Glasgow stabbings not being treated as terrorist incident, police say


The multiple stabbing attack at a Glasgow hotel is not being treated as terrorism, police have said.

Police Scotland said a male suspect was shot dead during the incident at the Park Inn Hotel in West George Street on Friday afternoon.

The force confirmed a 42-year-old police officer is in a critical but stable condition in hospital after being knifed during the attack, while five others, men aged 17, 18, 20, 38 and 53, were also injured.

They also said there is no danger to the public, with officers remaining at the scene in the city centre.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: ‘First and foremost, my thoughts are with all those people who have been caught up in this terrible incident, particularly the six injured people taken to hospital for treatment, as well as residents and staff at the hotel.

‘I also want to thank all of those police officers whose quick and decisive actions contained the incident – one of whom was among those taken to hospital – as well as the work of the other emergency services.’

She added: ‘The Justice Secretary and I have been kept informed through the afternoon and briefed by the chief constable.

‘While such a serious incident is rare in Scotland, it is another reminder of the courage and professionalism of our police officers who are willing to run towards danger in order to protect the lives of others.

‘Clearly there is already much speculation around this incident, which remains under investigation.

‘I would urge everyone to avoid such speculation, to not share potentially harmful or upsetting material on social media and to follow police advice while investigations are under way.’

Downing Street said Boris Johnson’s ‘thoughts remain’ with those injured during the incident.

A Number 10 spokesman said: ‘The Prime Minister has this afternoon spoken with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon about the incident in Glasgow.

‘He has also held a meeting with the Home Secretary and senior police officers, in which he was updated.

‘The Prime Minister thanked the Chief Constable of Police Scotland, Iain Livingstone, for the exceptional bravery of his officers at the scene.

‘The PM’s thoughts remain with the injured and their loved ones.’

The incident happened at the Park Inn Hotel in West George Street.

A spokeswoman for campaign group Positive Action In Housing said the 91-room hotel was housing asylum seekers for the Mears Group, which moved them there during the coronavirus lockdown.

The organisation has declined to comment on the situation.

Human rights activist Mohammad N Asif tweeted that he had spoken to someone staying there and said ‘many people had been stabbed by knives’.

The Refugee Survival Trust said they are checking in with residents they know had been staying at the Park Inn and tweeted: ‘Let’s find ways to make sure everyone affected gets the support they need right now.’

Mr Asif, 54, is chair of the Afghan Human Rights Foundation. He said: ‘I know two residents who live there, they are asylum seekers, because I work with them. One of them gave me a missed call and when I called him back he told me the hotel was attacked.’

‘He saw a lot of blood and people were screaming and frightened.’’

He added: ‘The sad part is that three people have lost their life and a few of them have been injured, including a police officer, and my thoughts and prayers are with the victims.

‘I am really, really gutted.

‘People who left their homes and woke up today dreaming for their future and suddenly they are killed. This is just awful.’

Assistant chief constable Steve Johnson said: ‘Officers were on the scene within two minutes, and armed officers shortly afterwards, and the incident was quickly contained.

‘Our thoughts are with the families of those who were injured, including our officer.

‘The incident is not being treated as terrorism and our investigation is continuing into the circumstances.’

He added: ‘There is no wider risk to the public, however, the street remains closed and people should avoid the area.

‘As would be the case in any police discharge of firearms involving a fatality, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service has instructed the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Pirc) to investigate.’

A Home Office spokesman said: ‘We are aware of an incident at West George Street in Glasgow, which is currently being investigated by the police.’

Tom Flanagan Karttunen, of the Radisson Hotel Group, said: ‘We are deeply saddened by the tragic event that happened today on West George Street in Glasgow.

‘During the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the hotel has been occupied for temporary housing.’

He added: ‘We are working with the hotel owner and all the relevant local authorities, including Police Scotland, to support the investigation.’