Attack video takes centre stage

2013-05-23 14:22
Gallery  |  click on thumbnail to view larger image

Mourning begins for murdered soldier

London police have identified the victim of the Woolwich murder as 25-year-old soldier, Lee Rigby. As police continue to investigate the crime, locals begin to mourn the victim. See photos of the reaction.

London - A young man with bloodied hands holds a knife and a meat cleaver soaked in blood as he faces the camera to say he has just killed a soldier on a London street in retaliation for the deaths of Muslims killed by British troops in faraway lands.

As the man speaks, a woman in a blue skirt pulls a shopping cart down the pavement towards him, glances briefly in the direction of a corpse lying in the road, and walks right past the man, apparently oblivious to the bloody weapons in his hand.

"The only reason we have killed this man today is because Muslims are dying daily by British soldiers. And this British soldier is an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth," the man says to the camera, speaking in a London accent.

The astonishing footage shows the moments after a soldier was hacked to death in broad daylight on Wednesday in Woolwich, southeast London, in an attack the government is treating as a terrorist incident.

The video was filmed by a passer-by at the murder scene and was obtained minutes later by British channel ITV. It is now widely available on the internet.

"When he saw me filming, he came straight to me and said 'No, no, no, it's cool. I just want to talk to you,'", the man who made the film told ITV. He did not wish to be identified.

Ordinary London street

The one-of-a-kind video appeared to have raised different questions in the minds of media editors, who handled it in a variety of ways.

On the ITV website was a version where everything was visible except for the dead body in the road, which was blurred. The Sun newspaper website had a cropped version where the faces of passers-by were blurred. Other versions blurred the face of the man with the bloodied hands but showed other faces clearly.

The scene is an ordinary London street with an orange school crossing road sign and a white truck parked on the other side of the road in front of a mock Tudor brick building. By-standers can be seen in the background.

The young black man wears a black woolly hat, jeans and a dark wool jacket. His hands are red with blood and he waves the soaking knife and meat cleaver in one hand as he speaks.

"By Allah, we swear by the Almighty Allah, we will never stop fighting you until you leave us alone," he says, speaking fast and excitedly.

"When you drop a bomb do you think it hits one person or rather your bomb wipes out a whole family? This is the reality.

'Suicide video'

"By Allah, if I saw your mother today, with a buggy, I would help her up the stairs, this is my nature."

Ivor Gaber, professor of political journalism At City University London, said the footage raised difficult ethical questions for media.

"The attacker got the man to make his sort of 'suicide video'. If this had come from al-Qaeda there is no way the broadcasters would have run it," he told said.

"There's a strong news argument that it's the right thing to do. We need to see it in order to understand why these people are doing what they are doing. On the other hand this is exactly what they want. These guys clearly wanted maximum publicity."

In the video, the man urges the British public to "remove your government".

"Do you think David Cameron is going to get caught in the street when we start busting our guns? Do you think your politicians are going to die? No. It's going to be the average guy like you and your children. So get rid of them.

"Tell them to bring our troops back so we can, so you can all live in peace. Leave our lands and you will leave in peace, that's all I have to say."

Read more on:    security  |  london soldier attack  |  media

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.