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Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby says we must not disconnect terror from its religious roots

By KentOnline reporter

No one can claim that Islam had nothing to do with the terror attacks in London on Saturday, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has said.

He told the BBC that religion had been “twisted and misused” for evil, but that faith leaders needed to take responsibility for acts perpetrated in its name.

On Saturday night three Islamist fanatics killed seven people and injured another 48 by driving at them and stabbing them with hunting knives.

Police carried out raids in east London following Saturday night's atrocity - including at Barking Road in East Ham.

Police carried out raids in east London following Saturday night's atrocity - including at Barking Road in East Ham.

Police carried out a series of raids in east London in the aftermath of the attacks.

Speaking to Radio 4’s Today programme, Dr Welby argued that politicians could not pretend the attacks had “nothing to do with Islam”.

He said: “I don’t think it is getting us anywhere, just like saying Srebrenica had nothing to do with Christianity.

Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Reverend Justin Welby

Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Reverend Justin Welby

“From an outside perspective, one of the issues about dealing with Islam is that there is not much of a structure.

“There isn’t a pope or a bishop that you can go to and say ‘these are the leaders’.

“There will always be particular groups which take views that are different from the mainstream but what is clear over the weekend is the extraordinary level of condemnation by every significant Muslim leader we know and every significant Muslim body we know.”

The Srebrenica massacre saw 8,000 Bosnian Muslims killed by Bosnian Serbs under the command of General Ratko Mladic in the summer of 1995.

Saturday night’s attackers were heard to scream “this is for Allah” as they hacked at their victims.

The London attack happened less than two weeks after suicide bomber Salman Abedi murdered 23 adults and children and injured another 119 at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

Khuram Butt appeared in a Channel 4 documentary about Islamist extremism.

Khuram Butt appeared in a Channel 4 documentary about Islamist extremism.


Two of the London three killers have now been named as Khuram Butt and Rachid Redouane.

The Met Police is now reviewing the security of London’s 33 bridges and has installed a protective barrier on Westminster Bridge – the site of Dartford-born Khalid Masood’s killing spree which saw five people dead on March 22.

A spokesman said: “We are in the process of having barriers installed on Waterloo Bridge and Lambeth Bridge to maintain security at these venues.

Westminster Bridge killer Khalid Masood.

Westminster Bridge killer Khalid Masood.

“We recognise the public is anxious about security following the terrorist attacks in London, and we want to reassure them that we are taking precautions to make the capital a safe place for people to live, work and visit.

“The barriers are intended to increase security on what are some of London’s busiest bridges.”

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