A man who cut the throat of an innocent passenger at a London underground station last December has been found guilty of attempted murder by a jury at the Old Bailey in central London.
Man found guilty of attempted murder in Leytonstone knife attack https://t.co/sJdwwAbvm8
— The Independent (@Independent) June 8, 2016
— Sky News (@SkyNews) June 8, 2016
Somali-born Muhiddin Mire, 30, shouted “this is for my Syrian brothers” as he took a knife to the neck of 56-year-old musician, Lyle Zimmerman in the ticket hall of Leytonstone tube station in East London in an attempt to behead him.
“I’m going to attack your civilians” Mire said to passengers as he mimicked Islamic State executions by sawing at Zimmerman’s neck for around 15 seconds with a knife.
Mire admitted wounding Zimmerman but denied he had tried to kill him; he also pleaded guilty to trying to stab four other passengers at the tube station.
Muslim attacker Muhiddin Mire admits using knife but denies he intended to kill victim Lyle Zimmerman, 56
— CourtNewsUK (@CourtNewsUK) May 31, 2016
During the trial Zimmerman said:
“I remember something very shocking happening. I don’t recall what it was,” he told the trial. “I don’t remember if I was cut or knifed at that point but I do remember being shocked or something violent happening.
“I remember I started to yell for help. I remember been forced down and kicked in the head.
“I can recall been kicked around six times. I may have been kicked more after I lost consciousness. They were very violent kicks.”
After Mire’s arrest, police found searches for “Sharia Law” and “Islamic State” on the former Uber drivers cell phone. They also found images of hostages about to be beheaded by so-called Islamic State militants.
“It can be no coincidence that he carried out the attack three days after Parliament had voted to extend the bombing campaign against ISIS to territory in Syria”, said prosecutor Jonathan Rees QC.
“The evidence clearly establishes that the motive underpinning this attack was that bombing campaign in Syria. That was at the very forefront at his mind,” he added.
The Old Bailey heard that Mire came to the U.K. from Somalia as a young boy and was first detained in a psychiatric hospital after a psychotic episode in 2006.
He moved to Leytonstone in 2011, taking jobs as an Uber taxi driver and janitor, but he was forced to give up work because of anxiety, panic attacks and depression.
He was also referred to a mental health unit one month before the attack on Zimmerman as he was suffering from paranoid delusions stating he was being followed by the U.K. MI5 and MI6 security agents.
Prosecutor gives detail of Muhiddin Mire's mental illness. Suffered from delusion thinking he was followed by security services
— will ross (@willintune) May 31, 2016
Mire was remanded in custody at Broadmoor secure psychiatric hospital before he is sentenced in July.