Manhunt launched for three man 'hit squad' suspected of stabbing Iran journalist outside his London home

3 April 2024, 10:38

Pouria Zeraati, 36, was stabbed outside his home in Wimbledon
Pouria Zeraati, 36, was stabbed outside his home in Wimbledon. Picture: Instagram

By Asher McShane

An international manhunt has been launched to snare a suspected hit squad wanted over the stabbing of an Iranian journalist in south-west London.

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Pouria Zeraati, 36, was knifed in an attack outside his Wimbledon home on Friday.

Counter-terrorism police are investigating and hunting for a suspected ‘hit squad’ who fled the UK within hours of the attack.

Two suspects left the scene in a vehicle which was being driven by a third man. It travelled towards Heathrow.

A blue Mazda 3 was found abandoned shortly afterwards in the New Malden area.

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Forensics experts have been examining the car.

Scotland Yard, Britain’s secret intelligence services, the National Crime Agency and their colleagues in Interpol are all involved in finding the knifemen.

The victim Mr Zeraati sent a defiant online post from his hospital bed writing: “I want to thank you for all your calls, messages and support.

“The amount of your sympathy, kindness and love in past few days has been and is the greatest and best energy for my recovery process.”

He has been discharged after suffering a leg injury but has now gone into hiding with his wife.

the Metropolitan Police said motivation for the assault was not yet clear.

Commander Dominic Murphy, head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: “We have identified three suspects who we believe left the UK within hours of the attack.

If is feared Mr Zeraati’s occupation and recent threats to UK-based Iranian journalists could be motivating factors for the attack.

The Iranian regime has denied any involvement.

A spokesman for the Iran International TV channel told the BBC the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) had been targeting journalists and their families.