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First terrorist attack in UK jail foiled by hero guards

PRIME Minister Boris Johnson yesterday said we owe a “huge debt of gratitude” after heroic prison guards tackled suspected terrorists wearing fake suicide belts inside a high-security jail.

An Islamist convicted over a plot to behead a soldier and an accomplice attacked a prison officer in HMP Whitemoor, Cambs. They then targeted four staff who rushed in to help. Mr Johnson said: “My thoughts are with the staff injured in the suspected terror incident. I would like to thank them and the emergency services for their courageous response. We owe those who keep us safe a huge debt of gratitude.”

A prison source said the two men shouted “Allahu Akbar” as they attacked.

Met police said it was the first terrorist incident inside a jail.

A source said: “Counter terror police are investigating because of the people involved and some of the phrases used.” Convicted terrorist Brusthom Ziamani, 24, and his accomplice pounced as the guard opened their cell door.

They tried to force him into a storage cupboard.

The officer suffered stab and slash wounds to the head, chest and face. Three other officers and a nurse who rushed to help were also stabbed on Thursday.

Brusthom Ziamani
Convicted terrorist Brusthom Ziamani (Image: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire)
Boris Johnson
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Image: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said: “I want to pay tribute to the immense bravery and professionalism of the prison officers who brought this attack under control.

“They are true heroes and my sympathies and thoughts go to all those who were injured.”

Ziamani, a follower of radical preacher Anjem Choudary, was found guilty of planning a terrorist attack in 2015 over a plot to behead a British soldier.

The Daily Express Protect and Respect Frontline Heroes crusade is shining a spotlight on horrendous abuse and assaults endured by emergency workers.


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