Surrey Police are treating the stabbing of a man in Stanwell as an act of “far-right inspired” terrorism.
A 19-year-old man was stabbed in Stanwell near Heathrow Airport on Saturday night.
A 50-year-old man was arrested near the crime scene on suspicion of attempted murder and racially aggravated public order. The suspect remains in custody.
The Metropolitan’s head of Counter Terrorism Policing, Neil Basu, said earlier today: “Whilst this investigation is still in its infancy, it has hallmarks of a terror event, inspired by the far-right, and therefore it has been declared a terrorism incident.”
The victim is currently in hospital, though his injuries are non-fatal.
Surrey Live reported that the victim was stabbed in the hand.
Just before 10.30pm yesterday night, Surrey Police was called to Viola Avenue in Stanwell to reports of a man behaving aggressively and shouting racist slurs while carrying a knife and a baseball bat. Numerous vehicles were also vandalised.
Another call was received by the police at 10.30pm reporting a man had been stabbed. It is understood the suspect is the same man who was reported as behaving aggressively.
Police constables, including armed response units, located a suspect after a search and arrested him.
Mr Basu said declaring the incident as terror-related allows police to “use all of the specialist capabilities available to establish the full circumstances of this attack”.
He said: “The investigation is being led by an investigation team based in the Counter Terrorism Policing South East region, who are working closely with our colleagues in Surrey Police in order to build a better picture of what has occurred.
“Police are committed to tackling all forms of toxic extremist ideology, which has the potential to threaten public safety and security.
“Local officers will be out and about providing reassurance and protective security advice to communities, places of worship and businesses.”
Det Supt Karen Mizzi said: “This is a shocking and worrying incident and we are working to support our colleagues at Counter Terrorism Police South East with their enquiries and will continue to liaise with the local community.
“I want to reassure residents that we are doing all we can to ensure a thorough investigation takes place and we are supporting those affected by last night’s events.
“Patrols will be stepped up across Stanwell in order to provide assurances to those in the area specifically around mosques and increasing engagement with communities of all faiths, giving advice on how people and places can protect themselves.”
“We stand together with all communities in Surrey and we will take action against any criminal behaviour which seeks to undermine society, especially where crimes are motivated by hate.
“There can never be any excuse for this type of incident in any shape or form and this criminality will not be tolerated.”