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Message regarding Russell Square incident 03 August 2016

Please find below the updated information that we have received regarding the events in Russel Square on 03 August 2016.

AC Rowley update on murder in Russell Square:

Speaking outside New Scotland Yard, Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said: “I would like to update you on our investigation into last night’s horrific murder and attack.

As you know a man has been arrested on suspicion of murder and is in our custody.

Our specialist detectives from the murder and terrorism teams have been working hard throughout the night.

The investigation is fast paced and making urgent progress.

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.

We have focused on five strands of work:
– Interviewing the suspect
– Speaking with the suspect’s family
– Witness accounts
– Searches
– Full intelligence review of the suspect by us the security service

We now know more about the victims and I can say that:

– the woman who was murdered was American national,

– those injured are Australian; American; Israeli and British.

We have spoken to the relevant Embassies and will do what we can to support them.

This morning we have searched an address in north London and will search another in south London.

So far we have found no evidence of radicalization or anything that would suggest the man in our custody was motivated by terrorism.

The suspect is a Norwegian national, of Somali ancestry.

I stress though that all the work we have done does not suggest those are relevant to the motivation for his actions.

We started to receive 999 calls from the public at 22:33hrs to reports of a man attacking people with a knife.

Within six minutes of that call our armed officers were there; the man was Tasered and he was detained.

Our firearms officers bravely rushed to that scene with very little information.

They would not have known if this was an act of terrorism or the random attack we now know it be.

They detained an armed and dangerous man – and resolved it using the minimum necessary force – no shots were fired.

We should be proud of them and the British tradition of using the minimum necessary force

There will have been a large number of people in that area at the time – they may have vital information to help our murder investigation – I would ask them to contact us.

This attack will cause concern.

So as a precautionary measure we have increased the number of officers out on the streets today and that will continue for as long as we need it to.

I want everyone who is out and about in London today – our residents; businesses or visitors – to know that the Met is totally committed to doing everything we can do to protect you.”