Detectives investigating the murder of an Omani student near Harrods in London have released security camera footage of two men they want to interview in connection with the killing.
The video shows two men walking together in the upmarket Knightsbridge district of London in the early hours of December 6 after Mohammed Al Araimi was fatally stabbed during an attempted robbery as he walked home from a restaurant with a friend.
Police also offered a reward of £20,000 for information resulting in the prosecution of those responsible for killing the university student and wounding his friend, both aged 20, who were followed and then attacked.
Mr Al Araimi, the son of a prominent businessman who was studying politics and economics at King’s College London, collapsed and died next to a Christmas tree outside the store after the attack just before midnight. His friend was treated in hospital but has been discharged.
The footage released by police showed the two men walking together along Seville Street about five minutes’ walk from where Mr Al Araimi died. A second short clip shows them walking in front of a casino at the end of the road.
The timestamp on the footage suggests that the potential suspects were in the area close to the attack some four hours after the killing. The men were identified after police trawled through hundreds of hours of camera footage.
One of the men, of Asian appearance, is wearing a kaffiyeh scarf and appears to be in animated conversation with the second man, seen wearing a green coat and black cap, as they walk down the street.
“The attack on Mohammed and his friend was a planned robbery that was truly shocking and extremely violent,” said Andy Partridge, the detective leading the investigation.
“I am convinced that the public can provide names for those males featured in the CCTV images we have released today.”
The suspects walked from the Edgware Road area, known for its high number of Middle Eastern businesses and restaurants. Police said the location was “potentially very significant” and where the suspects had a connection to the area.
“There is a substantial reward being offered in this case and I ask that anyone who knows the identity of the two males makes contact with my team,” the detective said.
No arrests have been made so far, said police.
The killing was one of three murders in 12 hours in London and helped propel the issue of law and order to the top of the political agenda in the capital, which has the lowest number of officers for two decades after a series of budget cuts under the ruling Conservative party.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised to give police greater powers to target known criminals who have carried knives. England and Wales saw nearly 19,000 robberies at knifepoint in the 12 months to June 2019, a ten per cent increase from the previous year.
The dead man’s brother, Raid Al Araimi, last month urged anyone with information about the attack to tell police.
“As a family we are all grieving at the loss of Mohammed," he said. "He only went out for a meal with a friend and never came home.