Here we have another terrorist who wasn’t born in the Middle East, but his heritage originated from there. Young kid, too. When will Europe learn?
The 19-year-old Norwegian, of Somali origin, was Tasered by police outside the Imperial Hotel, in Southampton Row.
He was initially in hospital under armed guard but was this morning moved to a police station and arrested on suspicion of murder, police confirmed.
Norway’s foreign ministry said the teen emigrated from the Scandanavian country to Britain in 2002 when he was five years old.
The American woman, in her 60s, was treated at the scene but she died a short time later.
Five people – two women and three men – were taken to hospital for their injuries.
None of their injuries are life-threatening, police said.
They are British, Israeli and Australian citizens.
Matthew Barzun, US Ambassador to the UK, tweeted: “Heartbreaking news that a US citizen was killed in #RussellSquare attack.
“My prayers are with all the victims and their loved ones.”
Officers said at 8.30am on Thursday two people remained in hospital, while the other three were discharged.
Police originally said terrorism could not be ruled out but later said they had “not found any evidence of radicalisation or anything that would suggest the man in our custody was motivated by terrorism.”
They called the incident a “random attack” with mental health issues at the heart of it.
Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, said: “Whilst the investigation is not yet complete – all of the work that we have done so far, increasingly points to this tragic incident as having been triggered by mental health issues.
“At this time we believe this was a spontaneous attack and the victims were selected at random.”
He revealed police had searched an address in north London and will search another in south London later on.
AC Rowley, added: “So far we have found no evidence of radicalisation or anything that would suggest the man in our custody was motivated by terrorism.”
He said 999 calls from the public started flooding in at 10.33pm and within six minutes armed officers were at the scene, had Tasered the man and detained him.
The senior police officer said they used “minimum necessary force”, with no shots fired.
He added: “We should be proud of them and the British tradition of using the minimum necessary force.”
Two men, allegedly of Middle Eastern descent, were seen acting suspiciously outside the hotel after the incident, according to witnesses.
A 35-year-old witness, who wished to remain anonymous, told Express.co.uk: “I saw two men of Middle Eastern descent acting suspiciously outside the Imperial Hotel, on Southampton Row.
“One man made off on a motorbike down the wrong side of the road with the other man heading in a different direction.”
Hours after the attack Islamic State (ISIS) jihadis started spreading the news through messaging app, Telegram, as they shared photos and updates on the attack.
The incident came just hours after more armed police were deployed to the capital’s streets following several terror attacks in Europe over the past month.
Britain’s top police chief, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, said: “My thoughts are with the family of the woman who was murdered and those who were injured.
“A normal night out in our busy capital has ended in horrific circumstances.
“Our investigation is moving very quickly and our detectives have been working hard throughout the night. As we have already made clear, mental health remains a substantial focus for our investigation.
“Every day in London, my officers patrol and carry out operations to catch criminals in the knowledge that they face risk and danger. I am proud that last night our specialist firearms officers were on the scene in six minutes and, using only a Taser, detained the subject. That demonstrates our commitment to use force in a professional and proportionate way.
“Their swift response undoubtedly helped to prevent more people from getting injured.
“Across our capital today you will see more police officers, armed and unarmed, to reassure the public after recent events overseas. We will protect our Capital and those who live, work and visit our city.