Russell Square stabbing as it happened: Police say attack that killed American woman was not terror-related

Police said mental illness was a 'significant factor' in the case

Lizzie Dearden@lizziedearden
Thursday 04 August 2016 06:42

Police have said a knife attack that left an American woman dead and five others injured is not believed to be terror-related.

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Police were called just after 10.30pm to reports of a man armed with a knife assaulting people in Russell Square.

Armed units arrived at the scene around five minutes later and Tasered and detained the suspect.

Six people were injured during the incident, including the woman who died at the scene. Two other women and three men were hurt.

The suspect, a 19-year-old man, has been arrested on suspicion of murder and remains in custody.

Investigators said interviews, searches and intelligence reviews gave no indication the Norwegian national, of Somali origin, was radicalised or motivated by terrorism.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said early indications suggested that mental illnes was a "significant factor" in the case.

Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said: “As a precautionary measure, Londoners will notice an increased presence on the streets of officers, including armed officers today. We would urge the public to remain calm, alert and vigilant.”

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said police were working to keep the capital safe and establish the "full facts".

“The safety of all Londoners is my number one priority and my heart goes out to the victims of the incident in Russell Square and their loved ones," he added.

“I urge all Londoners to remain calm and vigilant. Please report anything suspicious to the police‎. We all have a vital role to play as eyes and ears for our police and security services and in helping to ensure London is protected.

“Our police officers are doing an incredibly difficult job on our behalf and they have my full support.”