WASHINGTON – You don’t hear about sword attacks every day in the 21st century, but they seem to be on the rise after two last Friday – one on police in Brussels and the other on police at England’s Buckingham Palace – both carried out by Muslim terrorists.
In Brussels, a 30-year-old Belgian of Somali origin attack soldiers in the center of the city before being shot dead. Witnesses said the assailant shouted “Allahu akbar” while attacking the officers.
An hour later, at Buckingham Palace, a man also screaming “Allahu akbar,” used a four-foot sword to send two officers to the hospital with laceration wounds.
The incident, which police have called a terrorist act, happened around 8:30 p.m. The officers were patrolling a restricted area of Constitution Hill near Buckingham Palace when a blue Toyota Prius drove up to their van.
The attacker was subdued with irritant spray, police said. Two of the officers received minor injuries in the scuffle. A third wasn’t injured. Most officers in London do not carry guns. The victim was taken into custody, and England raised its terror alert status and charged him under the country’s terrorism act.
Four recent sword attacks in the U.S., though, have gone largely unnoticed by the media.
The previous weekend, a 46-year-old Muslim refugee from Somalia identified as Hussein Hassan attacked a police officer with a large sword in the quiet, quaint town of Kennewick, Washington, striking at the officer’s head before he was shot and killed.
Police said two officers responded to a 911 call Sunday, Aug. 20, about a man walking down Olympia Street near 10th Avenue armed with a sword. The two officers arrived on the scene at the same time in separate cars at about 6:40 p.m. One officer got out of his car to confront Hassan who began swinging the sword, striking the officer at least once in the head with the blade.
Both officers opened fire on the suspect and put him down. The officer was treated and released from an area hospital after receiving 17 staples to close the head wound. The Benton County Sheriff’s Office did not return phone calls from WND seeking information on Hassan’s immigration status or whether he had a previous criminal record.
The Tri-City Herald reported Hassan was a Muslim, noting: “Hassan claimed he was wrongly fired from ConAgra Lamb Weston after he fell in a freezer and had a back injury in 2013. He filed a small-claims suit against his supervisor, claiming discrimination and workplace harassment because he is Muslim. He asked for $5,000.”
Kennewick, a small city of about 73,000 population, has been a hotbed of refugee resettlement over the years. The U.S. State Department, in cooperation with the United Nations, has distributed more than 475 refugees into Kennewick since 9/11 from Muslim-majority nations, according to the State Department’s online database. That includes 206 from Iraq, 99 from Somalia, 69 from Sudan, 31 from Afghanistan and nine just in the past 10 months from Syria.
The Kennewick police officers involved in this incident were identified as Officer Joshua Kuhn, who has 15 years of service with the Kennewick Police Department and Officer Jason Kiel, who has almost 20 years of combined service with the Kennewick Police Department and the Washington State Patrol. Kiel was named the city’s Officer of the Year in 2015. Police have not said which of the two officers was wounded in the attack.
Almost two weeks ago, a 58-year-old Michigan man was arrested after allegedly attacking one woman with a sword and sexually assaulting another.
Eddie Skellett of the Detroit area township was charged with multiple felonies after police said he slashed a woman in the face with a sword and sexually assaulted another. Records indicate that Skellett has a history of criminal sexual conduct.
Meanwhile, in Raytown, Missouri, another man is recovering after being attacked with a sword by an unknown assailant on July 4. No suspect has been identified in the attack.