Prosecutor: London subway stabber had jihadi images on phone

AP News
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Posted: Jun 01, 2016 9:32 AM

LONDON (AP) — A mentally ill taxi driver who went on a knife rampage at a London subway station had images of a slain British soldier and an Islamic State militant on his phone and claimed his attack was "for Syria," a British prosecutor said Wednesday.

Muhiddin Mire, 30, went on trial this week at London's Central Criminal Court on attempted murder charges for slashing the throat of musician Lyle Zimmerman and lashing out at several others at Leytonstone station on Dec. 5.

Mire, who was born in Somalia and came to Britain as a child, has admitted the attack but denies attempted murder.

Prosecutor Jonathan Rees told jurors that Mire's phone contained images of Fusilier Lee Rigby — who was hacked to death in a London street by al-Qaida-inspired attackers in 2013 — and Mohammed Emwazi, a British militant nicknamed "Jihadi John" who appeared in IS videos showing the beheading of hostages.

"The contents of the defendant's phone, when looked at alongside what he said during the course of the incident ... provides an insight as to what motivated the defendant to do what he did," Rees said.

He said Zimmerman suffered "a deep and ragged wound" to his neck and was kicked repeatedly during the attack.

Mire was eventually detained by police, who used a stun gun to subdue him. Rees said as Mire was led away by police, he said: "This is for Syria, for my Muslim brothers."

Rees told the court earlier that Mire had suffered "delusions of a persecutory, religious and grandiose nature," including a belief he was being followed by British spy agencies.