The operative, a Syrian in his thirties with a close-cropped black beard, said ISIS is sending covert fighters to Europe — as did two smugglers who said they have helped. He smuggles them from Turkey in small groups, he said, hidden in cargo ships filled with hundreds of refugees. He said the fighters intend to fulfill ISIS’s threat to stage attacks in the West. He views this as retaliation for U.S.-led airstrikes against the group that began in Iraq last summer and Syria last fall. “If someone attacks me,” he said, speaking with BuzzFeed News on condition of anonymity, “then for sure I will attack them back.”
On reports of pro-Islamic slogans being shouted by the attacker, Mr Campbell said: “Comments made by the suspect at the scene will form part of the investigation.”
Mr Campbell said a flat in India Street had also been cordoned off.
“It appears there has been some sort of altercation, possibly in that flat, which has then spilled out onto the street and ended up with the murder on Botanic Avenue,” he said.