British police are saying that a Libyan refugee, Khairi Saadallah, is responsible for the terrorist attack in a park in Reading about 40 miles outside of London. Three people were killed and 3 injured.
The attack occurred on Saturday night where people were mingling in Forbury Gardens after the government lifted lockdown provisions. The attacks were apparently random and brutal.
The attacker seemed to strike his victims at random, police and witnesses said. One witness, speaking to the BBC, described the man moving from group to group stabbing people who were talking and drinking with one another in the park.
The police say the attacks were not connected to the Black Lives Matter protests held earlier in the day in the park.
Is this another “known wolf” attack?
Saadallah’s full background has still to be revealed, but early indications are that he did come to the attention of security services last year.
He was briefly assessed and deemed to be low risk and no formal investigation launched.
A bystander described the horror.
Laurence Wort, 20, who was visiting Reading for the day, told the BBC he was about 10m away when the attack started.
“The park was pretty full, a lot of people sat around drinking with friends when one lone person walked through, suddenly shouted some unintelligible words and went round a large group trying to stab them.
“He stabbed three of them and then turned and started running towards me, when we turned and started running.
“When he realised that he couldn’t catch us he tried to stab another group sat down.
“He got one in the back of the neck and then when he realised everyone was starting to run, he ran out the park.”
We can pretty much guess what those “unintelligible words” were.
While the terrorist didn’t pose any risk in the eyes of the police, someone somewhere must have seen something that would have set off warning bells for most people. If someone snaps because of mental illness, they usually demonstrate obvious symptoms for days prior to the explosion.
Whether Saadallah was in the grip of some religious fanaticism or felt enabled by the radical, violent language coming from Black Lives Matter protesters who gathered in that same park hours earlier is not known. Something set him off.
Whatever it was, it cost 3 innocent people their lives.