Lone wolf terrorist pleads guilty to three counts of attempted murder

26 November 2019, 10:58

The moment officers arrested the man
The moment officers arrested the man. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

A man has admitted a terrorism offence and three counts of attempted murder after a New Year's Eve knife attack at Manchester Victoria train station.

The court heard 26 year-old Mahdi Mohamud shouted 'long live the Caliphate' as he stabbed a couple who were walking to catch a tram last year.

Mohamud was arrested after Anna Charlton and James Knox, a couple in their fifties, were attacked with a knife shortly before 9pm on New Year's Eve last year at Manchester Victoria train station.

Anna Charlton and James Knox were stabbed as they entered the Metrolink area of the station.

Mr Knox suffered 13 injuries including a skull fracture, Westminster Magistrates Court heard in June.

Ms Charlton’s right lung was punctured and she suffered a slash to her forehead that cut down to the bone.

The court heard the defendant was screamed "Allahu Akbar!" and "Long live the Caliphate!" as he stabbed his victim repeatedly in the back, shoulders and head.

Officers at the scene in Manchester Victoria
Officers at the scene in Manchester Victoria. Picture: PA

British Transport Police Sergeant Lee Valentine, 31, was also stabbed in the shoulder as he responded to the incident. The court was told the officer did not suffer more serious injuries due to the number of layers of clothing he was wearing.

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.

Detained under the Mental Health Act the day after the attack he was later found fit to stand trial.

Mohamud also admitted one count of the possession of a document or record likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, a manual titled, "the seven most lethal ways to strike with a knife".

He will be sentenced later on Tuesday.

More to follow.