Teenager Shouts ‘Allah Is Great’ in Arabic as He Tries to Grab the Olympic Flame from Hands of Terrified Torch Bearer
Daily Mail (London), July 20, 2012
A 17-year-old shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ – Arabic for ‘God is Great’ – as he unsuccessfully tried to grab the Olympic torch during a stretch of the flame’s route through Maidstone towards Redhill.
Broadcast live on the BBC, the youth lunged from the crowd to try to take the torch from the hands of its bearer Anna Skora, but was swiftly bundled away by officers.
In one video posted to YouTube he can be seen waiting behind a car and as Ms Skora gets closer he lunges towards the torch.
Ms Skora was about to hand over the torch to Graham White, a Surrey charity worker, when the teenager burst out of the crowd and tried to grab it.
He managed to get through the line of police officers escorting the torch as it headed through the town.
One of the officers at the back of the group swiftly grabbed hold of Ms Skora and the torch, guiding them to the opposite side of the road.
Four or five of the other torch guards then bundled the man to the side of the road where he was then arrested.
Ms Skora managed to keep the torch upright throughout the ordeal and she continued to smile as she completed her stretch of the Olympic flame relay.
The incident happened as the torch was being taken into Gravesend on Friday morning.
Ms Skora was able to keep hold of the torch as the youth tried to wrestle it from her grasp, and security and police officers stepped in to protect the torch bearer and bundle away the youth.
The youth, from Gravesend, is currently being held in custody and the torch continued on its way without disruption, Kent Police said.
A Kent Police spokesman said: ‘At around 9.55am a man apparently attempted to take the Olympic Flame from a Torchbearer in Rochester Road.
‘The man, who is from Gravesend, was arrested within seconds and is now in the custody of Kent Police.
‘No one was injured in the incident and the Torch continued on its way without disruption.’