Life in prison for deranged London Tube attacker

Muhiddin Mire

A schizophrenic knifeman who tried to behead a musician during an IS-inspired rampage at a Tube station in London has been sentenced to life in prison.

Somali-born Muhiddin Mire, 30, targeted strangers at random in the ticket hall at Leytonstone Underground station in east London on December 5 last year.

He grabbed fellow passenger Lyle Zimmerman and attempted to murder the 56-year-old after they travelled on the same train from Stratford to Leytonstone, where Mire lived alone in Sansom Road.

Mire will serve a minimum of eight-and-a-half years before being considered for parole, and will start his sentence at Broadmoor secure hospital.

The whole incident was caught on CCTV and mobile phone footage taken by a passer-by who carried on filming even as Mire lunged at him with the rusty blade.

One onlooker shouted at him: “You ain’t no Muslim, bruv”, after he declared he was going to “spill blood” for his “Syrian brothers”.

Sentencing him at the Old Bailey, Judge Nicholas Hilliard said that while he accepted Mire was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia at the time of the offence, he was also of the opinion he had been motivated by events in Syria.

“In other words, because Muslims were being bombed in Syria, he was going to attack civilians here. That was designed to intimidate a section of the public, and it was to advance an extreme cause,” he said.

Judge Hilliard said Mire’s “brazen” actions were carried out to advance a “religious and extremist cause”.

“This was an attempt to to kill an innocent member of the public for ideological reasons by cutting his throat in plain sight for maximum impact,” he said.

Flanked by several dock officers and wearing a blue tracksuit top, Mire stared ahead as he was sentenced.

Judge Hilliard went on to publicly commend Mire’s four other victims, the doctor who helped Mr Zimmerman and the first police officer on the scene, for their “courage and presence of mind”.

Mire had images of fusilier Lee Rigby and British IS executioner Jihadi John on his mobile phone, along with material linked to IS.

He has a history of mental illness and psychosis, including the paranoid belief that he was being persecuted for his religion and stalked by MI5 and MI6.

However, prosecutor Jonathan Rees said the stabbing was a “revenge attack” for the events in Syria.

He told the court: “We suggest that it can be no coincidence that the attack was carried out some three days after parliament had voted to extend the UK bombing campaign against Isis [IS] in Syria.”

Mr Zimmerman said that he was fortunate to have received prompt first-aid treatment at the scene from a passing doctor.


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