attack in Paris last week when a long-time employee of the police department killed four of his colleagues inside police headquarters. In that case the suspect was killed. Police were initially downplaying terror as a motive, but after a search of the suspects computer and phone they announced that terrorism investigators were taking over the case. A short while later, we learned the suspect had recently adopted more conservative Islamic views and had “expressed his support for the 2015 Charlie Hebdo attacks.”

We’ll have to wait a bit longer to find out what motivated the Manchester suspect. In most cases, people carrying out these attacks are not trying to go unnoticed. On the contrary, they usually announce the motive in some way. Since he’s still alive, maybe he’s also talking. Here’s a video of the police press conference.

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