LONDON — A bungling British jihadi who allegedly tried to behead a passenger at a busy London train station over the weekend had material about the San Bernardino shooting and ISIS-related flags and images on his phone.
A court heard Monday that Muhaydin Mire shouted “This is for Syria, my Muslim brothers!” during an attempted terrorist attack over the weekend. It is unclear what he was supposed to be claiming credit for—as no one suffered life-threatening injuries during the scuffle.
A crowd of onlookers mocked the man as a “fool” and an “idiot" during a standoff with police officers. As the wannabe jihadi lay handcuffed on the floor with his alleged terror plot in tatters, a voice called out: “You ain’t no Muslim, bruv! You’re no Muslim!”
The phrase reverberated across social media over the weekend, until it was quoted by Prime Minister David Cameron.
The alleged attacker, a Somali-born British citizen, was only partially interrogated after the attack as doctors found him unfit for interview and referred him to mental health professionals.
According to the prosecution, Mire had set up his phone profile with the name “Die in Your Rage Crusader.” Images of ISIS prisoners and the recent terror attack on Paris were found on the device.
The British parliament voted to launch airstrikes against ISIS targets in Syria last Thursday despite opposition fears that attacking Raqqa would make Britain more of a terrorist target.
The suspect has been charged with attempted murder and more charges may follow. Prosecutor David Cawthorne said told a court in London that the offences were being treated as “acts of terrorism.”
“Mire attacked [the victim, referred to as Male A] from behind in front of numerous members of the public and CCTV cameras,” said Cawthorne. “Male A was punched, knocked to the ground and repeatedly kicked on the ground. [The accused] then seemed to brandish a knife [and attempted] to cut the victim’s neck.”
“Male A,” who is 56, received treatment from police officers at the scene before he was taken to an east London police station in stable condition.
Salim Patel, who works at a store inside the station, saw the attack. “The man was punching him so hard and the victim was shouting, calling for help—‘Please, somebody help me’. The attacker started kicking him,” Mr Patel told the London Times. “Then he took the knife out. He turned round. He started using the knife on the body, sawing forwards and back a few times.”
Several members of the public who were passing through Leytonstone station just after 7pm on Saturday then intervened.
David Pethers, an elevator engineer on the way to his work Christmas party, leapt in to help the injured commuter. “There was the fella on the lying on the floor covered in blood and the maniac was waving a knife around,” he said. “I thought the victim was dead. I turned ’round and shouted to everyone behind me to get out of the station and then me and another fella tried to attack him.”
Pethers also suffered a slash to his neck, but it was a small wound compared to that of the original victim, who underwent a five-hour operation.
Camera phone footage, recorded by rapper Big Tobz, of the ensuing standoff showed a police officer firing a Taser at the attacker. He was taken down after a third blast of the Taser.
Prime Minister Cameron was delighted with the typically London response to the attack.
“First of all, full credit to the person and people who took on this attacker, and full credit to the very brave police officers who managed to subdue him,” Cameron said. “Let me also pay credit to the person—you can’t quite see who it is—from the film who made that brilliant statement about ‘You ain’t no Muslim,” Cameron said.
“Some of us have dedicated speeches and media appearances and soundbites and everything to this subject. But ‘You ain’t no Muslim, bruv’ said it all much better than I ever could. Thank you because that will be applauded around the country.”
Scotland Yard has increased the police presence at train stations but Londoners have kept calm and carried on.