The suspect in the Leytonstone Tube station stabbing has been charged with the attempted murder of a 56-year-old man. The 29-year-old, who allegedly attacked three people at the underground station on 5 December with a knife, was named as Muhaydin Mire.
Police investigating the stabbing earlier searched a house in east London in connection with the attack which took place at around 7pm GMT. The suspect is alleged to have attacked three people. One victim, aged 56, suffered serious knife injuries, but they are not thought to be life-threatening, while two others sustained minor wounds. Eyewitnesses reported that the man claimed the attacks were revenge for the UK's military intervention in Syria. Police were called to the scene at 7.06pm and they arrested the suspect at 7.14pm after Tasering him.
The attack is being investigated by Metropolitan Police as a "terrorist incident". Commander Richard Walton, who leads the Met's Counter Terrorism Command (SO15), told Sky News: "This was a violent, unprovoked knife attack. We are not sure yet precisely what was behind the attack. Urgent inquiries are under way to establish the motive behind the attack."
He urged people who had filmed the attack on their mobile phones to come forward and share their footage with police.
Salim Patel, who runs a shop at the station, described a chaotic scene as he heard shouting after a train pulled in. "Then I saw the guy attacking the victim, punching him so hard. The victim was screaming 'please somebody help me. Help'," he said. "Then the attacker started kicking him on the floor. I think the victim was unconscious, he passed out. Then the attacker took a knife out and started stabbing him as he lay on the floor."
Graphic video footage of the incident captured by commuters was circulated on social media. It shows the police making several attempts to Taser the suspect, until he is finally brought down. Terrified commuters, including young children, can be seen attempting to flee the scene.
Another eyewitness filmed the scene as the police restrained the suspect. The man taking the video shouted: "You ain't no Muslim bruv". The phrase quickly began trending on Twitter as people praised the powerful reaction to the attack.
Detective Superintendent Jacqueline Sebire, from Waltham Forest, said: "This incident highlights the risks taken by our officers on a daily basis. I would like to take this opportunity to praise not only their bravery in confronting the man who was in possession of a knife, but also their quick response in providing first aid to the victim whilst offering reassurance to the many members of the public who were travelling through the underground."
Downing Street says it is closely monitoring the police investigation. British Transport Police will deploy extra officers to Tube and train stations following the incident.
Mire is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court tomorrow.
Anyone who was in the vicinity of Leytonstone Underground Station around 7pm on 5 December and saw anything suspicious is asked to call the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321.