A man was charged with assault and criminal damage after a driver was attacked and a luxury car believed to be Saudi-owned was vandalised with ‘war’ slogans in the posh west London neighbourhood of knightsbridge.
Adnan Musa Basim, 24, appeared before magistrates after he was arrested for ‘tagging’ a Mercedes four-wheel drive, and an alleged attack on a driver on Brompton Road near the Harrods store, he was also charged for possessing class B drugs.
The altercation comes after a spate of graffiti attacks which appeared to target Saudi-plated cars parked in nearby areas.
The images showed many Mercedez-Benz cars in Knightsbridge and Sloane Square with ‘War’ tagged on their boots and doors.
فيديو / الإعتداء على شاب خليجي بآلة حادة على رأسه في لندن . pic.twitter.com/PM72EI20D3
— المجلس (@Almajlliss) March 25, 2018
“I parked the car for a minute,” said a man heard in a video of a defaced Maybach – Mercedes’ luxury brand – parked on Sloane Square. “Look what the son-of-a-bitch did.”
“Ya Ali”, a reference to Shia Islam, was also spray painted on some of the cars.
Many believed the act was a mark of protest, which came on the eve of the third anniversary of the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen.
Ala Nuseibeh, a resident of Sloane Street, said that he was against the war and the Saudi blockade on Yemen, but was shocked with the graffiti.
“Vandalising cars is wrong and scary as it will spiral out of control,” he said. “Unfortunately, other civilised methods [to stop the war] are not working.”
“It’s a war that has one loser: the innocent.”
Faz Patel, a community cohesion advisor based in Lancashire, said he learned about what had happened from friends in Saudi who are planning to visit soon.
“They were asking me are they safe to come to London,” said Patel. “They were shocked and appalled with what happened.”
“It might be a protest against the war, but you can’t do this. This is not the Middle East. This is London.”
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: “Police were called at 7.30pm on Saturday, 24 March to reports of an assault and criminal damage on Brompton Road.
“Officers arrived at the scene to find the victim, a 31-year-old man, suffering from a head injury – a vehicle was also damaged.
“A 24-year-old man was arrested at the scene for grievous bodily harm and criminal damage. He was further arrested for possession of a class B drug.