Another Beheading, But Victim Is 82-Year-Old Woman In London; Incident Not Terrorism Related Though Attacker May Have Been Inspired By IS Decapitation Videos
By Vittorio Hernandez | September 5, 2014 9:39 AM EST
There was another British victim of beheading on Thursday, but it was not the Briton held captive by the Islamic State. Rather, it was Palmira Silva, a resident of Edmonton in North London.
An elderly woman is pictured in the birth village of Gavrilo Princip, the 19-year-old Bosnian Serb who gunned down Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914 and lit the fuse for World War One, in Obljaj June 27, 2014. Bosnian Serbs will open the birth house of Gavrilo Princip in Obljaj on Saturday in honour of Princip, on the centenary of the assassination. Different centenary commemorations of the event speak volumes to Bosnia a century on, where perceptions of Princip have been warped by time and politics, and wounds are still raw from the bloody demise of Yugoslavia. Serbs see Princip as a heroic fighter for the freedom of all southern Slavs from centuries of imperial occupation over the Balkans while to others, he was a nationalist terrorist whose gunshot heralded four years of slaughter and suffering, as more than 10 million soldiers died and empires crumbled. REUTERS/Srdjan Zivulovic (BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA - Tags: POLITICS CONFLICT ANNIVERSARY)
It was not another decapitation by the extremist militant group, but the work of a crazed attacker, reports The Telegraph. He was described as black and in his mid-20s.
The 82-year-old pensioner was a random victim of the 25-year-old attacker who used a machete. Residents of Edmonton witnessed the gruesome crime, preceded by the attacker hitting a passing car and a cat before searching back gardens for another victim.
Silva was declared dead on the spot, while the police distracted the attacker and tasered him.
While there is no direct link to the recent decapitation of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff by Jihadist John, Edmonton residents thought the attacker, a local resident, was inspired by the viral video of the decapitation. They also said the man converted to Islam in 2013.
Freda Odame, a catering worker and neighbour of the Silva heard shouts and banging on her door. The she saw a man with a large curved knife about a foot long, apparently searching for something.
"He had a crazed look in his eyes so I closed my curtains because I was scared. My next door neighbour was in his garden but did not seem to realise anything was going on."
Detectives said they are also looking into reports that the man had earlier attempted to attack two other people in Nightingale Road.
Detective Chief Inspector John Sandlin said the incident may cause concern among residents, but he believes it was an isolated incident and they are not searching for anyone else. He stressed, "Whilst it is too early to speculate on what the motive behind this attack was I am confident, based on the information currently available to me that it is not terrorist related."
Here's an eye witness account of the beheading.
To contact the editor, e-mail: