ISIS beheadings may have inspired London madman
Police are looking into the possibility that Thursday’s decapitation of an 82-year-old woman in a north London suburb was “inspired” by footage of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) beheading two U.S. journalists, local media reported.
However, detectives have said there is no evidence to suggest that terrorism was a motive in the killing of Palmira Silva, a widow and a great-grandmother of Italian descent, outside her home in a suburban garden in Edmonton, according to The Telegraph.
The 25-year-old killer, who was brandishing a machete when arrested, is suspected to be a local, and had converted to Islam last year, some residents told the Telegraph.
Silva was immediately announced dead at the scene.
Shortly after beheading Silva, the man was seen killing a cat and attacking another woman, before police arrived, according to the Daily Mail.
More than 20 officers were involved in his arrest, and only managed to subdue him after cornering him in one of the houses and shooting him with a Taser. Several officers were injured during the arrest.
Police believe the man also tried to attack two people at another home in the street, but they were able to escape without injury.
Scotland Yard revealed that its officers distracted the man after he was seen going through back gardens in Nightingale Road to prevent him attacking anyone else while they evacuated people from nearby homes, the Huffington Post reported.
“Officers had to do everything they could to make other people safe and evacuate houses and put their lives on the line to make sure this individual did not cause further harm,” Cdr. Simon Letchford said, according to the BBC.
Officers from the Met’s homicide and major crime command are also investigating an attempted attack on two other people at another house on the road prior to Silva’s murder.
A spokesman said: “At this stage we believe they were both able to get out of the house without injury.”
The man is in hospital being treated for injuries suffered when he was arrested, police said. A firearms officer is believed to have suffered a broken wrist, according to the Huffington Post.