Man admits trying to stab two commuters and cop in lone wolf terror attack in 2018
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A 26-year-old man has pleaded guilty to a terrorism offence and three counts of attempted murder after a knife attack on New Year’s Eve.
Mahdi Mohamud admitted attempting to kill two commuters and a police officer in a lone wolf stabbing attack at Manchester Victoria Station on December 31 2018.
The defendant, a Dutch national from a Somali family, had arrived in the UK aged nine and became radicalised online, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said.
He pleaded guilty to the charges at Manchester Crown Court on Tuesday November 26.
Witnesses said the attacker 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 Lee Valentine, 31, tasered the defendant but the barbs of the 50,000 volt shock gun got stuck in the knifeman’s thick coat and failed to paralyse him.
Before the police officer had the chance to reload, Mohamud ran along the blood-spattered platform charging at the officers with the weapon.
Sergeant Valentine was stabbed in the shoulder before the suspect was wrestled to the ground and arrested.
Describing the scene in court, the police officer said Mohamud ‘lunged’ at his head with a crazed look in his eye as if he ‘just wasn’t there’.
A second kitchen knife was found in his waistband.
The suspect was initially detained under the Mental Health Act but was later found fit to stand trial.
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’.
He will be sentenced for his crimes later.