London

Leytonstone Tube knifeman 'had murdered Lee Rigby pictures'

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionLeytonstone Tube attack video shown to jury

A knife attacker who lashed out at Tube passengers cutting the throat of one had images of murdered Lee Rigby on his phone, a jury has heard.

Muhiddin Mire, 30, injured musician Lyle Zimmerman at Leytonstone station, the Old Bailey heard.

As he was led away by police on 5 December he said "this is for Syria, for my Muslim brothers", the jury was told.

Mr Mire admits attacking Mr Zimmerman, 56, but denies attempted murder.

Mr Zimmerman suffered "a deep and ragged wound" to his neck and his windpipe was exposed, the court has heard.

'Insight into motivation'

Images of murdered soldier Lee Rigby and British Islamic State executioner Jihadi John, were among extremist material found on Mr Mire's phone, prosecutors said.

As he was led away by police Mr Mire explained his actions were in response to the bombings of hospitals in Syria, the jury heard.

Prosecutor Jonathan Rees QC said: "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 and what he was seeking to do to Mr Zimmerman."

Image copyright Julia Quenzler/BBC
Image caption Muhiddin Mire admits using the knife but denies attempted murder

Minutes after he attacked Mr Zimmerman, the defendant got into a heated exchange outside the station with another man - Daniel Bielinski - after he brandished the knife at him and his girlfriend.

Mr Bielinski filmed the exchange, during which he asked: "Why you attack me and my girlfriend?"

In the footage, shown to the jury, Mr Mire, of Sansom Road, Leytonstone, then returns to the station, prompting Mr Bielinski to scream: "Be careful, be careful. Knife blade. Call for police. Security."

Mr Mire is eventually struck with a stun gun three times by police before being brought to the ground.

Somali-born Mr Mire, who came to the UK as a boy, accepts he used the knife, and the issue for the jury to decide is whether Mire intended to kill Mr Zimmerman.

He denies attempted murder but admits four counts of attempted wounding and an alternative count of wounding with intent to cause Mr Zimmerman grievous bodily harm.

The trial continues.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites