Jewish security experts are liaising with the police after two women were stabbed in a shop in Burnley as the perpetrator shouted antisemitic expletives.
A 57-year old man was arrested on Wednesday after the attack in a Marks and Spencer store in the town centre. Early reports suggest that the man in custody has mental health issues. The injuries to the two women are not life threatening.
Police are investigating claims that anti-Jewish rhetoric was shouted at the scene. The Community Security Trust (CST), a charity charged with defending Jews in Britain, said it was working with officers but revealed few further details.
“CST is discussing yesterday’s Burnley M&S stabbing attack with police,” the charity tweeted. “We confirm antisemitism was voiced. There is a mental health aspect and it appears an isolated incident.”
While the incident is not being treated as a terror attack, a counter-terror team is investigating whether the double stabbing had a jihadi element, with officials in central government being kept updated.
The victims are a member of store staff in her 40s and a member of the public in her 60s. The man was detained by shoppers and store personnel. A knife was recovered at the scene.
Burnley Police said: “We recognise that this incident will have caused concern in the community. We have a dedicated team of officers and staff carrying out enquiries and extra patrols.”
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