A British stabbing spree Friday — in which a man in his 40s attacked numerous pedestrians in a shopping center before he was subdued by police — is believed to be an act of terrorism, officials said.
The man, who has not been identified, was taken in for questioning after police confronted him at the Arndale shopping center in Manchester. Investigators say three people were injured there during a stabbing spree this morning and that the man is being detained on suspicion of the commission, preparation and instigation of an act of terrorism.
Greater Manchester Police said two women – one of whom is 19 – are in stable condition after being taken to local hospitals with stab wounds. The condition of a 50-year-old man who police say also was stabbed in the attack was not immediately clear.
“We do not know the motivation for this terrible attack,” Greater Manchester Police Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson told reporters. “It appears random, is certainly brutal and of course, extremely frightening for anyone who witnessed it.
“This is bound bring to back memories of the awful events of 2017,” he added, referring to a terror attack in which a suicide bomber killed 22 at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.
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Police say the man walked into the shopping center at 11:15 a.m. and suddenly “began lunging and attacking people with a knife.”
Two unarmed police officers approached the alleged attacker, who chased them while they called for assistance, Jackson added.
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Images taken from outside the shopping center show officers later taking the man into custody.