Asylum seeker inspired by 'revenge' for Israel-Hamas conflict guilty of murder after stabbing random pensioner in street

25 April 2024, 17:54 | Updated: 25 April 2024, 20:34

Ahmed Ali Alid was convicted following the fatal attack in Hartlepool in October
Ahmed Ali Alid was convicted following the fatal attack in Hartlepool in October. Picture: Counter Terrorism Policing North East

By Flaminia Luck

A Moroccan asylum seeker who said he was inspired by "revenge" for the Israel-Hamas conflict has been convicted of murdering a random pensioner out walking in the street.

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Ahmed Ali Alid, 45, stabbed Terence Carney, 70, six times in Hartlepool town centre early on October 15 - eight days after Hamas launched its attack on Israel.

Minutes before the fatal attack, Alid - who was staying at nearby asylum seekers' accommodation - broke into the bedroom of his housemate and attacked him with a knife while he slept.

On Thursday, Alid was found guilty of murder and attempted murder, as well as two further offences after attacking two police officers while in custody.

On Thursday, Ahmed Ali Alid was found guilty of murder and attempted murder
On Thursday, Ahmed Ali Alid was convicted. Picture: Counter Terrorism Policing North East

Alid shouted "Allahu Akbar" - "God is great" - during the initial attack at the Home Office-approved asylum seekers' accommodation in Wharton Terrace.

Javed Nouri, 32, a Christian convert and former body builder, suffered stab wounds but survived the attack.

Alid, who strongly disapproved of Mr Nouri's conversion to Christianity, said God was "displeased" with those who went astray.

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Following the attack he went out into the street, still armed with a knife.

Doorbell camera footage showed Mr Carney, who was out in the town centre, cry out "No, no" as he was stabbed by the stranger in the chest and neck.

Mr Carney was a passerby at the time of the incident, having recently used a nearby ATM machine.

First aid was immediately administered by officers, but Mr Carney died at the scene on Tees Street.

The blade of a knife found after the attack
The blade of a knife found after the attack. Picture: Counter Terrorism Policing North East

Teesside Crown Court heard this was not a frenzied attack but a deliberate attempt to target Mr Carney's body repeatedly before he walked off, leaving his victim for dead.

Jurors saw footage of armed police arresting Alid, who still had his bloodstained knife in his waistband, in a nearby street.

In a holding cell at Middlesbrough police station, Alid launched into a speech in Arabic saying that "Allah willing, Gaza would return to be an Arab country" and how he would have continued his "raid" if his hands had not been injured.

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CCTV footage of the attack
CCTV footage of the attack. Picture: Counter Terrorism Policing North East

Housemates noticed Alid had watched a lot of coverage of the Hamas attacks on Israel and started carrying a knife.

Mr Nouri told detectives how Alid had laughed when he saw Hamas kill its victims.

The concerned housemate complained to housing bosses, the Home Office and to Cleveland Police, and a manager did warn Alid to behave or risk being thrown out.

During his police interview the day after the murder, Alid told police he launched his attacks because "Israel had killed innocent children".

Read more: Three arrests after five migrants, including child, die trying to cross Channel

The 45-year-old was born in Fez, Morocco, but was raised in Algeria. He left North Africa in 2007.

He arrived in Spain and moved around Europe for years, spending time in Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Scandinavia, the Netherlands and Austria, never gaining asylum.

In 2020, he took a ferry from Amsterdam to Middlesbrough where he was arrested by police as he did not have the correct papers and he applied for asylum.

A blade found after the attack
A blade found after the attack. Picture: Counter Terrorism Policing North East

Jonathan Sandiford KC, prosecuting, told the court: "In other words, he said he had committed the attempted murder of Javed Nouri and the murder of Mr Carney in revenge for what he believed to be the killing of children by Israel."

Mr Sandiford added: "He swore by Allah that, if he had had a machine gun, and more weapons, he would have killed more victims."

Alid admitted Mr Carney was "innocent", justifying the attack by saying that Britain had created the "Zionist entity" of Israel and should make them leave, adding: "They killed children and I killed an old man."

Read more: Nottingham attack victim's mother urges police to 'show respect' after graphic post about killings revealed

Alid was also charged with two additional offences of assault on October 27.

Alid began to get agitated with his interpreter during questioning by two female detectives, with colleagues monitoring the interview from elsewhere in the building.

The defendant got into a struggle with the two women, one of whom pressed a panic button to summon help, but the alarm did not work.

The situation was so frightening, Alid's own solicitor rang 999 from within the police station for help, before officers were able to force entry into the room and subdue him.

On Thursday, Alid denied murder, attempted murder and assaulting the two officers, claiming he did carry out the stabbings but without intention to kill or cause serious harm.

A jury unanimously found Alid guilty of murdering Mr Carney, attempting to murder Mr Nouri and assaulting the two detectives.

Alid, who had the verdicts delivered to him through a translator, showed no emotion when they were announced.

He will be sentenced on May 17.

The handle of a knife found after the attack
The handle of a knife found after the attack. Picture: Counter Terrorism Policing North East

In a statement, Terence Carney's family said "things will never be the same again".

“We would not want anyone else to have to go through what we have had to go through over the last 6 months, and what we will continue to go through for the rest of our lives.

“We would especially like to thank Mr Javad Nouri, Mr Ariyan Karimi and Mr Mohammed Karimi.

"What they themselves endured that night was truly horrific, they believed they too were going to die. Despite this, they fully assisted the police with their enquiries and gave their evidence in court, which is testament to their characters.

“These three men were the voice of our loved one, when he was unable to speak out for himself. For this we will forever be grateful to them.

“We have watched the whole trial intently, and whilst today’s guilty verdict will not bring back Terence our beloved husband, father, and grandfather, we can take some small comfort in knowing that justice has been served.

They also thanked everyone involved in the investigation, the prosecution team and the Family Liason teams.

Police at the scene of the attack on Wharton Terrace, Hartlepool
Police at the scene of the attack on Wharton Terrace, Hartlepool. Picture: Counter Terrorism Policing North East

After the trial, Detective Chief Superintendent James Dunkerley, head of Counter Terrorism Policing North East, said: "The horrific attacks in Hartlepool were unprovoked and deeply disturbing.

"I have no doubt that the swift response of the attending officers prevented further harm or loss of life that morning.

"We're grateful for their bravery in the face of a dangerous and unpredictable suspect.

"I'd also like to thank the people of Hartlepool for their calm and measured response to that day's events and for the resilience they showed in the weeks that followed."

'Fear and distress'

Cleveland Police's Deputy Chief Constable Victoria Fuller said the stabbings "shook the local community to its core".

She said: "Alid's actions not only left a family devastated, but also caused significant fear and distress amongst residents in Hartlepool and beyond."

Hartlepool MP Jill Mortimer said: "My thoughts are with the victim and the victim's family on this difficult day. "I hope that today's verdict will bring them some comfort that justice has been served.

"This shocking murder has shaken the entire town. I will continue to speak up for the victim, Terrence Carney, and his family, to ensure that the people of Hartlepool can live safely and without fear in their own community.

"The question of course remains though why this dangerous individual was here and now the trial is over, I will be seeking answers to ensure this doesn't happen again on our streets."

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