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North London beheading may have been inspired by ISIS

Police officers stand guard next to floral tributes outside a property in Edmonton where a woman is thought to have been beheaded yesterday, on September 5, 2014 in London, England.
Police officers stand guard next to floral tributes outside a property in Edmonton where a woman is thought to have been beheaded yesterday, on September 5, 2014 in London, England.
Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images

A woman living in Edmonton, London was killed by beheading in her garden by a man with a machete yesterday (Sept. 4) according to a report by The Telegraph. Some are now speculating that the attacks may have been "inspired" by the recent slayings of James Foley and Steven Sotloff; two American journalists who were killed in similar fashion in the Middle East recently (at separate times) in ISIS demonstrations.

The victim, Palmira Silva, was described by her neighbors as "such a sweet lady." She was found in her garden and pronounced dead at the scene just after 1 p.m. on Thursday.

Witnesses said they saw the 25-year-old man wielding a foot-long blade attack a passing vehicle and a cat before roaming the back gardens of the North London neighborhood, speculatively, in search for a victim. Silva was killed in her garden.

According to the report by The Daily Mail, Dilek Solma, a 19-year-old counter worker at a local fruit and vegetable shop next door to Silva grieved her loss.

"I'm so upset." he told reporters on the scene. "She was a very smiley lady, always had a smile on her face, and loved the community. If somebody dropped something in here, she would help pick it up. Although she was 82, she was younger than me, and I'm 19.

"I don't know what the world's coming to."

The Guardian reported that George Stutianou, who was working on a nearby house when the attack happened, described the scene.

"I saw some police smashing the doors and the windows of three houses either side to get women and children out. We were in the road and two policemen were running as fast as they could towards us, shouting at us to run and get out off the street. We just didn't know what was going on."

Described by the local residents as a wave of panic and terror, the suspect was given chase by police who smashed windows to evacuate some of the terrified residents. The Metropolitan police did their best to corner the 25-year-old suspect in a house and brought him down with a taser gun. One officer broke his wrist in the struggle.

Although this attack follows only two days after the death of Steven Sotloff, the action is not being described as a terrorist demonstration, and only speculative remarks can be made as to the inspiration for such an atrocity.

Now leading the investigation into the murder of Palmira Silva is Detective Chief Inspector John Sandlin.

"This was a highly visible attack in broad daylight on a residential street." he told reporters. "I can understand why this may cause people concern. However, we are confident that we are not looking for anyone else at this stage. While it is too early to speculate on what the motive behind this attack was, I am confident, based on the information currently available to me, that it is not terrorist-related.

The unnamed 25-year-old suspect is in police custody.