London Beheading Part of a Wider Terror Plot?

London terrorism
British authorities want to know if two men who hacked a British soldier to death outside an army barracks in London on Wednesday were part of a wider terror plot. (CBN News)

British authorities want to know if two men who hacked a British soldier to death outside an army barracks in London Wednesday were part of a wider terror plot.

Witnesses to the gruesome attack say the men shouted "allahu akbar" before running over the victim and then savagely stabbing him with butcher knives.

"The guy was already dead in the road," eyewitness Jamie France said. "But that's when I saw the other guy with the axe and a gun. Then after that I was looking out for about 20 minutes before the police came."

After the killing, one of the suspects approached bystanders with bloody hands and a chilling message: "We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you."

The killers called the attack an "eye for an eye," accusing British soldiers of killing Muslims overseas. Police shot and wounded both men, who were later taken to nearby hospitals.

Authorities say one of the suspects, Michael Adebolajo, was born in Britain and raised a Christian but converted to Islam in 2003. He changed his name to "Mujahid," which means "one who wages jihad."
     
The London Evening Standard reports that detectives are investigating whether Adebolajo was radicalized after attending meetings of al-Muhajiroun, a group known for praising the 9/11 hijackers and encouraging young men to follow their example.

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister David Cameron has called the attack an act of terrorism, and police are now searching several locations, trying to determine if the suspects were part of a wider plot.

"The people who did this were trying to divide us," Cameron said. "They should know something like this will only bring us together and make us stronger."

Cameron also hailed Ingrid Loyau Kennett, the woman who confronted the suspect and may have saved lives.

When asked by a reporter why she intervened, Kennett replied, "Better me than a child because, unfortunately, there were more and more mothers with children stopped around.  So it was even more and more important that I talk to him and then ask him what he wanted."

The prime minister lauded Kennett's bravery, vowing the country will not be cowed by the violence. 

"When told by the attacker he wanted to start a war in London she replied, 'You are going to lose. It is only you against many.' She spoke for us all," Cameron said.

Was Wednesday's attack an isolated incident or something more sinister? CBN News Terrorism Analyst Erick Stakelbeck addressed that question and more on Newswatch Thursday.

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