IS-inspired knifeman guilty of London murder bid

8th June 2016, Comments 0 comments

An Islamic State-inspired knifeman who tried to behead a stranger in a London Underground station was convicted Wednesday of attempted murder.

Somali-born Muhaydin Mire, 30, said during the rampage that he was doing it "for my Syrian brothers", while a bystander shouted at him "You ain't no Muslim, bruv" -- a phrase that went viral.

Mire attacked 56-year-old musician Lyle Zimmerman with a rusty knife as he walked through Leytonstone Tube station in east London on December 5.

He forced him to the ground and repeatedly kicked his head before trying to cut his throat. He also lashed out at other passers-by before police shot him with electric stun guns.

Mire's mobile phone contained a graph showing US and coalition air strikes on the Islamic State jihadist group and images of IS hostages before they were executed by having their throats cut.

The out-of-work minicab driver also had images of Lee Rigby, a British soldier who was murdered by Islamic extremists in a beheading attempt in southeast London.

"This was a random attack, completely unprovoked. He wasn't a member of IS, (but) he was inspired by IS," said commander Dean Haydon, of the police Counter Terrorism Command.

Mire shouted as he lashed out: "This is for my Syrian brothers. I'm going to spill your blood."

He had added: "Do you know if you live in Syria they bomb you? I'm going to attack your civilians."

Mire pleaded guilty to wounding Zimmerman with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and to attempting to wound four other Tube passengers.

A jury took five hours to convict him at the Old Bailey in London, England's central criminal court.

Mire has suffered from mental illness for years and suffered his first psychotic episode in 2006, the court heard.

A month before the Leytonstone station attack, doctors referred him to the mental health services, saying he had paranoid delusions he was being followed by the security services.

His family were due to send him back to Somalia the day after the attack.

Haydon said some IS propaganda emanating from Syria was "specifically targeted" at vulnerable people.

"Terrorist organisations will prey on the vulnerable. This is a classic case where that propaganda has inspired him to commit an attack," the police commander said.

Both the judge and the police praised the actions of Londoners who helped Zimmerman and tried to engage Mire until the police arrived.

Mire was remanded in custody at a secure psychiatric hospital and will be sentenced on July 27.

© 2016 AFP

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