A man was heard shouting far-right and Islamophobic abuse before allegedly stabbing a teenager in a car park, a neighbour has said.
The 19-year-old victim was rushed to hospital following the ‘racially aggravated’ attack in the village of Stanwell, close to Heathrow Airport. A 50-year-old suspect who screamed ‘kill all Muslims’ was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. Counter-terrorism officers launched an investigation into the attack that appears to be ‘inspired by the far-right’ after the New Zealand terror shooting.
Neighbours said they were ‘shocked’ and ‘scared’ by the incident on Saturday night, which happened minutes after a man was seen hurling racist abuse while carrying a baseball bat and knife. Vincent Sutherland, who lives on the road with his wife and children, said he heard shouting begin at around 8pm.
Mr Sutherland, 54, told The Sun: ‘He shouted, “all Muslims should die”, “white supremacists rule”, “I’m gonna kill Muslims”.’
Another resident said she came ‘within feet’ of the attacker, who was ‘walking in the middle of the road swinging a shiny weapon’ back and forth. ‘I turned around and ran down the next road, hid in an alley, waited for the coast to be clear and ran,’ she said.
She said he had ‘something covering his mouth and nose and his hood up, so I could only see his eyes and his forehead’. ‘It was very scary,’ she said. Nemer Salem, 24, lives about 50 metres away from where the incident occurred in Viola Avenue.
He said he sped up when he heard a man shouting racist slurs out of a window on Saturday night as he was walking past at around 8pm. Nemar, who only moved to the area two weeks ago, said: ‘He started saying some crazy things about Muslims and just shut the window and went inside.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid appealed for the country to ‘stand together’ following a series of suspected hate crimes in the wake of the New Zealand terror attack. Fifty people died in a massacre at two mosques in Christchurch, believed to be carried out by a right-wing extremist.
Greater Manchester Police charged two people on Sunday following a report of a taxi driver ‘being abused and threatened by members of the public who were referencing the terrorist attacks in New Zealand’ in Rochdale. And far-right symbols spray-painted on a wall near a school in Oxford on Saturday are possibly linked to the attacks in New Zealand, Thames Valley Police said.