Terrorist ‘just like an animal’ during stabbing rampage, hero officer says

From the Oxford Mail and the Daily Mail

A police officer has told how he pulled the trigger on his Taser gun but it failed to stop crazed terrorist Mahdi Mohamud who lunged at him with a fillet knife before he could reload. Sergeant Lee Valentine, 31, said he felt “massively” lucky not to be more seriously injured in the attack last New Year’s Eve. He was with colleague Pc Tom Wright, 27, on duty at Manchester Victoria railway station when he heard a shocking scream as Mohamud launched the attack.

The crazed knifeman, 26, had walked up behind unsuspecting James Knox, screaming “Allahu Akbar!” and “Long live the Caliphate!” as he stabbed his 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.

Mohamud on Tuesday at Manchester Crown Court admitted three counts of attempted murder and one count of 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”.

The suspect was pepper sprayed before seconds later Pc Wright, 27, arrived along with Sgt Valentine, the only one armed with a 50,000 volt Taser gun.

Sgt Valentine (said…) “You could just see him dancing around, waving this knife around, stepping towards us as if I’m going to, sort of, come towards you. Then I’ve come down, got past the guys and girls in the yellow jackets in the line, just gone in front so I can get a decent shot at tasering him. It just didn’t work.

“He had a really thick coat on, like a bubble jacket, and the old style Tasers that we use, sometimes it’s ineffective if somebody is wearing a number of layers or a thick coat. . . he just started running towards me. He probably closed a seven foot gap in half a second. “It was just like a dive, he flew, he probably jumped three or four foot off the ground and just sort of lunged, probably lunged at my head with his knife….”

The officer put his hands up to protect his head and Mohamud stabbed the officer in his shoulder before grappling on the ground as the other officers dived in.

He said: “One of the things for me, obviously when I’ve landed on top of him being so close to his face to be literally like looking in his eyes and he’s like – there’s nothing there. 

It’s just like a complete, it’s…I don’t know, you can’t describe it, he just, he just wasn’t there.

“I think we’ve all dealt with people who have got certain issues, drugged up people, people who are really drunk, taken all sorts of stuff, but the look on his face when you are that close to him and you just see nothing there, it’s just…he’s shouting and he’s screaming and he’s sweating.

“The look on his face, not even that of like a madmen just somebody who was just like intent on, he just wasn’t there. “Like just, he just was not there, it was just like, it was just like an animal.”

Mohamud, a Dutch national from a Somali family, had arrived in the UK aged nine and became radicalised online, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said. 

(He) 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.

Detained under the Mental Health Act the day after the attack he was later found fit to stand trial.

The court heard Muhamed obtained ISIS publications and had created and meticulously revised a document entitled Neurotechnology, an anti-government, anti-West conspiracy theory.

The defendant has three brothers and one sister, all born in the Netherlands, and he was living with family at the time of the attack. Between 2012 and 2016, he attended Leeds University and obtained a degree in mechanical engineering. This included a placement at Rolls-Royce in 2015, but during this time he started to display significant mental health issues and was diagnosed as suffering from drug-induced psychosis.

He travelled to and from Somalia on more than one occasion between 2016 and 2017, including visiting on August 11 2017 before returning in November 2018.

While there, he was taken to hospital in Somalia for three periods during 2016 to 2018, and 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 also accessed the document, ‘7 most lethal places to strike with a knife’, downloading it to his iPhone. 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. Back in the UK the defendant set up a new Facebook account with a graphic of a one finger salute, an image associated with IS. 

He will be sentenced later.  


2 Responses

  1. Forget Tasers, twelve gauge to the balls would have caught Mr Mohamud’s immediate attention. And a one finger salute back-at-him.

    And please keep my email address private. Very, very private.

  2. This testimony from the officer – “the look on his face, not even that of a madman… he just wasn’t there. Like, just, he just was not there, it was just like, it was just like an animal.” – is chilling, but also very telling. It chimes exactly with something that Churchill wrote way back in the 1890s, in his book about the raj vs the jihad on the north-west frontier, “The Story of the Malakand Field Force”. He wrote – “The Mahommedan religion increases, instead of lessening, the fury of intolerance. It was originally propagated by the sword, and ever since, its votaries have been subject, above the people of other creeds, to this form of madness. In a moment, the fruits of patient toil, the prospects of material prosperity, the fear of death itself, are flung aside. The more emotional Pathans are powerless to resist… Seizing their weapons they become Ghazis – as dangerous and as sensible as wild dogs: fit only to be treated as such.” To repeat -.. “they become Ghazis – as dangerous and as sensible as wild dogs, fit only to be treated as such.” In “The River Wars” (1899) in which Churchill describes the war against the Mahdi in Sudan, he compares the ghazi raider not simply with a *wild* dog, but with a *rabid* dog. “He speaks of “the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog..”. In a very real sense, there *was* nothing behind this ghazi’s eyes. Or, rather, there was Nothing: the Nothing that is Islam. The man had erased himself, in order for the “Islam Program” to inhabit and run unhindered in what was left of his brain. One could also, I suppose, use terms such as “possession”.

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