New Year’s Eve ji­hadist tried to kill 3 at sta­tion in knife frenzy

Scottish Daily Mail - - The Brexmas Election - By James Tozer

A RAD­I­CALISED grad­u­ate yes­ter­day ad­mit­ted car­ry­ing out a fren­zied knife at­tack on New Year’s Eve.

Mahdi Mo­hamud shouted ‘Al­lahu Ak­bar’ and ‘long live the caliphate’ as he stabbed a mid­dle-aged cou­ple he had sin­gled out at ran­dom.

Alerted by the screams, a Bri­tish Trans­port Po­lice of­fi­cer fired his Taser at the 26-year-old but it had no ef­fect be­cause of his padded jacket.

Mo­hamud turned on Sergeant Lee Valen­tine and plunged the 10in blade into his shoul­der. The of­fi­cer said he looked into Mo­hamud’s eyes but ‘it was just like an an­i­mal’.

Col­leagues ar­rived to dis­arm and ar­rest Mo­hamud, who lay rant­ing on the plat­form. He ad­mit­ted three counts of at­tempted mur­der and one of hav­ing ter­ror ma­te­ri­als.

A judge was told Mo­hamud suf­fered from a men­tal ill­ness linked to smok­ing cannabis but this did not in it­self ex­plain his ram­page.

Last year’s at­tack at Vic­to­ria Sta­tion in Manch­ester brought back mem­o­ries of the sui­cide bomb­ing at the nearby arena 18 months ear­lier.

The vic­tims – Anna Charl­ton, 57, and James Knox, 52 – had spent the af­ter­noon at a pub and were rush­ing to catch a tram home at 8.50pm.

Dutch-born Mo­hamud had spent months in a men­tal hospi­tal in So­ma­lia be­fore re­turn­ing to his fam­ily home in Manch­ester weeks ear­lier.

A doc­u­ment he had writ­ten il­lus­trated his care in plan­ning his at­tack, Ali­son Mor­gan, QC, told the city’s Crown Court. It be­gan with the instructio­ns: ‘Sim­ple, un­pre­dictable, stead­fast, don’t waste time.’

Miss Charl­ton felt a blow from be­hind when she was hur­ry­ing down the tram plat­form.

Miss Mor­gan said: ‘She de­scribed the at­tacker as hav­ing an over­whelm­ingly pow­er­ful en­ergy and re­alised at this point they were not be­ing mugged – this was tar­geted.’

Mr Knox tried to kick Mo­hamud as po­lice and se­cu­rity guards sprinted to the scene. The knife­man dodged out of their way and started jab­bing his blade at Miss Charl­ton’s face.

As he was brought to the floor, he shouted, ‘This is for Al­lah’, and ‘That’s what hap­pens when you start bomb­ing Mus­lim coun­tries’.

Re­call­ing the con­fronta­tion, Sgt Valen­tine said he looked into Mo­hamud’s eyes and it was like ‘there’s noth­ing there’. His ex­pres­sion was ‘not even that of like a mad­man – it was just like an an­i­mal’.

Mo­hamud was led to a po­lice van, where he was searched, re­veal­ing a se­cond knife un­der his jacket.

Sgt Valen­tine suf­fered a stab wound in the shoul­der but was saved from more se­ri­ous in­jury by his five lay­ers of cloth­ing and pro­tec­tive gear.

Miss Charl­ton, who suf­fered a col­lapsed lung, and Mr Knox, who had 13 in­juries in­clud­ing a frac­tured skull, were treated by an off-duty doc­tor be­fore be­ing taken to hospi­tal.

Miss Mor­gan submitted that it had been ‘in­tended to be a lethal at­tack’ driven by his ‘ex­trem­ist ide­ol­ogy and his de­sire to per­form vi­o­lent ji­had’.

Re­becca Trowler, QC, de­fend­ing, said the ram­page was a con­se­quence of his deep-seated men­tal ill­ness.

Mo­hamud, who stud­ied me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing at Leeds Univer­sity, is ex­pected to be sen­tenced to­day.

‘It was just like an an­i­mal’

Tar­geted at­tack: Mo­hamud raises his knife, cir­cled, to stab James Knox at Manch­ester’s Vic­to­ria Sta­tion 1

Wounds: Anna Charl­ton and Mr Knox are com­forted 3

Downed: A rant­ing Mo­hamud is sub­dued and hand­cuffed 2

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