Place of Birth: Netherlands;
Address: Cheetham Hill, Manchester;
Mahdi Mohamud is a Dutch national from a Somali family, who has arrived in the UK aged nine. He is also a former Leeds university engineering student.
Mohamud has three brothers and one sister, all born in the Netherlands, and he was living with family at the time of the attack.
He travelled to and from Somalia on more than one occasion between 2016 and 2017, including visiting on August 11 2017 before returning in November 2018.
While there, he was taken to hospital in Somalia for three periods during 2016 to 2018, and during that time he accessed “significant extremist material” and began drafting documents that would later be of significance to the attack that he committed, the court heard.
Mohamud became radicalised online. Back in the UK the defendant set up a new Facebook account with a graphic of a one finger salute, an image associated with IS.
He has pleaded guilty to a terrorism offence and three counts of attempted murder after a knife attack on New Year’s Eve. He admitted attempting to kill two commuters and a police officer in a lone wolf stabbing attack at Manchester Victoria Station on December 31 2018.
Witnesses said the attacker (Mohamud) could be heard screaming ‘Allahu Akbar!’ and ‘Long live the Caliphate!’ as he carried out his frenzied attack. His first victim, commuter James Knox, was stabbed repeatedly in the back, shoulders and head.
Mohamud then turned the knife on Mr Knox’s companion, Anna Charlton, slashing her across the face. The couple, in their 50s, randomly crossed paths with the knifeman as they headed for a tram platform shortly before 9pm last December.
British Transport Police (BTP) officers heard a blood-curdling scream and dashed to the scene. Mr Knox suffered 13 injuries including a skull fracture while Ms Charlton’s right lung was punctured and she suffered a slash to her forehead that cut down to the bone. Witnesses said Mohamud was ‘like an animal’ and ‘fixated’ on stabbing and slashing.
Sergeant Valentine was stabbed in the shoulder before the suspect was wrestled to the ground and arrested. A second kitchen knife was found in his waistband.
As well as pleading guilty to attempted murder, he also admitted one count of the possessing a document likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism. The document was a manual titled, ‘the seven most lethal ways to strike with a knife’.
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