“I met the watchmen Who patrol the town; They struck me, they bruised me. The guards of the walls Stripped me of my mantle.” (Song of Songs 5:7)
A man armed with a four-foot long sword shouted ‘Allahu Akhbar‘ (Allah is greater) before attacking police outside London’s Buckingham Palace on Friday evening. Three unarmed police officers were injured before the man was taken into custody.
The incident began when a blue Prius drove at a police van parked in a restricted area in front of the palace. The car stopped and a confrontation ensued.
“As they challenged the driver, who was the only occupant in the car, he reached for what we now know to be a 4-foot sword which was in the front passenger foot well,” a police statement said. “The officers acted very quickly to detain him. During a struggle, the three officers sustained minor injuries. The man, who repeatedly shouted Allahu Akbar, was incapacitated with CS spray.”
Cmdr. Dean Haydon, head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, made a statement to the press that the incident will be investigated as a terror incident.
“We believe the man was acting alone and we are not looking for other suspects at this stage. While we cannot speculate on what the man was intending to do — this will be determined during the course of the investigation — it is only right that we investigate this as a terrorist incident at this time.”
Buckingham Palace is the official residence of British royalty but palace officials said that Queen Elizabeth II is currently at Balmoral Castle, her holiday residence in Scotland. In addition to its royal function, the palace is a major London tourist attraction.