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Terrorist sentenced to life in high security psychiatric hospital

Mahdi Mohamud, 26, has been ordered to serve the start of his sentence in a high security psychiatric hospital

Horrifying footage has captured the moment a knife-wielding lone wolf terrorist lunges at a police officer moments after he launched a frenzied attack on commuters at a train station.

The incredible clip shows officers confronting Mahdi Mohamud, who was armed with a fillet knife, at Manchester Victoria Station on New Years Eve. 

Mohamud, 26, has today been ordered to serve life with a minimum of 11 years at a high security psychiatric hospital after admitting a terror offence and three counts of attempted murder.

The shocking footage released by the British Transport Police shows officers racing to a platform where Mahamud is brandishing a blade.

Moments after they arrive on the scene the body camera, mounted on PC Tom Wright, shows his hero colleague Sergeant Lee Valentine aiming his Taser directly at him. The clip then shows the terrorist lunging towards him with the knife, before police are able to grapple him to the floor and detain him. 

Sgt Valentine, 31, who suffered a knife wound in the attack, yesterday told how he pulled the trigger on his Taser but failed to stop his advances.

Mohamud had started his attack, which was filmed on CCTV, by walking up behind unsuspecting James Knox, screaming ‘Allahu Akbar!’ and ‘Long live the Caliphate!’ as he stabbed the victim repeatedly in the back, shoulders and head.

He then turned the knife on Mr Knox’s companion, Anna Charlton, slashing her across the face after the couple, in their 50s, randomly crossed his path heading for a tram platform shortly before 9pm last December 31.  

A witness took this photo of the aftermath after two rail passengers and a policeman were stabbed last New Years's Eve

A witness took this photo of the aftermath after two rail passengers and a policeman were stabbed last New Years’s Eve

The video shows officers confronting Mohamud (circled) as Sgt Lee Valentine, seen on the left, aims his Taser at him

The video shows officers confronting Mohamud (circled) as Sgt Lee Valentine, seen on the left, aims his Taser at him

The clip then shows the terrorist lunging towards police as he brandishes the knife, before police are able to grapple him to the floor and detain him

The clip then shows the terrorist lunging towards police as he brandishes the knife, before police are able to grapple him to the floor and detain him

In a statement released today, he Sgt Valentine said: ‘The screams heard at Manchester Victoria were chilling, from the moment we heard them our instincts took over.

‘I drew my Taser and Tom drew his baton, the Taser was deployed but the suspect immediately charged towards me leaping in the air and stabbing my shoulder. I grabbed him and we ended up on the floor, together we managed to restrain him.’     

Mohamud, diagnosed as suffering paranoid schizophrenia, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to three counts of attempted murder and one count of the possession of a document or record likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, a manual titled, ‘the seven most lethal ways to strike with a knife’.

Born in the Netherlands and moved to the UK aged nine, Mohamud had been diagnosed with a drug-induced psychosis in 2016, and had created a document incorporating the jihadi message of terror figurehead Anwar Al-Awalaki. 

Shocking CCTV footage released yesterday shows the moment a terrorist launched a frenzied attack on train commuters

Shocking CCTV footage released yesterday shows the moment a terrorist launched a frenzied attack on train commuters

Two victims were pictured receiving treatment after the incident last New Year's Eve

Two victims were pictured receiving treatment after the incident last New Year’s Eve

Alison Morgan QC, prosecuting, argued though Mohamud was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic and this may have ‘disinhibited’ his behaviour, the attack was ‘not simply a product of that mental illness’ given the months of planning, his extremist ideology and desire to perform ‘jihad.’ 

The court heard the defendant, a Dutch national from a Somali family who has lived in the UK since the age of nine, gained a first-class degree in mechanical engineering from Leeds University in 2016.

But after gaining a placement with Rolls Royce in 2015 he suffered a drug induced psychosis and his mental health deteriorated with him being sectioned and spending time in mental hospitals in the UK and Somalia.

Rebecca Trowler QC, mitigating, told the court the defendant’s mental illness acted as the ‘driver’ for the attack.

Sgt Lee Valentine with Chief Constable Paul Crowther as he receives an award for tackling Mahdi Mohamud

Sgt Lee Valentine with Chief Constable Paul Crowther as he receives an award for tackling Mahdi Mohamud

Sergeant Lee Valentine (second from left) has told how he confronted the terrorist knifeman. Pictured left to right: Metrolink worker Adam Ward, BTP officers Sergeant Valentine, Pc Marsha Selby, Pc Ashleigh Williams, Pc Tom Wright and Metrolink worker Miah Uddin at a commendation ceremony following their actions during the knife attack

Sergeant Lee Valentine (second from left) has told how he confronted the terrorist knifeman. Pictured left to right: Metrolink worker Adam Ward, BTP officers Sergeant Valentine, Pc Marsha Selby, Pc Ashleigh Williams, Pc Tom Wright and Metrolink worker Miah Uddin at a commendation ceremony following their actions during the knife attack

Mr Justice Stuart-Smith sentenced Mohamud to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 11 years.

The ‘Hybrid Order’ means the defendant will remain in a hospital until until his mental state has recovered sufficiently for him to be transferred to prison to complete the rest of his sentence.

Mr Justice Stuart-Smith said: ‘In general terms your mental illness did not cause you to be unable to distinguish between right and wrong.

‘For these main reasons I conclude that, though your mental illness made a significant contribution, probably by exacerbating the seeds of Islamic radicalisation and by a disinhibiting effect, you retain substantial responsibility and culpability for your acts.’ 

A discharged taser lies on the platform of Manchester Victoria station after the attack

A discharged taser lies on the platform of Manchester Victoria station after the attack

Earlier the court heard Mohamud walked the mile from his family home in Cheetham Hill, Manchester, to the busy city centre train station where he launched the attack shortly before 9pm.

Mr Knox suffered 13 injuries including a skull fracture while Ms Charlton’s right lung was punctured and she suffered a slash to her forehead that cut down to the bone.

Police later recovered a large amount of what police called ‘counter-terrorism mindset material’, including images, Islamic State propaganda, hate-speeches by extreme Islamists and the document about how to carry out knife attacks.

Mohamud was known to mental health services but was not subject to a care plan and his family had made him a doctor’s appointment and slipped anti-psychotic medication into his food in the days before he travelled to and from Somalia on several occasions between 2016 and 2018.

During that time he accessed ‘significant extremist material’ and began drafting documents that would later be of significance to the attack that he committed, the court heard.

He returned to the UK on November 12, 2018, with a ‘schedule’ or diary for carrying out his jihad with an ‘endgame’ on December 31, the court was told.

The sentencing hearing, stretched across two days, heard reports from a number of psychiatrists, as the prosecution and defence disagreed over the extent to which the defendant’s mental health could explain the offences he committed. 

Chief Constable Paul Crowther from British Transport Police said today: ‘The actions of Lee and his team of officers are quite simply heroic. From the moment they heard the screams, they demonstrated extreme courage in running towards danger, bringing a horrendous attack to an end in under 40 seconds.

‘I couldn’t be prouder of their efforts, and of course our friends at Metrolink who also challenged the suspect. Unfortunately, this is the second time in as many years that BTP officers in Manchester have faced an unprecedented challenge.

‘Our teams confronted scenes of terror during the devastating Arena bombing in 2017, and during this frightening incident on New Year’s Eve. In both, they showed the upmost professionalism, bravery and honour.’

Sgt Valentine said: ‘The screams heard at Manchester Victoria were chilling, from the moment we heard them our instincts took over.

‘My colleagues Marsha and Ashleigh were the first to encounter the suspect intervening whilst he was savagely attacking his victims. 

‘They immediately ran over, putting themselves in danger by positioning themselves between the suspect and the victims, armed only with a baton and incapacitant spray. 

‘Without a doubt, they prevented further serious harm being caused to the victims, potentially saving their lives and other members of the public.

‘Tom and I arrived mere seconds later, supporting Marsha and Ashleigh, alongside the Metrolink staff. We could see him waving a large knife in the air shouting threats. I drew my Taser and Tom drew his baton, the Taser was deployed but the suspect immediately charged towards me leaping in the air and stabbing my shoulder. I grabbed him and we ended up on the floor, together we managed to restrain him.

‘It was all over within seconds. The Metrolink Staff and my team acted professionally, with restraint and with great bravery in confronting the male. I want to thank them all for their actions on New Years Eve.

‘Marsha, Tom and Ashleigh have a combined length of service of less than six years; to confront, act and deal with this type of shocking incident so soon in their career is commendable. I know this would have been a horrific experience for the two victims and I hope they are continuing to recover well.’

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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