LONDON — Two men accused of butchering a 25-year-old Afghanistan veteran soldier on a London street had been featured in investigations by security services, a British official said Thursday.
London attack: Brave woman tried to calm attackers armed with gun, cleaver
And two more people have been arrested by counterterrorism officers, police said Thursday evening in London.
A man and a woman, both 29, were in custody at a south London police station on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder.
The two original suspects, men aged 22 and 28, remained in hospital in stable condition, police said.
Six residences are being searched, police said: three in south London, one in east London, one in north London and one in Lincoln. The searches are ongoing.
“This is a large, complex and fast-moving investigation which continues to develop,” Metropolitan police said in announcing the new arrests.
The Ministry of Defence identified the soldier as 25-year-old Lee Rigby, who joined the army in 2006 and served in Afghanistan as a member of the fire support group.
Rigby, the father of a 2-year-old boy, was “an extremely popular and witty soldier (with) a larger than life personality. He was a passionate and life-long Manchester United fan,” the Defence statement read.
His attackers boasted of their exploits and warned of more violence in images recorded on witnesses’ mobile phones. Holding bloody knives and a meat cleaver, they waited for the arrival of police, who shot them in the legs, according to a passerby who had tried to save the dying soldier.
A British government official told The Associated Press both suspects were part of previous investigations for possible terror links.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about the investigation, said he could not provide other details because the suspects may face trial.
Investigations by Britain’s domestic security service, MI5, can include undercover surveillance, phone tapping and communications intercepts.
BBC also quoted sources as saying the attackers had been investigated but were not an immediate threat.
A Nova Scotia school is causing controversy after deciding to stop celebrating Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, instead opting to recognize the International Day of Families instead.
The Dartmouth elementary school said it is aiming to celebrate diversity and inclusivity while avoiding making children who are part of non-traditional families feel left out.
“Children can be isolated in a classroom if they’ve lost their mom or are in a family without a dad or in a family with two moms or two dads,” Education Minister Ramona Jennex recently told CTV Atlantic, adding that it’s up to the individual schools to decide how to celebrate mothers and fathers.
As part of the family day celebrations, which took place May 15, students at Astral Drive Elementary School were asked to write the names of all the people who supported them in their lives, on a large tree hung in the gymnasium.
Some parents have applauded the move to not celebrate Mother’s and Father’s Day as a sign of a more inclusive environment, while others have said the school is taking political correctness too far.
May 22, 2013 By Bruce Bawer
Husby is a neighborhood in western Stockholm which in 2007 had just over 11,000 inhabitants, fully 81.9% of whom were immigrants or the children of immigrants. The other interesting fact in the brief Wikipedia entry on Husby is that the area contains “many runestones…remnants from when Vikings used to live here.”
There are, alas, few other signs of the area’s Viking heritage.
The story begins on May 14, when Stockholm police were forced to shoot a man who was wielding a machete at them. He died. The cops were immediately accused of police brutality. A “community group” called Megafonen urged locals to demonstrate “for social justice and again st police violence.”
Last Sunday evening, apparently acting upon this suggestion, Husby erupted in the kind of wide-scale “youth” violence that has plagued suburbs in France and elsewhere for years. A school, a garage, and almost 100 cars were set on fire. And a gang attacked a cop.
On Monday evening, in further accordance with the Gallic precedent, things got even worse. Chaos reigned. Different reports provided different details, some of them sketchy. There were explosions. As of 9:36 PM Monday, Stockholm time, it was being reported that police officers were “running for their lives from youth gangs.” Twenty or so masked “youths” threw rocks at police officers and firefighters. A reporter for the newspaper Expressen narrowly missed being hit by a metal pipe. One report mentioned “youths” stealing fire hoses. When “youths” set fire to a parking garage, police had to evacuate fifty people from a nearby apartment house. Four or five “youths” beat up a cop on a bridge before he managed to flee. As he ran off, a girl could be heard laughing and shouting “Allah akbar!”
In Husby, at least three police cars were reported to have been vandalized. Meanwhile reports began to come in of cars on fire in other parts of western Stockholm. “The situation is escalating constantly,” a police spokesperson said on Monday evening. Late that night, The Local reported that over 100 cars had been set on fire in Husby and that a local shopping center had been vandalized, causing injury to three police officers.
Although Megafonen had itself urged its readers to demonstrate against police violence, it “explained” the rioting, in one statement, as an expression of frustration over high unemployment. “There is a great deal of hopelessness and powerlessness among the young people here,” read a comment by the organization, which added that it was important to “understand” the root causes of the rioting “and to find out what we can do” to make things better. In what seemed to be a contradiction, Megafonen spokesperson Rami Al-Kamisi called the rioting a “reaction to police brutality against citizens, our neighbors,” and said: “We understand that people react like this.”
In Norway, Ragnhild Bjørnebekk, who works at the Oslo Police College as a “violence researcher” (in the otherwise stagnant European economy, there’s a growth field if I ever heard of one) said that the rioting in Husby is only the latest of several “youth disturbances” in Europe sparked by “suspicions of police violence.” (Yes, you know those trigger-happy Scandinavian police.) Mentioning riots that had taken place in recent years in Greece, Gothenberg, Malmö, Copenhagen, and various French cities, Bjørnebekk attributed them all to anger over police conduct. (“Allah akbar,” of course, is Arabic for “Down with police brutality.”) Still, Bjørnebekk found it important to mention that this kind of rioting is a relatively new phenomenon in northern Europe. “Setting fire to cars and trash containers during riots is typical of countries like France and Greece, but unusual in the Nordic countries,” Bjørnebekk said. (As if differences between Scandinavian and Mediterranean cultures had the slightest thing to do with any of this!)
To be sure, Bjørnebekk was right in suggesting that nightly car-burnings and the like are still not a fixed part of the cultural landscape in the Nordic countries as they are on the outskirts of Paris, Marseilles, and so on. Yes, there are stabbings, rapes, gay-bashings, Jew-bashings, acts of vandalism, and other gang activity aplenty; non-Muslims who live in certain parts of Stockholm, Malmö, Copenhagen, and (increasingly) Oslo are systematically tormented in schools and on the streets by “youths” who seem to grow bolder and more aggressive by the year. And yes, there have been “youth” riots in Scandinavia: on a couple of nights in January 2009, a violent mob of “youths” descended on downtown Oslo and smashed in the front windows of businesses in an area of several square blocks, effectively paralyzing the very heart of the city. The rioting, which was supposedly a response to Israeli actions in Gaza (and which has pretty much been dropped down the memory hole), stretched police resources to the limit. But no, I guess it’s fair to say, as Bjørnebekk does, that so far regular car-burnings haven’t been a major element of the Nordic mix.
As is usual, of course, in such cases, Swedish media reports on Monday night were almost uniformly careful to avoid using any word other than “youths” (or some equally innocuous term) to characterize the perpetrators of the violence. Although here and there between the lines it was clear enough what was going on, there was nothing you could really put your finger on until Dagbladet – the Norwegian one, note, not the Swedish one – dared to mention that girl shouting “Allah akbar!” By Tuesday morning, the Swedish media, while providing reasonably extensive coverage of the night’s events, seemed to be making an effort to suggest that it hadn’t really been all that bad and to emphasize that, in any event, things had now quieted down. I did a pretty thorough online search of the major Swedish media, but couldn’t find any report on the rioting that included the word Islam or Muslim or any reference to the girl who shouted “Allah akbar!”
The emphasis was, shall we say, on other matters. One article inExpressen, for example, focused on the fact that a policeman had actually – gasp – dared to draw his weapon during the hubbub. (The paper actually had a video of this horrible act.) The cop put his gun back after being informed that the rioter he was aiming at was only thirteen years old. (Police later told VG that several of the participants in the evening’s festivities were as young as twelve.) On Tuesday morning, Megafon held a “well-attended” press conference the obvious intention of which was to turn the criminals into victims and the police into villains. The organization accused the police of deploying “excessive force” against the rioters; one speaker added the charge that cops, during the rampage, had used offensive language to describe immigrant-group members. Another speaker asked: “Who should you call when it’s the police who attack? I have no idea.” The meme that it had all been the fault of police overreach quickly established itself, with Norway’s Aftenpostenstressing laments by Stockholm “youth” that the police are never punished for their abuse of power, while the “youth” are always blamed.
Meanwhile, a police officer who has worked for many years in western Stockholm (and who apparently preferred not to be identified) told Aftonbladetthat the rioting, though horrible, amounted to “a typical day on the job.” He added: “People generally have no idea how serious it is, but there have been so many incidents in the past year that I’m sure it’ll end up with a police officer being killed.”
The latest reports, at this writing, confirm that all this is plainly only the beginnning. The early hours of Wednesday morning saw a new round of stories in the Scandinavian papers announcing that Stockholm was being beset by riots for the third night in a row. Among much else, stones had been thrown at a police station and a school had been set on fire. The rioting, moreover, had spread even further, to several other parts of the city that had been previously unaffected. Brief video here. Stay tuned. There will certainly be more developments on this front in the days to come.
A dramatic video tonight emerged of a man with bloodied hands, carrying knives and ranting ’We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you’, after a serving soldier was hacked to death by two men just 200 yards from an Army barracks.
The man can be seen and heard talking to the camera. The video came as terrified eyewitnesses saw two men shot by police marksmen after the machete attack in Woolwich, south-east London.
The two men are thought to have waited around for 20 minutes until Metropolitan Police officers arrived and then tried to attack them – but were swiftly shot by armed policemen, including a woman.
They apparently shouted ‘Allah Akbar’, which means ‘God is great’ in Arabic, and tried to film the attack, the BBC’s political editor Nick Robinson said.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2329089/Woolwich-attack-Two-men-hack-soldier-wearing-Help-Heroes-T-shirt-death-machetes-suspected-terror-attack.html#ixzz2U36vNtvw
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in related news
Friend of Tamerlan Tsarnaev shot dead by FBI after ‘pulling a knife as he prepared to sign a confession to 2011 triple homicide’
- Ibragim Todashev, 27, reportedly turned violent during an interview with an FBI agent
- He was being interviewed over his ties to Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev
- Todashev, from Chechnya, was shot dead by the agent just after midnight Wednesday
- He had reportedly confessed to the FBI that he played a role in a brutal triple slaying in the Boston area in 2011
- Todashev had met Tsarnaev while he was living in Boston and last spoke him about a week before the bombing
- He was arrested on May 4 in an unrelated incident after he knocked a man unconscious in a fight over a parking space
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2329001/Ibragim-Todashev-FBI-agent-fatally-shoots-suspect-Orlando-knew-Boston-Marathon-bombing-suspect-Tamerlan-Tsarnaev.html#ixzz2U37uvpaV
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so what else is new?
R&B superstar Usher hit a $430-million gusher on his chart-topping “Burn “- while its songwriter claimed he’s been severely burned.
Songwriter Ernest Lee Straughter joined more than a dozen protesters Monday outside NBCUniversal Studios to demand the reality show judge on “The Voice” reach an equitable settlement.
Straughter this month appealed a federal court offer of $500,000 to settle his case.
“I just want a reasonable amount of money, then I’m gone,” said Straughter, 62, of Riverside, a songwriter/pianist from Los Angeles who has played with the likes of Earth, Wind and Fire, Barry Manilow and Herbie Hancock, who had sued Usher for plagiarism in 2008. “I lost my house and everything, because I had to represent myself.
“I wrote the music,” he said outside studio Gate 3 in Universal City. “Usher wrote the words. I just want my fair share for my family. “
In 2004, Usher’s “Burn” hit top of the charts, with his album “Confessions” certified 10 times platinum.
But in his lawsuit, Straughter claimed his tune for “The Reasons Why” penned in 1998 for the group Reel Tight had been pilfered by the megastar. The suit named Usher, his co-writers and producer Jermaine Dupri.
Usher’s lawyers had said there was no relation between the songs, and had unsuccessfully asked the judge to reconsider her motion to allow the case to move forward.
A federal judge two years ago found there to be sufficient possibility that Usher and codefendants who produced the song had access to Slaughter’s work, “Reasons.” The judge accepted a musicologist’s report that noted substantial similarity between the songs and denied a motion to dismiss the case on summary judgment.
West Coast rap star Warren G. was named as the access link between Straughter and Usher, born Usher Terry Raymond IV. Usher’s lawyers denied Warren had any part in “Burn” creation.
Straughter, who had originally sought $25 million, said he was willing to settle for less than that. He lives with a fiance and three of his four children.
Usher Raymond has been the target of another plagiarism lawsuit from an aspiring New York songwriter who accused him and Alicia Keyes of pilfering material for the hit, “Caught Up. “