From Aditi Khanna London, Jul 6: A man paraded past Britain's Parliament draped in an Islamic State flag with a young girl on his shoulders waving the flag's smaller version, prompting the Scotland Yard to launch a probe after it was criticised for inaction.
The man was photographed walking past a group of Scouts outside the Houses of Parliament as he wore a large Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) flag on his back.
He was carrying a small child on his shoulders, who was waving a smaller flag. Police were criticised for failing to arrest the man who was seen wandering near the Parliament and the Big Ben draped in the Islamic State flag on Saturday. However, Metropolitan police chief Bernard Hogan-Howe said that the force will investigate further. "It may not have been the (ISIS) flag.
But I would like to get to the bottom of it and we will investigate it," he told BBC. "The law says clearly that if you're a member of a proscribed organisation which ISIS is, or appear to be, then of course the police can take action. Just having a flag itself, you've got to make a few more inquiries," he said.
The incident sparked outrage on social media with people questioning why there were no legal consequences. "I don't want to overreact because it may not have been the flag. But I would like to get to the bottom of it," Hogan-Howe said.
Scotland Yard had earlier said that its officers spoke to the man and considered his actions to be within the Public Order Act 1986. A Met Police spokesperson said, "This man was spoken to by officers with consideration given to relevant legislation and a decision was taken by officers at the time that the man was acting within the law.
He was not arrested." The image caught by a tourist on his camera shows the man and the little girl with the black and white banner associated with ISIS terrorists walking past the Big Ben and Palace of Westminster in central London over the weekend. Images of the man were reportedly posted on a Korean forum after a tourist spotted him in central London.
The incident comes just days before the capital marks the anniversary of those killed in the 7/7 terror attacks in 2005, and a week after 30 British tourists were killed in the Tunisia beach massacre.