Leytonstone Tube knife attack was ‘revenge for fight against IS’

A mentally ill Muslim fanatic went on a rampage with a knife in Leystonstone Tube station in retribution for the fight against Islamic State in Syria, a court has heard.

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Somali-born Muhiddin Mire, 30, cut the throat of one random stranger and lashed out at other travellers during the shocking onslaught in December, which was caught on camera.

Chillingly, police found images on his mobile that showed IS hostages before they were executed by having their throats cut.

When asked why he was attacking people, Mire said: “Do you know if you live in Syria they bomb you? I’m going to attack your civilians.”

One onlooker shouted out “You ain’t no Muslim, bruv” after Mire claimed he was doing it for “my Syrian brothers”, the Old Bailey was told.

(Photo: CPS/PA Wire)

 

The court heard that minicab driver Mire had a history of mental illness and his psychosis involved the belief that he was being persecuted for his religion and trailed by security services.

Opening the trial, prosecutor Jonathan Rees QC hailed the bravery of members of the public who tried to intervene when Mire attacked musician Lyle Zimmerman.

In the CCTV shown to the jury, Mr Zimmerman is seen trying to fight off his assailant before Mire cut his throat as he lay in a pool of blood in front of shocked Tube passengers.

Mr Zimmerman, 56, had stood out from the crowd in cowboy boots and hat, carrying a mandolin in one hand and an amplifier in the other.

Mire followed him off the carriage as Mr Zimmerman approached the barriers with Oyster card in hand, he grabbed him from behind and swung him around and on to the floor.

Mire then kicked him repeatedly around the head and body as a woman nearby called out for him to stop.

As Mr Zimmerman lay defenceless on the ground, Mire crouched down and began to “saw” at his neck with the serrated blade as the nearby traveller shouted out “Stop, you a*******”.

Undeterred, Mire brandished the knife and threatened that she would be next as a pool of blood gathered around his victim on the floor of the ticket hall, jurors heard.

A junior doctor on his way home rushed in to help stem the blood flowing from Mr Zimmerman’s neck wounds.

Meanwhile, Mire had gone up to street level where he swung out with the blade at Daniel Bielinski and his girlfriend. Rather than running to safety, Mr Bielinski began recording events on his mobile phone, following Mire back into the station.

Mr Rees told jurors this was a “remarkably brave” thing to do and he carried on filming until police arrived with Tasers.

Mire went on to lash out at two more people before coming face to face with Russian security guard Andrius Sabaliauskas. The guard tried to get Mire talking and calm him down – another act of “commendable bravery”, Mr Rees said.

But Mire did not stop and threatened to kill the parents of lift engineer David Pethers as he tried to slash him with the knife.

When police arrived, he refused their order to drop the knife and they Tasered him with little effect, the court heard. Mire ran at an officer and the security guard shouting: “This is for my Syrian brothers, I’m going to spill your blood.”

Mire had suffered his first psychotic episode in 2006 when he was admitted to hospital suffering from “delusions of a persecutory, religious and grandiose nature”, Mr Rees said.

A month before the attack, Mire’s GP referred him to mental health services, saying he had paranoid delusions he was being followed by MI5 and MI6.

He stopped working as a minicab driver and was suffering from depression and anxiety, the court heard.

But Mire missed his appointment and he was arrested before the next date.

The court heard that Mire, who came to Britain as a young boy, accepts he used the knife and the issue for the jury is whether Mire intended to kill Mr Zimmerman.

Mire, of Sansom Road, Leytonstone, denies attempted murder but admits four counts of attempted wounding and an alternative count of wounding with intent to cause Mr Zimmerman grievous bodily harm.

Source:

http://www.london24.com/news/crime/leytonstone_tube_knife_attack_was_revenge_for_fight_against_is_1_4557705

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