A prison warden was held hostage by inmates and stabbed on Sunday in an attack believed to have been inspired by the Woolwich murder of British soldier Lee Rigby.
Three inmates at Full Sutton prison in East Yorkshire held the man hostage before stabbing him in a four-hour standoff with police, The Telegraph reports. The warden, believed to be in his 30s, narrowly survived the attack, sources said.
The incident reportedly took place after a prison imam called for inmates to pray for the slain soldier, The Telegraph said.
“This had all the hallmarks of a pre-planned attack inspired by the Woolwich atrocity,” an unnamed source told The Sun. “It’s something officials have been fearing could happen for years and now it finally has.”
According to The Sun, the inmates were believed to include two men who are serving long sentences and a third who converted to Islam in prison.
Terrorism expert Neil Doyle told The Sun that the attack appeared to have been staged in support of the radical Islamists who brutally murdered Lee last week.
“Terrorist incidents like that of last week often serve to inspire others,” he said. “Al Qaeda has for some time now been preaching a strategy based on smaller, individual attacks rather than larger, more complex ‘spectaculars’ which are harder to plan and more likely to alert the security services.”
A Prison Service spokesman confirmed the incident on Monday, The Sun reports. A police investigation is ongoing.