UK says Reading knife attacker was acting alone

A police van outside the home of the man, who attacked people with a knife in Reading, Britain. EPA-EFE/ANDY RAIN

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The man who went on a stabbing spree in the British town of Reading was acting alone, interior minister Priti Patel said on Monday.

“This is a tragic, tragic event,” Patel said. She did not comment on whether the arrested man was Libyan, although she did not say that it was incorrect.

“What we saw here on Saturday evening in Reading was the actions of one lone individual,” she said.

A minute’s silence will be held on Monday for the victims of a stabbing attack that left three people dead and three others seriously injured in the English town of Reading.

Witnesses said a man wielding a 5-inch knife went on the rampage at around 1800 GMT on Saturday in Forbury Gardens, stabbing people at random who had gathered in the park on a sunny summer evening in Reading.

Police said it was a terrorism attack and described it as an atrocity. They have detained a man and say they are not searching for any other suspects.

The mayor of Reading, which is about 40 miles (65 km) west of London, said a minute’s silence would be held at 0900 GMT.

“I would like to offer my heartfelt condolences to those affected,” said Reading Mayor David Stevens. He invited people to join the minute’s silence via the council’s Facebook page.

A Western security source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that the arrested man was a 25-year-old Libyan called Khairi Saadallah. Police have so far not named the suspect but said it had arrested a 25-year-old man.

The security source said Saadallah had come across the radar of Britain’s domestic security agency MI5 last year over intelligence he had aspirations to travel for extremist purposes, although his plans came to nothing.

When asked about the reports, Britain’s security minister James Brokenshire said the government did not comment on intelligence matters.

Teacher James Furlong, 36, is the only victim to have been named so far.

“James was a wonderful man. He was beautiful, intelligent, honest and fun,” his parents said in a statement. “We will never forget him and he will live in our hearts forever.”

Via Reuters

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