Reading stabbing attack that left three dead declared terrorist incident

Police confirm Reading stabbings treated as terror attack

A stabbing attack in Reading which killed three people has now been officially declared a terrorist incident, Thames Valley Police have said.

Officers were called to Forbury Gardens, in the centre of the Berkshire town, around 7pm on Saturday evening. Three others were also seriously injured in the attack, while a man, 25, was arrested at the scene for murder and remains in custody.

In a statement, Thames Valley Police said today: ‘Counter Terrorism Policing can now confirm that the stabbing incident that happened in Reading last night has now been declared a terrorist incident.

‘Officers from Counter Terrorism Policing South East (CTPSE) have been working closely with Thames Valley Police’s Major Crime Department throughout the night.

‘Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon, Senior National Coordinator for the Counter Terrorism Policing network, has this morning declared the incident a terrorist incident, and CTPSE will be taking over the investigation.’

Officers had previously said the stabbings could be terror-related, before later changing their official line to say they were keeping an ‘open mind’ as to what the knifeman’s motive was.

Five ambulance crews and two air ambulance services were among the emergency services called to the scene treat the casualties, South Central Ambulance Service said.

Thames Valley Police have also confirmed there is no indication the attack was linked to a Black Lives Matter protest in Reading earlier that same say, despite immediate reports suggesting otherwise.

Speaking today, Chief Constable John Campbell of Thames Valley Police said he was ‘deeply saddened by the events of last night’.

He went on: ‘This was a truly tragic incident and the thoughts of Thames Valley Police are with all those who have been affected. Incidents of this nature are very rare, though I know that will be of little comfort to those involved and understand the concern that this incident will have caused amongst our local community.

‘We will be working closely with our partners over the coming days and weeks to support the Reading community during this time, as well as with CTPSE (Counter Terrorism Policing South East) as they progress their investigation.

‘Police cordons continue to be in place and are likely to be for some time as CTPSE work further to investigate this incident and establish exactly what happened.

‘I would urge the public to avoid the area at this time and thank the community for their patience. We will let you know as soon as the area is back open.’

The head of counter terrorism policing, Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, has said there is nothing to suggest there was anyone else involved in the attack.