Foreign News

Attack on prison officer by inmates wearing fake suicide belts as they shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ ‘is terror incident’ say police

Prison Service spokesman said incident was ‘quickly resolved by brave staff’ Prisoner was Brusthom Ziamani who had previously plotted to behead soldier He had worked with another prisoner who had converted to Islam in prison Attackers reportedly shouted Islamist slogans and had fake suicide vests An attack on a prison officer by two inmates wearing fake suicide belts at HMP Whitemoor is being treated as a terrorist attack, police said today. One of the inmates suspected of behind the assault on staff at the prison in Cambridgeshire yesterday was revealed as a jihadi called Brusthom Ziamani who had plotted to behead a soldier. He ‘slashed and stabbed a guard’ at the prison while wearing a fake suicide vest inside the maximum security facility. Counter-terrorism police have since launched an investigation after the attack, which is thought to have involved another inmate. A prison source claimed the duo shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ – meaning ‘God is Great’ – in the attack. Police said both attackers were ‘wearing belts with various items crudely attached’. The prison officer who was attacked received injuries to his head and neck and it is believed the attackers used improvised bladed weapons during the assault. The two prisoners were subsequently detained by other prison staff, some of whom also suffered injuries. Five members of staff, including the seriously injured officer, were subsequently taken to hospital following the incident. All five have since been released. The 24-year-old had been acting with a man who had been serving time for violent offences and had converted to Islam. Ziamani had been inspired by the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby and in 2015 was found guilty of preparing an act of terrorism. Prior to his conviction he had been known to authorities due to a string of offences such as robberies, fraud and prostitution. According to the Henry Jackson Society, Zimani had appealed his sentence which had been 22 years. He managed to get it down to 19 years, due to his youth. A Prison Service spokesman said the incident was ‘quickly resolved by brave staff’ at the 458-capacity HMP Whitemoor in Cambridgeshire. He did not state the nature of the injuries to the officers amid reports the inmates were wearing fake suicide vests and shouting Islamist slogans. Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon, Senior National Coordinator for Counter Terrorism Policing, has now confirmed the matter is being treated as a terrorist attack. Back in 2011 a report from the Cambridge Institute of Criminology stated that prisoners had been converting to Islam for ‘gang reasons’. As part of the report staff claimed converting to the religion was a ‘protection racket’.