Man admits frenzied UK New Year's Eve knife attack

Man admits frenzied UK New Year's Eve knife attack

LONDON: A 26-year-old man on Tuesday (Nov 26) pleaded guilty to attempted murder over a random stabbing attack at a British railway station last New Year's Eve, which injured three people.

Mahdi Mohamud walked up behind James Knox near Victoria Station in Manchester, northwest England, with a fillet knife, screaming "Allahu Akbar!" and "Long live the Caliphate!"

He then repeatedly stabbed him in the back, shoulders and head, Manchester Crown Court was told.

READ: UK counter-terror police probe Manchester knife attack

Mohamud, a Dutch national from a Somali family, then slashed Knox's companion Anna Charlton across the face as the couple, both in their 50s, headed for a tram platform at around 9pm on Dec 31.

Police tasered the suspect but the barbs, which deliver an electric shock from the weapon, got stuck in his thick coat and failed to bring him down.

Instead, Mohamud ran along the platform, slashing wildly at police, stabbing an officer in the shoulder.

Mohamud pleaded guilty to three counts of attempted murder.

Knox suffered a skull fracture while Charlton's right lung was punctured and she suffered a slashed forehead.

READ: UK 'terrorist' stabbing suspect held under mental health law

"LIKE AN ANIMAL"

Lee Valentine, the officer stabbed in the attack, told the court: "One of the things for me, obviously when I've landed on top of him being so close to his face to be literally like looking in his eyes and he's like - there's nothing there.

"It was just like an animal."

Police said the attacker, who arrived in Britain aged nine, had become radicalised online.

Mohamud was detained under mental health legislation at a secure facility, where he remains. Police deemed him fit to be interviewed on Feb 19 and charged him on May 19.

During the investigation, police recovered large amounts of "counter-terrorism mindset material", including images and a document about how to carry out knife attacks.

New Year celebrations went ahead in Albert Square, central Manchester, despite the incident, though under increased security.

The incident occurred close to the scene of a terror attack at a concert by the US singer Ariana Grande, which killed 22 people and wounded 139 in May 2017.

The perpetrator of that attack, Salman Abedi, 22, was born and raised in Manchester.

Source: AFP/ga

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