London Mayor Boris Johnson Pays His Respects At 'Horrific' Crime Scene

Category: World / May 23, 2013 10:29AM EDT


London mayor Boris Johnson visited the crime scene on Thursday (May 23) where two men shouting jihadist slogans hacked a soldier to death with a meat cleaver and knives the day before.

The attack was the first apparent Islamist killing in London since suicide bombers struck transport in July 2005.

Police shot the two suspects while trying to arrest them, and the wounded men were taken into custody.

The attack happened on the edge of London's sprawling Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich, a south London working class district which has long-standing historic links to the military.

Mayor Johnson paid tribute to the police and London's emergency services and said Londoners could go on with their normal lives.

"I just want to say that I've had a chance now to meet some of the officers who were involved, obviously, at the scene, to get a briefing from them, but above all, to thank them, thank the police for all the excellent work they have done in the last 24 hours. And, of course, I want to pay tribute to the rest of the London emergency services as well. London ambulance and everyone else. Plainly this was a horrific incident. Everything that I have seen and heard this morning leads me to conclude that - two things. Number one, that those guilty will be brought speedily to justice. And second, I have absolutely no doubt that Londoners can go about their lives in the normal way today."

Some Muslim commentators have expressed fear of a backlash following Wednesday's attack and the mayor urged the public not blame the religion of Islam for crimes committed by individuals.

"This is not a question now of blaming the religion of Islam. It is certainly not a question of blaming any aspect of British foreign policy, or what British troops, our troops, do in operations abroad when they risk their lives on behalf of all of us. Everybody can see that the fault for this lies exclusively, wholly, and entirely in the minds of those who were responsible for this crime. And they are going to be brought to justice."

A dramatic clip filmed by an onlooker just minutes after Wednesday's killing showed a man with hands covered in blood shouting Islamic slogans and promising revenge on Britain for its participation in wars in the Muslim world.

Video Source: Reuters